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Website advice


Blackheart
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Hi guys

I'm exploring the option of setting up a website for our new club in the Scottish Borders. We're only a small group with limited resources so I'm looking for something cheap and easy, if it exists!

Could anyone recommend the best way to go about setting up a website or suggest any web design packages that are not too daunting for a beginner...

My thanks as ever...

BH

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Don't create a flash website!

They're over-complicated, slow to load, and don't work for everyone. Probably harder to make, too. Just stick to HTML.

There are HTML editors or you can simply learn to type markup yourself:

HTML Tutorial

It's not computer programing and honestly it's pretty easy. You can start right now with a text editor (not Word, it'll screw things up--use wordpad or notebook) and a web browser. Go to simple sites which you like. Look at the HTML source (usually under the view menu in the browser) and learn how the page was built. You can copy the source to a local file and edit it.

Edited by umadog
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google sites is nice and easy to setup, and free. You can use google picasa to host images. The link in my sig was made purely using google sites and picasa in 2 evenings.

Admittedly I am a web developer but if you just want something quick and non-fancy I always recommend google sites.

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I'd recommend Wordpress, although traditionally for blogging if you check out the examples at http://www.wordpress.com you can see it's used to drive a wide range and styles of websites, and can be easily adapted with plug-ins to achieve just about anything you can think of.

If you're slightly more web-savvy then the non-hosted solution at http://www.wordpress.org gives you even more flexibility.

I think the key with Wordpress is you can start small and you have the flexibility to expand things as your needs change.

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Wordpress also gets a nod from me. If you are prepared to invest a bit of time learning, them also consider Joomla (open source content management system a bit like wordpress).

There are literally loads of free tools out there - I'll try and dig out a link to a database of them detailing their pros and cons.

The other thing I would consider (I made the leap recently myself) is a Mac (I'm as shocked as anyone to hear myself saying that, being a long-time PC supporter). There are a couple of very good and cheap tools on Mac to do website building, and IMHO the Mac is the best tool for managing creative stuff.

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The problem with all of that is you need to learn first. Wordpress can be a [removed word] to learn if you're not familiar with the way PHP works (for skinning anyway). I'm guessing you want a site now?

I'm a web designer but don't have much spare time on my hands. If there are other web designers on here then maybe we could team up and get this guy a site up? Two people's minimal spare time will be better than just mine.

I may be able to provide hosting for free, I can't guarantee it though so don't hold me to it. If not, hosting packages aren't expensive anyway.

Edited by Beano
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+1 for Wordpress

I've developed about 20 custom themes and it's a great system. There's also tons of themes you can download for free to make it 'your own' so to speak.

Where possible I would recommend going for the self hosted version - you'll need a techie to help set it up (looks like there's about a dozen here that can do it), but after that it's a doodle.

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Hi again

Can offer hosting on the back of my package.

I run a couple of large database websites and get 8 databases with the package.

As it's my brother-in-law who I run it for, I'm sure he won't mind you having a database and some space. (if it grows to be bigger than facebook he might have something to say :))

Would be easier if you don't yet have a domain name so I could register it and add to my account, but you can always transfer these in for a fee.

Just an offer, sure you'll have others so don't feel obliged.

In fact doing it yourself would be a lot more rewarding ?

Regards

Neil

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The problem with all of that is you need to learn first. Wordpress can be a [removed word] to learn if you're not familiar with the way PHP works (for skinning anyway). I'm guessing you want a site now?

That seems to be a common complaint with CMS's.

I started using Drupal, mainly due to its claims that it was easily customisable and "anyone" could add content. However, it was only customisable within very narrow limits. Just changing the size of a logo within a standard theme meant opening up the whole mess and having to learn/deal with PHP, CSS, Javascript and DOM. Not what I wanted or expected. :)

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Ok, so this is the normal can of worms I see! No worries, these are just initial enquiries. Part of the learning curve...

Thanks for all the suggestions and offers of help. Incredibly generous as ever. No doubt I will pick your brains again when I have explored a little further.

Thanks again

BH

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You could give Weebly a go.

I use Joomla for my work sites and they do take a bit of setting up.

A while ago I set up a simple weebly site for a mate though and that really was easy. No techy stuff whatsoever.

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Hi, I have found myself in exaclty the same position as Blackheart, here in North Lincolnshire there's no local Astro society, i'm in Barton upon Humber, you can go to Lincoln, Cleethorpes or pay to get over the Humber bridge to go to Hull, Beverly or Brough, I have been to a few of them and there nice friendly society's, I thought I'd try getting one going here in Barton and have now got a start date in conjunction with a local nature reserve, we kick off on Monday March 7th, I thought I'd try getting a web site going for it, thats were I realized I may struggle as I am not that great with IT, the main reason I use a computer is to get on Stargazers lounge. Looking at this thread has given me a few pointers but I may be asking for a bit of help. Hope that will be ok, sorry Blackheart I don't want to take over your thread but will keep an eye on how it goes for you. Good Luck and Clear Skies :)

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No problem Nexus

If you find anything easy then please let me know. So far I've looked at google but after setting up a basic site I then went on to edit it and found all the work I'd done had disappeared. I find the interface dreadful and there seems to be no evidence of support except for lists of Q&A. Also you have to register a domain name at the beginning of the process, which complicates things. Kinda like hitting the pay button before deciding exactly what you want to buy!

I downloaded Wordpress but can't get it to run. I followed the readme file but the PHP install file won't load.

I am currently looking at Weebly and this seems a whole lot better. I'm used to graphics packages and desk top publishing so I keep wanting to resize images and move stuff around but the format seems rigidly opposed.

Still, it's like anything else that's new. You have to persevere and soak it up...

Good luck with the new club

BH

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