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Tech: Website Dilemma

30 Jul 07 - 08:55 PM (#2115132)
Subject: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Maryrrf

I help run a small concert series. We've been a committee of three, and the jobs were divided up fairly evenly - I did e-mail and publicity, another person handled the logistics of the concert - getting the venue ready, etc. and another one managed paypal (prepaid ticket option available) and kept the website updated. Now, 4 weeks before the upcoming concert season, the person in charge of the website told me he is moving to another state - so I'll have to take that job over. Well I wish I'd known ahead of time because I'd have had a couple of months to sort things out and figure out how to manage things.

Right now we are hosting the website on Freeservers Here it is. The webmaster has been using Microsoft Frontpage, which I used to have on my old computer but I got a new one (with Vista) and don't have Frontpage anymore. I looked into ordering it but apparently it has been discontinued by Microsoft. It can still be found but I really don't want to buy a discontinued software, and I'm not sure it's compatible with Vista.

The design of the website is not too bad, but I would like to redo it if I'm going to be doing the maintenance, and I need something that looks nice and professional but is easy. Some sites have website building tools but I tried Freeservers and they are very limited. The advantage of 'on-line' tools is that I could work on the site from anywhere - including the office because I wouldn't need to download software.
I looked into Mr. Site as recommended by Crane Driver - I though his website looked very nice. But that seems to be a web hosting and editing program - and I already have a hosted site. That said, I'm not married to Freeservers, but I'd like to keep the same domain name. Any suggestions?   Oh and no use suggesting that I learn html - I just don't have time to get into that!
Thanks!


30 Jul 07 - 09:10 PM (#2115144)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Sorcha

Find a new 3rd person! LOL!


30 Jul 07 - 09:43 PM (#2115162)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: The Fooles Troupe

Choices seem to be mostly limited to

1) Vertical learning curve, no matter what SW you end up using :-(

2) Sorcha's suggestion of 'find another sucker' :-)

You COULD pay someone, but that is not a serious suggestion...

Seriously, the problems with all these fancy SW 'Website creator' SW packages, is trying to learn them, their incompatibilites with each other, and their sudden and surprising obselences...

'Straight HTML' is however rapidly coped with by many who DO understand it, doen't 'date', and is really not very difficult to cope with - if ever you used an old style 'non-WYSIWYG' text stytle word processing package (liek Wordstar) that you had to put 'formatting info codes' into to do things like paragraphs, fonts, etc, you have already done identical things to what HTML does.

All those 'fancy bits' (non-HTML extra stuff) that the web writing packages and cgi, asp, etc, do, tend to slow down page loading and bloat the page, making it much more difficult to easily maintain anyway.

The most useful suggestion I can give is to not change any pages that you don't NEED to - and to do any new pages (such as new schedules, etc) in as simnple a matter (which would be straight plain vanilla HTML) - and get the old person to help you set up things thins way, giving you some basic templates you can modify.

I am too personally busy at the moment to help you online, sorry.


30 Jul 07 - 10:47 PM (#2115208)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Bill D

For the best possible freeware WYSIWYG HTML editor, take a look at
Komposer

You may Google the name for more info, but it is widely considered to be excellent..the problem is, if you try to edit a page created with FrontPage, you may have problems, as it adds a lot of extraneous code.

If you WANT a copy of FrontPage 2000, never used...still in original box, I have one I'll sell cheap...*grin*


30 Jul 07 - 10:50 PM (#2115209)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: JohnInKansas

You could try threats and extortion, pointing out to the "former website manager" that being in another state does not preclude continuing management of the website. A book we prepped not too long ago used a proof reader in the Phillipines, a Tech Editor in California who moved to Texas midstream, Indexer in Guam, co-authors in California and Washington state, managed from Kansas.

More seriously, you will want to make sure that you have at least an email contact so that the "dearly departed" can answer questions during the transition to new management.

Although (I'm told) running a site isn't all that complicated, looking for a new volunteer with appropriate skills (and/or ego that you can flatter) may be your most productive option.

