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by Abigail Van Buren

Maintaining Friend's Website Becomes Unwelcome Burden

DEAR ABBY: Around 12 years ago, I helped out an old friend I'll call Patty by creating an author website for her. I have maintained it for her ever since. She is grateful and gives me a gift every once in a while to show her appreciation.

Over time, her requests for revisions and updates have increased to the point that I dread receiving them. I'm very busy with a business I own, and I really don't want to do this for her anymore.

The problem is, I created the website using an obscure program she has no idea how to use (she's tech-unsavvy to begin with), so if I stop, I would be leaving her high and dry. Oh, and she has no money, so I don't think hiring someone to take over would be an option. The only thing I could recommend to her is that she start making a new webpage from scratch, using a free site.

I'm dying to let this go, but I think she'll be crushed, and I hate to hurt her. Any advice? -- OVERWORKED FRIEND

DEAR OVERWORKED: Explain to your friend that you have a business to run and you will no longer be able to give her the free services you have been. Then, if you want to keep the friendship, rebuild her a website on a platform that will be easier for her -- or someone else -- to manage in the future.