Dwight Watt Internet Article #102


#102 Developing a club web page (Watt Thoughts) (Kiwanis article 1)

#102 Developing a club web page (Watt Thoughts) (Kiwanis article 1)

Does your Kiwanis club have a web page? Why would you want one and how hard is one to do? I am going to give just an overview this time of how and why to do a web page.

Although there are still a number of people in the world today that do not use the Internet, many people do use it for information. So if you want to get information out about your club or activities then a web page is one of the items you should consider. For instance in my home club, we not only have a web page for our club (www.swainsborokiwanis.org0 but we also have a web page for the festival we run each year, the Pine Tree Festival (www.pinetreefestival.com).

You can develop a simple web site or a complicated one. I would suggest you start with a simple one and grow it. You can write the code yourself for the web page in HTML. If you are a beginner, you may not want to start with this, but learn as you go. You can do decent sites with tools such as Microsoft FrontPage and Microsoft Word, which many people already have. As you advance you will realize that they get the job done, but not always efficiently. Always include some pictures on your site. They can be scanned pictures you already have or they could be shot digitally.

If you are not sure where to start on the page or want someone to do it for you, consider your Key Club. A lot of young people can do basic sites for you and at little or no costs. If that is not a possibility, then contact your high school or technical college and they may have students who would like the work experience of doing a real site for a class.

Now where to keep the page on the Internet. You will need to have a host for your web site. That can cost you a bunch of money or you may be able to do for free. There are companies that will sell you space on their computers to host your web site. There are a few out there also that will give you free space such as Yahoo and Geocities. However be careful with the free ones as they may include pop up ads that may or may not be appropriate with your club, or the pop up ads will aggravate your viewers. Another free alternative is see if any of your members have extra space with their Internet (ISP) account they are not using. Most Internet accounts today thru an ISP include some free web space, and most people are not using it.

Next buy a domain name for your club. You can spend as little as $7.95 per year for a domain name or up to $35 per year. The place I have bought names from for several years is www.godaddy.com however there are others out there also at this price. Not only do you get the name there for $7.95 per year, but also a redirect to wherever your page is located. So for instance the Swainsboro Kiwanis have the name www.swainsborokiwannis.org, but the page is actually located at dwight-watt4.home.att.net/Kiwanis/index.htm Obviously you can remember the first name not the second.

Last once you have developed the web site, placed it at host and bought domain name and redirected form it, now the publicity. Tell your members and community about it. Send me an e-mail so we can link you on the state web page (www.gakiwanis.org) and also link us on yours. Now listen and see who finds it. You may be amazed.

Watch for new improvements coming to with Georgia Kiwanis web page in January to make it more user friendly and the forms usable in more ways. If you have suggestions for improvements let me know at webmaster@gakiwanis.org

This article was published in the Georgia Kiwanian in January 2004

Dwight




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