Do you have a "faithful audience" where you might look for the talent and software? Can you look for interest/ability via your email/newletters?

John


31 Jul 07 - 05:06 AM (#2115325)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Jim Lad

1) I'm with Sorcha on this.
2) Step back. How small is the concert series?
   A Telephone committee may be a more viable solution.


31 Jul 07 - 06:39 AM (#2115372)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Fidjit

Your friend moving to another state shouldn't be the problem in this day and age. doesn't mean he has to give up the job.
There's such a thing as, "distant assistance" on the internet. If he holds the knowgeldge he can work on it from anywhere. At least until you're up and running.

My son helps me out when I get stuck. He logs into my computer and takes over control even though he's miles away.

Great this mordern techkno !!

Chas.


31 Jul 07 - 07:19 AM (#2115383)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: ragdall

Maryrrf,
The site looks good as it is. The pages are simple, uncluttered and uniform throughout the site. What sorts of changes would you want to make?

If you are only maintaining the site, you should be able to open the coding for a page, using whatever maintenance tools the host provides, change the text that needs updating and save the new version of the page without needing any fancy software, or a knowledge of html or javascript.

rags


31 Jul 07 - 08:25 AM (#2115418)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Nick

I can't help but agree with ragdall and others that you are creating yourself a lot of work by competely re-designing the site.

A quick look at the site suggests that the simple bits that need updating are the Calendar and Workshop pages - and it would be very easy to do that using notepad. I uploaded a page to here which would take about two minutes to change and update and would integrate into the rest of the pages easily. Anyone who can type and who has access to your web site could do it in literally minutes. No fancy tools needed and precious little skill - notepad is more than adequate.

The harder bit to do would be the PayPal and shopping cart bit and there you need some help from your previous web person as to how that is administered.


31 Jul 07 - 09:17 AM (#2115450)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: ragdall

Some sites have website building tools but I tried Freeservers and they are very limited.

I just signed up for a free account with Freeservers so I could have a look. I agree, unless the paid accounts have access to different editing tools, there is not much there. You'd have to save the page to which you want to make changes on your computer, edit the text in Notepad or a similar text editor, then FTP it back to the site.


31 Jul 07 - 09:38 AM (#2115469)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: ragdall

Here's something you can try that will show you how easy it is to edit a page.

Open one of your site pages with Internet Explorer. On the toolbar at the top, click "View", then "Source". A Notepad file will open with all the coding for that page. You may save the page where you can find it easily, and work with it. I usually save to Desktop for temporary work.

You can download an entire page, including images, by using the following method:   On the toolbar at the top, click "File", "Save As". Where it says "Save as type:", select "Web Page Complete" and save the page where you can find it easily -- I usually save to Desktop for temporary work. Right click on the .html file which you have saved. Choose "Open with". Select Notepad.

You can open the page on your computer, make changes to text, reload the page and view the effect of your changes before uploading the page to the web site again via ftp.


31 Jul 07 - 10:00 AM (#2115487)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Maryrrf

Thanks for the advice folks. I know that technically the website could (very easily, actually) be done at a distance, but we have had a lot of trouble with this person being unreliable anyway, and I think it would be even worse once he is away from things and not really involved in the concert series anymore. I could look for another volunteer, but at this point I think I'd rather just figure out how to do it myself and not have to rely on somebody. I know it will involve working out some stuff initially but once I get into a routine it won't be that difficult to keep up with, and there is the old saying - "If you want something done - do it yourself". Better than getting aggravated over somebody who can't be counted on. We WILL have a meeting where I can ask questions and I'm sure I can e-mail him for guidance but I hope to get up to speed as soon as I can on my own.

Actually I think I still have the original CD ROM from Frontpage 2000 - wonder if it would run on Vista?

The editing tools on Freeservers paid edition are just as elementary as the free ones, Radgall, unfortunately. I was actually thinking of a paid version of Geocities. I'm familiar with their editing tools and the thing I like about that is that I could work on the website from anywhere - including work, very easily. Anybody had experience with them? I've only used the free version with the adverts.

