Asking for completely off-topic assistance

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nollox
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Asking for completely off-topic assistance

Post by nollox » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:26 am

I have recently joined a model flying club that could profit a great deal by having a web site. I'm into computers and programming - though it has always been "close to the hardware" - I have never built a web site before. I've started learning HTML and CSS, and getting some ideas together of what I would like the site to do. One thing I want on the site is a forum, to advertise swaps / trades within the club, and for discussion and exchange of ideas, and I also want a calendar of some sort, where the guys can say when they intend to visit the club field.

I have seen that there is a good deal of open source forum software around. I like the look and feel of the one on this site. Can the site admin please tell me which one it is, and whether it is open source? This is going to cost me a lot of time - I don't want it to cost me money as well.

Any other helpful pointers also welcome.

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Kilrah
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Re: Asking for completely off-topic assistance

Post by Kilrah » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:34 am

You can see it right at the bottom of the page.

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deaconFlyer
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Re: Asking for completely off-topic assistance

Post by deaconFlyer » Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:10 pm

Website building is no longer a black art ... but you have to select your host very carefully. There are many companies out there ... personally, I am partial to Wordpress (http://wordpress.org) for the non-technical user and if you go that way, you select a host that will handle it.

From inside WP you can easily add links to any external BBS source, such as the one that is used here. There are even WP Plugins,but they are no where near as good as stand-alones that are out there.

I have probably set up about 100 websites for people, and after the initial setup, they easily maintain and update their own website. There are numerous others which I am certain many can recommend.

Just two caveats ... you want to select a theme that is "responsive" ... which means it will come up on almost any device out there and second, if you go with Wordpress, you will want to learn about "Child Themes" and go that way right from the start. This way, any modifications you do make that affect the code will not disappear when the main code gets upgraded. Child Themes are invisible to you. It is just a matter of either installing or creating one by following the online instructions.

Finally, nothing is ever free in online world. That "low-entry cost" balloons quickly when it comes time to renew and you are locked into premium prices for your domain name, web space, bandwidth etc. etc. Always consider the costs for 5-10 years and not just the start up costs.

Enjoy!

nollox
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Re: Asking for completely off-topic assistance

Post by nollox » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:19 pm

Kilrah, "You can see it right at the bottom of the page."
Ah, yes - thanks - though it took a while checking "Board index", "The pickled Gnu", then finally, I spotted it. Would it have run against the grain to simply say phpBB?

DeaconFlyer - thanks for the encouragement, and for the suggestion of Wordpress. I have seen them mentioned elsewhere, so this reinforces it. I hadn't heard about Child Themes, so I'll look that up and learn about them. And finally, thanks for the hint about costs. I wasn't aware of that either, though I had suspected that like drugs, it would get more expensive once I was hooked.

I want to build the site on my computer, and when I can operate it with a browser, I'll start looking for a host - though that may be some time yet. I've only barely begun.

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deaconFlyer
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Re: Asking for completely off-topic assistance

Post by deaconFlyer » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:11 pm

> "I want to build the site on my computer, and when I can operate it with a browser, I'll start looking for a host - though that may be some time yet."

That's not as easy as you think. I live in a Linux world, and yes, there are ways it can be done ... but getting your head around server technology is not for the faint of heart. You would be better to set up a full website and keep it private, your own online playground. There is a lot to learn, even how URL paths really work.

You will need a "domain name' ... http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/re ... main.shtml

Then there's Wordpress: https://codex.wordpress.org/New_To_Word ... e_to_Start

Here are the two things you need to know:

1 - if you shop around you can register a domain and get domain space for a year very, very, inexpensively.

2 - it is actually easier to do than the documentation. Only when you want to get into something "leading edge" will you really need to do your studying

If it doesn't work out, simply don't renew anything at the end of the first year ... be sure to deactivate automatic renewals!

Good luck ...

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