Frequently Asked Questions
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Why is SiteMaker being transitioned to other services?
There is risk of disruption with the current SiteMaker service due to:
- Old hardware that is reaching end-of-life (it is considered “vintage” by Apple)
- The end of support for Web objects
Transitioning sites off of this service reduces reduces the risk of disruption. In addition usage has dropped significantly in recent years. (See below.)
How many sites are currently in SiteMaker?
There are over 12,000 total sites of which only about 6,000 have been accessed or edited within the last two years. Historically 800 new sites were created annually, but in the past year that number dropped to 150.
How do I find my SiteMaker sites?
Go to the SiteMaker home page and select the My Websites tab in the upper right. This will show you a list of any sites for which you are the owner or co-owner.
What is the plan for handling all these sites?
See the Project Roadmap for the transition timeline. You have three options for handling your current site:
- Delete: Site deletions occur shortly after requested and are permanent. We do not keep an archived copy nor can we undo a deletion once it is complete. (NOTE: Although you can unpublish a site on your own, you must contact the ITS Service Center to request that your site be deleted.)
- Archive: We will archive your site and deliver the files to you. Once a site is archived you can request that it be deleted. Otherwise it will remain live and be handled according to the Project Roadmap.
- Move: Once you move your SiteMaker site to a different service you can request that it be deleted or archived. Otherwise it will remain live and be handled according to the Project Roadmap. We can also redirect the URL of your old SiteMaker site to a new URL if you wish. People who go to the old site will automatically be sent to your new site and they will be unable to access the old site.
Contact the ITS Service Center for assistance with any of these options.
What are my options for moving my site? Can I get help?
Self-serve: An estimated 60% of current SiteMaker site owners have fairly simple sites and should be able migrate on their own with minimal technical support.
Facilitated: An estimated 30% of current SiteMaker site owners have more complicated sites and might require assistance from their unit IT staff.
Consultative: An estimated 10% of current SiteMaker site owners have complex sites that use custom datatables and will likely require direct consultation with and support from the project team.
What will happen when people try to access my old SiteMaker site?
If you move or delete your SiteMaker site, we have a redirect service that we can enable. People who go to the old site will automatically be sent to a different site of your choosing and they will be unable to access the old site. This service will run through the end of 2015, at which time there is probably little risk of people still using the old URL. If your old SiteMaker site is deleted and there is no redirect, the user will get an error message.
Are any other web hosting services, such as SquareSpace, being considered as alternatives?
Is there an alternative service that allows me to have a custom URL for my site, like mysite.umich.edu?
U-M's Google Admins can map a subdomain of .umich.edu to Google sites. More information on how to set this up is located on the U-M Google Website.
What is the security compliance of the various alternative services?
We're still evaluating some services. To see the levels of security compliance for U-M services such as U-M Google Sites, SiteMaker and other cloud services, please visit our Sensitive Guide to Data Resources. For more specific guidance, please contact the ITS Service Center.
Why is my old SiteMaker site showing up in Google searches instead of my new site?
This is due to the way Google indexes sites and it may take some time for sites to get re-indexed. Here is more on how Google indexes sites:
- Google Basics - explains how crawling, indexing and ranking works
- My site isn't doing well in search - explains common questions and issues
- Google-friendly sites - provides some information about how to create a website so that it can easily be crawled and indexed
- Google's Webmaster Guidelines - provide technical, content and quality guidelines for webmasters
- Adding a site to Google - for specific advice and additional tips
- Your site in Google's index - gives some simple ways to check your site's indexing
Form to get your site indexed by Google
Form to remove old sites from the index