Dartmouth Class Webmasters Association

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Web Site Planning, Creation and Maintenance

The first task for a webmaster should be planning. The following questions are a rough guide:
  • What are my skills and how much time or energy do I want to spend on this.
  • Who is the population served and what are their needs or interests?
  • What information should the website make available to members of the group?
  • Where will that information come from?
  • What interactive services should the website perform?
  • Who will be available to help me or to do things if I am away?
  • What level of security is appropriate and how do I keep the balance between security and accessibility?
  • Catastrophe planning: what would happen if I were hit by a Mack truck?

The answers to these questions can help guide the beginning webmaster through the next stage, selecting tools and sketching out the site:
  • A web magician may want to code their own complex site from scratch, while a newbie may want to start with a simple 'brochure' site made with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program that does all the coding.
  • Regardless of your skill set or how much time and energy you plan to spend, you may be limited by what Dartmouth computing offers. Dartmouth does not function as a commercial internet service provider (ISP) with full featured virtual hosting, control panel control over files and functions, and a paid support staff. Dartmouth also has fairly tight security restrictions. If you plan to do something complex, it is best to check with Dartmouth computing in advance.
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