The Things You Need To Know.
So you want to get a website, but need some basic guidance? This website is here to help you with the fundamentals:
- Website Preparation & Planning
- Navigation & Information Structures
- Domain Names
- Web Technologies
- Content Management Systems
- Website Maintenance
- Search Engines
- Usability & Accessibility
But Why Get a Website?
A good question, and one many people rightly ask. So, before we even begin looking at the practical aspects of getting a website up and running, we should start by looking at what benefits are gained in having one.
There are many reasons why a website can be beneficial to your organisation, and of course these benefits will vary depending on what your organisation does. There's not enough space here to cover every scenerio, so let's use the charity and non-profit sector to illustrate some general points.
For a charity, a 'good' website can be very beneficial in a number of ways, including:
- Raising general awareness of their organisation
- Giving wider access to their publication's, research, and campaign's
- Increased opportunities for fundraising
- Increased opportunities for increasing readership/membership
- Cost effective means to present supporting multimedia - film, audio, etc.
- Real-time, instant-response editing/updating capability
- Instant interaction with members/audience - polls, feedback, member contribution, etc
The Web is the most comprehensive, cost effective communication tool there has ever been. But you should notice our emphasis on the importance of having a 'good' website. The beauty of the Web is that it allows everyone to have a voice, but this means there are millions of voices all competing to be heard.
So if your website is to be:
It will need to be:
- easily found
- easy and interesting to use
- well structured
- visually appealing
- well aware of what it is trying to communicate and to whom
Well that's what the rest of this website is designed to hopefully help your with... so get reading!
Save Time, Save Money
The site was created primarily to help charities and non-profit organisations, but others too may find the information helpful.
The principle aim here is to give you a solid grounding in what it takes to get your website up and running; by having an understanding of the requirements, and the processes involved.
Spending a little time now, gaining even a basic understanding of website production processes, will save you a great deal of time and money in the long term. When the time comes to call in the professional web specialists, the knowledge you'll have gained will help you communicate your ideas more efficiently and effectively.
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Using This Site
The information on this site has been written by experienced commercial web designers and developers. The information is therefore broken down in to sections following a basic development process commonly used by professionals. The texts though, are written specifically for the 'layperson', and require no previous knowledge of the subject to be understood.
If there are any technical terms you don't understand, consult the Web Terminology page.
Menu links are best viewed in order, as they are designed to take you though the key stages of your website's creation and development. The lower menu links are a more general reference section designed to help with web terms, technologies, resources, etc.
We Need Your Input
Are we providing the kind of information you need?
In order for this website to work we need to know if the information we're providing is what you want. After using this site please let us know what you think. Let us know if it has been helpful to you, what needs to be added, etc..
We Recommend FIREFOX
The Microsoft Web Browser (IE6, IE7 or IE8) that comes 'bundled' with Windows is 'non-standard', slow and insecure. We'd recommend you use something better, like Firefox! Not only is Firefox better for 'browsing' the Internet, it also has lots of add-ons (test and validation suites) that can help with the development of your website.
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