Frequently asked questions

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We have an existing web address (also known as a URL or domain name) or plan to buy one. Can we use it?

Yes. We have found two ways (there may be others).

1. You can go to the website of your domain name provider and change some settings. Set your domain name to forward to your offtheblocks website (e.g., to and set masking to yes. Once these settings are activated, anyone using your purchased domain name will be forwarded to your off the blocks website. Masking will make your purchased domain name show up in the browser, not the off the blocks name.

Most domain name companies make this relatively easy to do, although some charge for this service. There are two problems we have found with this solution. One is that when anyone refreshes a page on your website, they will always be taken back to the homepage. The other is that search engines often do not find forwarded pages. 

2. The second solution is to set up a separate account space for you on our server and then you can point your domain name to this special account. There are no unusual problems we have found with this solution, however, there are some setup fees. Currently, the cost of setting up a separate account space is $50.


Why do you limit file size on upload?  I have some photos that are 5 MB and I want to put them on the website.

5 MB pictures cause a number of problems on the web.  The two biggest are as follows:
1. At common local download speeds, a 5 MB picture can take a little over two minutes to show up in  a browser!  One of the reasons for ~2 MB limit on OTB was to try to keep pictures small enough that they would load in under a minute.
2. Auto-thumbnail software we wrote struggles thumbnailing large pictures quickly!

The reason that the photo images are so large is most likely because they were created by a high resolution camera.  They are probably over 2500 pixels wide.  Printed photos should probably be
300 pixels per inch, so 2500 pixel pictures can be printed up to about 8 in by 10 in.  In contrast, most people don't have monitors that can display such large pictures.  Monitors only display 72 pixels per inch and only a small percentage of monitors display images wider than 1200 pixels.

So the best thing to do with large photos is to resize the photos!  We suggest a maximum of 1024 pixels wide although 800 pixels (largest dimension) is really big enough.

If you don't have Photoshop or one of the other common photo editors, t
here are a number of free, very nice image editors (e.g., irfanview) that can resize photos. Use photo editing software to resize and then save as a jpeg.  You can save as png, though these files are typically a bit larger than jpeg formatted files.

Why do you limit the file formats I can use on the web?

Initially formats are restricted because we want to encourage teams to use file formats that are accessible to both Mac and PC users who have many different browsers. If you need to upload other formats, please talk to us. We can turn on the capability for other formats. There are no fees associated with using other formats such as spreadsheets.

Not all of the files I want to use are in the formats allowed (e.g., HTML or PDF). How can I convert my files to those formats?

Option 1: Free Online Service.

One convenient solution is to use a free online service such as Currently they convert many formats to PDF and they convert PDF to HTML. This website is constantly adding new conversion capabilities.

Option 2: Obtain Software to run on your computer.

You could obtain software that will create PDF or HTML files. For example, consider files from or For example, BCL EasyPDF Printer Driver works well and allows PC users to create PDF files from any program that can print.

Can't open pdf?

How many people can work on the website?

As many as you want!  You can let any member of your website become an administrator.  However, be careful of simultaneous editing of the same content area. Often, one person's work will be lost.


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