Web site help



  • Hey guys,

        A few days ago the non-profit I am involved with lost their web guru. He suddenly decided he had had enough of volunteering to build their web site. I am the only other guy with any computer skills at all, so they asked me to do it. The trouble is, I have no idea how to make or update a website. I have the vaguest knowledge of HTML, none at all of javascript. Could anybody give me some resources on how to build and maintain web sites?

    It is a pretty simple web site, no authentication, all donations must be through paypal, over the phone, or by mail.  I would love to add authentication so people could donate online, but clearly a secure system is way over my head.

    On another note, we are about to lose our free hosting. Does anybody know of a company that will host a non-profit?

    Nate
     



  • Okay, the edit time expired while I was trying to figure out the post software.

    The site is www.globalclassroom.net

    The people are great, and everyone is volunteering. So 100% of donations go to saving the rainforest, not to paying administrative costs.



  • Well, assuming the site is a bunch of static HTML files, updating would be as simple as replacing the file(s) on the server. Keep a copy of everything on the server on your computer, make any changes that come up, then test/preview them locally and upload them back to the server. If the site doesn't use a version control system (which is likely), always make backups before uploading. Setting up a version control system would make file management easier, but probably wouldn't be worth the effort for such a small site.



    Learning HTML is pretty simple with the huge amount of tutorials/resources available online. Just google for "HTML Tutorial" and you'll find hundreds. My favorite is W3Schools, which also has tutorials for Javascript and CSS. It looks like the site only uses Javascript for image rollovers, which is boilerplate code that won't require any changes, so you shouldn't need to know it.

     I don't see why you'd need authentication for donations. What is it about Paypal that you find lacking? 



  • [quote user="makito"]

    The trouble is, I have no idea how to make or update a website. I have the vaguest knowledge of HTML, none at all of javascript. Could anybody give me some resources on how to build and maintain web sites?

    [/quote] 

    <a href="http://www.techsoup.org>TechSoup</a> offers $50 Dreamweaver licenses to nonprofits -- that would let you update it in a WYSIWYG environment. 

    You might also look for a skilled volunteer to assist, especially with any dynamic features such as online donations. 

    [quote user="makito"]

    On another note, we are about to lose our free hosting. Does anybody know of a company that will host a non-profit? 

    [/quote]

    Anyone will host a nonprofit.  Good free hosting is another matter.  Dreamhost is a reasonably reputable host that's offering free hosting to nonprofits right now, although their uptime has been questionable as of late, so proceed with caution.

    The good news is that most hosts will help you transfer the site for free, and with a static site, that will be a fairly simple process.



  • Thanks for the HTML tutorial. THat is exactly what I was looking for.

    It turned a bunch of unreadable gibberish into a bunch of very complicated, unreadable gibberish (just joking, the tutorial really was helpful)

    As far as not wanting to use paypal, it just looks unprofessional. I was trying to set up a source control with cvs (CVSNT), but I kept getting the same message, "there is no version here. run cvs checkout first". Seems obvious, but running checkout doesn't seem to help.

    Nate 



  • I can help out. Drop me a line, ben@hyrman.com, if you're interested. Depending on your hosting needs, that's an option.. as well as any help with development / mentoring.

    As for the cvs stuff, are you trying to set up a local repository or a repository on a server or just trying to connect to an existing repository? One approach I would highly recommend is that you just contact CVSDude.com and ask them if they would provide free version control hosting. They donate hosting to open source / non-profit sites. You can learn more here: https://cvsdude.com/accountUpgrade.pl?type=open

    I've been a very satisfied customer of theirs for the last year... using their Subversion plan.


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