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Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-23-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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Question for the WWW savy

I know I could find this info on the web, something I usually enjoy doing, but I'm looking for a shortcut. Plus, this group always amazes me with how well it responds to all sorts of questions.

My wife volunteered me I volunteered to be the webmaster for a parent organization at my son's school. Simple stuff really, just posting information about fundraising events and how parents and students can volunteer to help pull off an event. The school maintains a website and they allow us to post our info there - but everything has to be sent to a liaison employee there. Our information is not a priority for the school, plus we've worked our way through three liaison people before we got one who was computer literate. It still takes days to get info on the site and our page is buried deep in the school's site. To make it easier I want to create my own site, but I have two issues I don't know much about.

1. There are plenty of free hosts out there (Tripod, Anglefire, etc) but I don't know enough about any of them to decide between them without some test driving. Are the free sites a decent way to go, and if so, does any one stand out as being better? If it is significantly better to go with a host that charges a reasonable fee, then I don't have a problem with doing that. It's just that I would rather not have to draw money out of the non-profits accounts if I don't absolutely have to.

2. I would like to buy our own domain name. I know that there is a way to redirect anyone accessing WWW.HIGHSCHOOLGROUP.ORG to whatever URL my page is at, but I don't have a clue how to do that. Can anyone give me the dummies version, or point me to someplace where I can learn how to do that?

This will be a real simple page - just text, a few simple links to some internal pages and maybe a few outside links. I can do simple coding like that, but choosing a host and doing the domain name redirect are something I have no experience in.

This link is to a page that does exactly what I want to do. In fact, if I could just clone it and change the school name it would be ideal.

http://www.dullesprograd.org/
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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-23-2006, 01:12 PM   #2
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

I don't know about the free ones, but el-cheapo services like www.godaddy.com will give you Web space for $3.50 a month and domains as little as $9 or so. If you own a domain name, the domain registrar (godaddy, Network Solutions, whatever) points to whatever IP address you are hosted on. The only use for redirection is if you host your site under someone else's domain (may be true of the freebies) and want an alternative URL to send people over there. The problem with that is that you will be giving the users one URL (yours) and when they get to the site a different URL will appear on their browser -- a little confusing. Spend a couple of bucks and get a regular hosting contract and a domain name.
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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-23-2006, 01:54 PM   #3
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
2. I would like to buy our own domain name. I know that there is a way to redirect anyone accessing WWW.HIGHSCHOOLGROUP.ORG to whatever URL my page is at, but I don't have a clue how to do that. Can anyone give me the dummies version, or point me to someplace where I can learn how to do that?
http://www.dullesprograd.org/
I think redirection is provided for free by most domain name registrars.
Some years ago, when it wasn't, I had great results with the free URL forwarding service provided by
http://www.mydomain.com/
For more info about URL forwarding, see
http://www.mydomain.com/domains_urlfwd.php

I have not used them lately though, so YMMV.

It has been a long time, but I used to use yahoo/geocities for free hosting. The free hosting plans generally plaster annoying banner ads and pop-ups all over your site, however.

A lot of the discount hosting companies are starting to offer hosting for unlimited domains on all their plans, even at the $8/month level. If someone in your organization has one of these hosting plans for their own web page, you may want to see if they would mind hosting the organization's site so you can avoid the ads.
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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-31-2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

Thanks for the advice and the emails offering space.

It turned out to be much easier than I thought. If I searched long enough I think I could have found a free host that would have worked allright, but for the sake of simplicity and quickness I went with paying for a basic site at Homestead.com. The domain name I wanted was available and my site was running under that name in less than 24 hours.

I have to give Homestead a plug because it was easy as pie to set up. Total time spent getting the site 90% complete and online was about 10 hours of work. That included learning how to use their SiteBuilder software and starting over one time because I realized I had made some bad choices in design. It's working now and all the soccer moms think I'm some kind of internet genius.
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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-31-2006, 01:19 PM   #5
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
It's working now and all the soccer moms think I'm some kind of internet genius.
Uh oh, here come the "quick questions." You'll be getting all kinds of requests from everyone you know. Just post 'em on here...

Mike D.
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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-31-2006, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

SO what's the URL? We will all visit and give you grief on your design. But the Web stats will look good.
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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-31-2006, 07:21 PM   #7
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
SO what's the URL? We will all visit and give you grief on your design. But the Web stats will look good.
Okay, critique away. But, know that my target audience is my wife - the woman who wanted to know why everyone made fun of GWB for referring to "The Google". So, it's nothing fancy - but rather simple and easy to use. I think I did well, because she was the first to test drive it and said "that's a website I can understand."



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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 10-31-2006, 07:41 PM   #8
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
Okay, critique away.
Glad to oblige...

A "substance-free celebration"? Oh, I get it...a nude graduation party! Kids today sure have a lot more fun than when I was in HS.

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Re: Question for the WWW savy
Old 11-01-2006, 01:28 PM   #9
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Re: Question for the WWW savy

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Glad to oblige...

A "substance-free celebration"? Oh, I get it...a nude graduation party! Kids today sure have a lot more fun than when I was in HS.
You got me. I am the editor and that one slipped past me, although I should get credit for having caught it on the first page ang changing that to "...alcohol and drug-free celebration".

Looking for ways to say "we're going to have a party where we know our kids won't get drunk or stoned and then try to drive somewhere" turned up this:

An administrator at our university announced recently that his goal was a “substance-free” campus, which I suppose fits in with the growing fad of “virtual education.” What he really meant was, of course, a campus free of illegal drugs and alcohol, designated “controlled substances” in the law. This is a very silly expression, but if he’d just said “sober and straight” he would have sounded too censorious. How about “drug- and alcohol-free”?

PC Speak sometimes make for weird phrasing.
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