The ACS Website Team is giving excellent advice to Sections, Divisions, and other ACS entities, for creating new websites for themselves that are independent of the sites.acs.org platform which, for reasons beyond ACS' control, is going away soon. Kudos to the ACS Website Team for their efforts to help everyone migrate.
But there's another troublesome case to consider . . .
. . . namely, websites that were created for regional ACS meetings by local organizing committees that have long since finished their work and dissolved themselves. Those committees expected that their meeting websites would be safely housed at ACS and preserved for posterity as static snapshots (or archival) websites. And now there is no group in place to consider how to preserve those websites by migrating them to other web hosting platforms.
I'm the webmaster of a number of the meetings of the Middle Atlantic Region, and also of the MARM umbrella website, www.marmacs.org. One of our meeting websites was hosted at .sites, namely https://marm2017.sites.acs.org
So I took on the challenge of creating a snapshot of https://marm2017.sites.acs.org that would be safe when sites.acs.org is shut down.
I worked up a site migration tool that accomplishes the task, and I used it to create https://marmacs.org/2017. It is a stand-alone, self-contained clone of the original website. I believe this tool can be used for other .sites website, although it might still need some improvements to handle special circumstances that didn't apply to marmacs2017.
Sadly, the snapshot created by this tool does not come with any website updating tools. So although it appears to be a perfect solution for regional meeting websites that are past (and possibly other websites hosted at sites.acs.org that are now "static"), it is probably not of much value to sections and divisions who need to move their primary websites off of the .sites platform.
However, this migration tool might provide some partial relief to groups who run "live" websites at sites.acs.org, since they can consider creating new websites from scratch, but avoid migrating old their old content to their new platform, but instead just give a link at their new website to their old content as a snapshot created using this tool.
I'm working with the ACS website team to make this tool available to ACS groups that could use it to their advantage.
In the meantime I would be happy to receive feedback.
-- Paul Tukey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Webmaster of www.njacs.org and www.marmacs.org