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Building your website

Do it yourself

If you are familiar with HTML you can build your own website but be prepared to spend a lot of time doing so!

HTML looks like this:

<h1>Heading text</h1>
<p>A paragraph</p>

Scary!

Some systems that provide ready-made websites

Lions E-Clubhouse - free

http://www.e-clubhouse.org/

E-Clubhouse follows a template based system with standard pages with feeds from Lions International.  Problems are dealt with by email and they aim to reply within a week.  

Example sites:

NB. These URL's changed recently from lionwap.org/eclub/sites/... Don't let that happen to you - get your own club domain name!

Club-Sites - from 72.00 PA

www.club-sites.co.uk

Ready built Lions websites with several pages already in place and adhering to the latest 'corporate' image and W3C and CSS standards. Includes event calendar and can be edited by several members so that the burden doesn't fall on one webmaster. Group email is included so that email addressed to allmembers@... will be forwarded to each member's private email address as will tom.sayers@...

Example sites:
www.banburylions.co.uk
www.fleetlions.org.uk

Sites Plus - 15.59 PCM

www.sitesplus.co.uk/index.php

"Build your own website and update it whenever you want. All without a web designer. Our support is second to none. We're with you every step of the way, even during your free trial."

Example sites:

Word Press - Free

www.wordpress.org

Open source, so it's free to use. US originated and presentation style.  Very comprehensive but you need to allow plenty of time for reading.

WC3 compliant.  There is no specific Lions Club theme.
Blog based system but with useful additional applications such as a calendar.

Example sites:
www.paddockwoodlions.co.uk
www.southamlions.org.uk

Microsoft - free

Free email address based on:  yourname.Web.officelive.com

Joomla - free

Again no specific template for Lions Clubs but you can adapt a free template.

Example sites:

The list goes on and on

You need only search on Google for 'free websites' to return over 300,000 results! Take your pick but be careful.

Who is going to maintain your website, now and in the future?

This is an important consideration, because keeping a website up-to-date takes time.  Don't let this be a discouragement, though - plan to share the workload around your members.  Most clubs have projects that are driven by an individual member working with a team. Giving that member ownership will help your club build a comprehensive website.

Think about the future; be careful not to opt for a system that is entirely dependant on one individual's knowledge.  Health or wealth may intervene and leave you with a system no one else can operate.