Beginner's Guide to Building a Club Website
by Dave Watterson Your club - or maybe even your new mega-production
- needs a website. You're willing but new to this ... let's take it step
by step ... and make a website. We'll concentrate on a club website but it
takes just a small change of content to make any other type of site.
You may already have a website which feels a bit dated and tired ... often
it is easier to start afresh than to try remodelling the existing website.
At the very least you can test out new ideas and designs before setting about
converting your old site.
You really need a fast internet connection. It is possible to make a website
using slow dial-up but that is a story for another day. You are reading this
page with your web browser. It may be called Internet Explorer, Safari,
Firefox, Opera, Chrome ...
| All web browsers let you open two or more windows at once.
Use the File menu and choose "new window". You can tell the browser
to open a different website in each window. Each window is listed at
the top or foot of the screen. In our illustration we see an AMPS "Making
of ..." page and the Viewfinders Club website. To switch from one to the
other, you would click on the name of the one you want to see. Why have two
views of the web? So that you can read these notes in one window, while creating
your new website in the other.
Desperate for Print ?
Do you prefer instructions on a printed page? OK. We have printable versions
of these notes. They are in the common pdf form, which means they look and
print out the same on every system.
Click here to
get the printable notes. Your computer probably already has a pdf reading
program on it. If not , you can download and install one free of charge.
The people who invented pdfs are Adobe and you can get their reader program
here. My personal
Reader which is much smaller and quicker than the Adobe version - click
on its name to get it. Both are free. Take care to untick the boxes beside
any extra toolbar or program offers when you download and install them.
Copy and Paste
It is often useful to copy text from somewhere and paste it into your website.
For example you might draft the text for a page on a word-processor.
The simplest way to do this is to click your mouse cursor just before the
start of the first word, keep the mouse button down and drag the cursor along
to the end of the last word. That selects the text. On a PC you then
hold down the key marked Ctrl and press C to copy it. Click
to the window with your website design on it, click where you want the words
to go, hold down the key marked Ctrl and press V. (Logically
it should have been C for copy and P for paste, but the P was already being
used to mean print.) For Mac users it is almost the same but instead
of "Ctrl" key use the Command key (marked with an apple or four scrolls
making a square) and press C or V.)
You have to start somewhere !
Producing a website is an iterative process batting ideas back and forth.
But you have to start somewhere so that others can react. Also you might
be impatient like me - so I suggest we make a start right now. Once your
first rough website is up ... then have a planning session and adapt the
website to fit. That way your group has something to start from. And you
have proved that you can do it.
|You can spend hundreds on professional web creation tools. You can download
umpteen free web making tools. Guess which type I suggest? Neither!
For this course we will use Weebly. Yes, it is a silly name. Yes,
it keeps inviting you to pay for the "pro" version but with the free
Weebly system you can build attractive websites quickly. Using a common
system allows us to give specific notes instead of vague generalised ones.
You do not need to download any programs. The work is all done online.
Weebly "hosts" your website (see box on the right).
It is free and does not add adverts other than a discreet mention of its
It does not matter whether you use Windows, Apple, Linux or any other computer
If necessary you can see and change the code that is behind-the-scenes,
but mostly all the technical stuff is handled by them without us having to
worry about it.
It helps keep page designs consistent.
And no, we don't get paid by them for recommending you to try Weebly!
Any website must be "hosted" (stored) on a computer which is always on and
always linked to the internet.
It is not practical to do that on your own home computer, so you keep a
copy of the website on a computer owned by a specialist company.
Companies which supply this service are called "web hosts". You can find
companies to host your website for a fee. Some host free but usually with
Weebly is unusual in being both free and without adverts.
|One small problem Microsoft's Internet
Explorer browser (version 6) sometimes has problems with Weebly websites.
We do not regard that as a big issue. In Autumn 2010 between 5% and 10% of
web users worked with that version of the browser and the percentage is dwindling
sharply. Most people have moved to later versions of Internet Explorer or
use other browsers.
Step by step guide: Getting
started | Weebly sign up |
your first page |
additional pages |
pictures & words
Coming Soon |
forms, emails, maps & videos
Design ideas: Is your
club website a waste of space? |
What should the content be?