Anyway when I have time I'm going to try what you suggested, Radgall. Somehow I thought if the website had been done in Frontpage, I would need Frontpage in order to edit it - but maybe not?   

Thanks again for the suggestions guys.


31 Jul 07 - 05:28 PM (#2115957)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: ragdall

Mary,
I've used the Yahoo!SiteBuilder to create web pages. It's easy to use and does a very nice job. I think that we pay about $29 a year for a basic paid account, which includes the SiteBuilder software. I don't think it can be used online. I downloaded it to my computer. It may be downloaded to more than one computer.

You could also upload copies of the present pages to Geocities and use the editing tool that you are familiar with to make changes.

You'd have to check if you can move the domain name to Geocities. It appears to be hosted on GoDaddy.com. I don't know what all the Status: --- "PROHIBITED" notes mean

(Asked whois.pir.org:43 about richmondfolkmusic.org)

Domain ID: xxxxx
Domain Name: RICHMONDFOLKMUSIC.ORG
Created On: 18-Jan-2005 19: 15: 57 UTC
Last Updated On: 18-Jan-2007 10: 00: 21 UTC
Expiration Date: 18-Jan-2008 19: 15: 57 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar: GoDaddy.com Inc. xxxxx
Status: CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED
Status: CLIENT RENEW PROHIBITED
Status: CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Status: CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
Registrant ID: xxxxx
Registrant Name: Brian xxxxx


You would probably also have to get the person who registered the domain to change the registration into your name, or deal with GoDaddy on your behalf.

I'd suggest asking Geocities about transferring it as they may be more motivated to help you than your present host will.

    rags


31 Jul 07 - 08:02 PM (#2116042)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: The Fooles Troupe

Don't have accees to my Windows box right now, so don't remember the sw name.

I actually paid (very cheap) for shareware SW that is simple like Notepad, but designed for 'language editing' - comes with a HTML insert among many others - what it does is colour code all the various constructs, so that if there is an error (something not coded correctly) it is visible instantly.

You can also create constructs like anchors and links, fonts etc just by button clicking.

This will sinplify your task enormously.


31 Jul 07 - 09:06 PM (#2116087)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Jack Campin

Geocities is so appallingly slow and flaky to load that I stopped bothering to look at any site hosted there long ago.

It would be nuts to use it for anything that the finances of the organization might depend on.


01 Aug 07 - 01:33 AM (#2116181)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Stilly River Sage

There is a new Microsoft program coming out this month that replaces FrontPage. Expression Web. I don't like FrontPage but it was the one I learned on and I never could make the switch to Dreamweaver (now owned by Adobe and who knows what it is doing).

Rebuilding pages is harder than building them from scratch. Good luck.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/frontpage/default.aspx.

SRS


01 Aug 07 - 02:28 AM (#2116194)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: The Villan

Mary
I use Frontpage 2000 with Vista, no problems.
Les


01 Aug 07 - 08:54 AM (#2116402)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Maryrrf

Villan - that's good to know! Perhaps I should look for that Frontpage CD!


01 Aug 07 - 10:57 AM (#2116503)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Bill D

If you don't find it, PM me.


02 Aug 07 - 06:02 AM (#2117225)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: The Fooles Troupe

"Rebuilding pages is harder than building them from scratch."

But if you keep them in plain vanilla HTML, it's much easier...


02 Aug 07 - 09:46 AM (#2117381)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: Maryrrf

Thanks again for the advice folks I'll let you know how I get on. Bill, I will PM you if my Frontpage 2000 doesnt turn up!


02 Aug 07 - 07:56 PM (#2117851)
Subject: RE: Tech: Website Dilemma
From: pattyClink

Jack, the Geocities free pages are clumsy, but I see her point-- if you could use that same file upload and edit software, on a similar paid page at Yahoo, you'd not only have a shorter domain name but have a decent way to keep a site updated.