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Starting a Website August 11, 2008

Posted by flutebrarian in Web Design.
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One of the websites that I created and maintain is for the Alliance Alumni of Mu Phi Epsilon.

Last week, I received a call from our chapter president that we had won the award for the best alumni website for the year! Wow – the SECOND year in a row! I’ve designed a lot of websites, but this is the only award that I have ever won. Quite an honor.

Since then, I’ve gotten a few inquiries on how to get started. So I thought that this would be a good place to share some ideas on some best practices.

The first thing to do is get your domain name registered. I use a company called 1and1.com (that’s one and one) They are very inexpensive and have a good track record for service. Other companies can also offer you this service. Search your favorite search engine for “domain name service” for a listing of companies.

Next look for a hosting service – a place to put your website. The domain service company may also offer web hosting. You can also search for “web hosting”. Or, you can try the free route through your local public library or school if your chapter is affiliated with a college or university. In our case, our public library offers free web space to non-profit organizations in our community.

These two things should at least get you started. Some companies like 1and1.com, have templates readily available that allow you to just pick a design and type in your info – voila – instant web presence that looks good!

In future installments, look for hints on good and bad design, format vs. function, and Karen’s number one rule of web design: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”