About this Wesite: Technical

 

This website was designed, built and is entirely maintained by David Moore. If you require help with setting up a charity or voluntary group website in Hampshire and cannot afford web designer costs then contact the webmaster.

Designing and Producing the First Web Pages

 

A suitable theme of blue was chosen and the first page produced using Xara Webstyle4. Webstyle created all the graphics, the buttons, menus and the HTML framework. The chosen theme allowed for a left sidebar menu to hold all the links to future pages, a right fixed link and message pane and a middle pane for the main content. Webstyle also generated the rollover menus top and left, the heading graphics and the Cascading Style Sheet components. All of these are easily changed or updated. The first page was then imported into Dreamweaver. Xara Webstyle meshes into Dreamweaver to make editing easier.

 

After the first blank page was produced it was an easy matter to copy it and rename it to produce the second and any subsequent pages. Every time a new page was needed the first blank was copied, renamed, saved and altered to suit the required layout. Simple HTML Links were added across the top of each page to allow those visitors using browsers without Javascript, such as handheld PDAs, to navigate the site.

 

 

News, Messages and Guest Book

 

I needed a way for others to take an active part in the production of the content of the website. For the news message board facility on the news page, Cutenews was installed on the server. This is a PHP scripted package which is free and has a good support forum. It has a logon facility allowing visitors to post messages and later edit or delete them. Others can act as editors whilst the webmaster has overall control as administrator. A programming hack of cutenews allows a guest book for visitors to add a quick news item without signing in, based upon a series of comments posted into an invisible message already posted. Another category called 'dates' was created to allow important dates to be posted to the events page. All news item headings are also automatically added to the home page by putting a php code into the appropriate place. The use of categories allows posting of messages to other pages and also give members and visitors the ability to comment.

 

 

Expanding the pictures

 

To expand the pictures on selection a javascript routine is employed. This is called Highslide and details can be found on the Highslide website.

Highslide JS is an open source JavaScript, offering a Web 2.0 approach to popup windows. It streamlines the use of thumbnail images and HTML popups on web pages.

 

 

Events Manager : EastPHCalendar

 

The script for this was obtained from the EasyPHCalendar website. The site provides a testing routine to check that the script will run on your server and a comprehensive set of instructions on how to set it up. It also provides an autoinstaller if you need it. The cost is a very fair $19.

 

 

Dynamic Links Page

 

To allow visitors to post their own links to the site a script called Particle Links was downloaded from Particle Soft website. This was adapted in Dreamweaver and the categories changed to fit into the website scheme.

 

Favourites Icon

 

The 'Favicon' visible in the browser address bar when visitors view or bookmark the home page was generated from the original graphic by an on-line Favico generator at HTML Basix. The site gives full instructions.

 

 

Added Extras

 

Extra scripts were obtained from free javascripts website. The webcounter was obtained from smallcounters.

 

 

Building and Maintaining a Charity/Voluntary Group website

 

Software

Dreamweaver will provide everything you need to build and maintain a website. With it you can also upload your site to your server. Buy the educational/charity version from an educational supplier such as Pugh or from Amazon.co.uk.

 

If you want to use software that is entirely free then try :

HTML Kit is a full-featured text editor designed to help HTML, XML, and script authors to edit, format, validate, preview, and publish Web pages. Its free. Homepage here.

Microsoft Expression Web is now free and is a good alternative to Dreamweaver.