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Building Better Club Websites - Introduction

Beginnings

Next Steps

It began with a club webmaster looking around at what others had done. There were good and interesting websites ... but there were the other kind too.

Peter Kidman was so horrified by the poor websites that he penned a rant about their faults for Film & Video Maker and sent it to me for comment before submission to the magazine. I saw little value in simply publishing an attack, but great possibilities in turning his sharp vision, focused thinking and considerable expertise into a positive guide for others.

Thus began this series of articles.

It quickly became clear that the subject needed more space than a magazine page allowed. So the printed versions became condensed highlights and on this website we could spread our wings and explain ideas in more depth.

As I write this, the series of articles continues to develop.

Only time will reveal whether our efforts have made a difference. But the exercise of two very different personalities collaborating has thrown up other ideas ... most exciting is the possibility for clubs to send live video over the web, again free of charge, for the benefit of members who cannot attend or even to share with other clubs. (See Finchley TV Goes on Air for details.)

Tiny image of a page in the series. Tiny image of a page in the series.
But there was more, we noted with some dismay that out of the 264 IAC affiliated clubs around 93 had no website at all. It therefore followed that help was needed at a even more fundamental level – to get clubs to even commit to having any website never mind improving the one they had. This is where the Weebly system came in.

I had long wanted to prepare a practical, hands-on guide to help people start building a website. But the problem of writing to suit different computer systems and different web design programs held me back.

Inspired by Peter's energy and enthusiasm I dug deeper and found the Weebly system which works entirely on the web itself. All you need is a web browser. What's more it is totally free. There are other free tools around but most require you to pay to have your new wesite "hosted". This one offers free hosting too.

So Peter drafted articles about the principles of good website design - listed under the heading Website make-over and I started with the bricks and mortar for website virgins – listed under Beginners:Build a Website We collaborated a lot and after the initial phase my practical articles became supporting pieces for the general articles.(See the Weebly way tips)

We are on a crusade to help AV and movie-making clubs recognise the rich possibilities of the wired age and enjoy the publicity and club morale benefits of a good website. The IAC were persuaded to support this drive with a Best Website Competition – starting in 2011.

- Dave Watterson


Website make-over

Beginners: build a website!

  1. Is Your Club Website a Waste of Space?
    the rant which started it all.
  2. What Should the Content Be?
    what do members and visitors need to know?
  3. Navigation
    help visitors explore your website.
  4. Planning Navigation
    it needs some careful thought.
  5. Anchors & Links
    get visitors to exactly the info they want.
  6. Words
    the heart of any website. Some tips.
  7. Getting Pictures
    is essential, but how do you get them?
  8. Getting & Using Pictures
    then how can you use them to best effect?
  9. Processing Pictures
    most pictures need some changes.
  10. Video
    a must for your website.
  11. Presentation Pictures
    advice from a press photographer.
  12. Colours
    choosing/using colour needs careful consideration.
  13. Layout Principles
    first impressions matter, so get it right.
  14. Layout Schemes
    suggestions for attractive layouts.
  15. Fonts
    the look, size and colour of type -see our advice.
  16. What is SEO?
    make your website easy to find on search engines.
  17. Search Engine Factors
    what search engines want; getting a good ranking.
  18. Check Your Search Ranking
    check how your changes influence your ranking.
  19. Stay Legal
    some essential formalities.
  20. Website Health Check
    how to be sure your site works as it should.
  21. Website No Goes
    a few avoidable faults that make us scream!
Using the free Weebly system the first seven tutorials are enough to get your website up and running. Our "test pilots" reached that stage in just a couple of hours work.
  1. Don't Panic!
  2. Signing up to Weebly
  3. Making your first (elegant) page
  4. Adding more pages and navigation.
  5. Adding pictures and words.
  6. Creating a complex Coming Soon Page.
  7. Adding Forms, Emails, Maps and Videos.

Weebly way tips

Short guides showing how ideas from the general articles can be achieved using Weebly:

Tiny image of a page in the series.
Tiny image of a page in the series.


Share your passions.

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Page updated on 16 January 2011
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