The website started to go live 20 July 2019, and I will be ironing out the creases as time goes by.
The domain saame.com.au was registered, as the main domain name for SAAME on the internet, along with saame.org.au (preventing anyone else causing us problems by registering it). Both of them (with or without a www prefix) point to this website. But saame.com.au is the domain being actively used.
NB: If you're going to type the SAAME website address into an email or social media website, writing it as www.saame.com.au is more likely to turn it into a clickable link. If that's not recognised, then include the access protocol prefix as well: http://www.saame.com.au
We need to promote the site by having links to it on normal websites (ones appropriate to the subject). The more links to it, the better. But don't submit them to search engine website promotion sites or search engine optimisers (most of them, if not all of them, are some kind of scam, and will actually harm our page rankings).
If you're writing the links into HTML with an HTML editor, then include the full address and name the site in the link, like this:
<a href="http://www.saame.com.au">South Australian
Association for Media Education</a>
But if you're adding a link into a webpage, supply the address and name as the page instructs. Some pages will extract the description from the site, itself.
What is wanted, or needed from a website?
Does it need to be simple enough to work on a smart phone? (Technology-wise, as well as being easy for people to manage on a tiny touch screen.) Does it need to be a wiki that members can directly update? (Despite having that feature, it turned out that only one person did maintain it.) Should it be something that someone else manages for you, and members have no direct authoring access? (That would be expensive to be professionally done.) Most corporate websites are essentially useless, they don't provide what people might need, and most people don't use them. They use things like Facebook, instead. (Though Facebook is a double-edged sword—it's a virtually free interactive website without paying for a website, but you have to fit into their ecosystem, and any corporation that does things people don't like gets roasted alive.)
Do you want to set up a library of reference material? Does it need a calendar/meeting-schedule? Does it need to play media files?
Do you need to be able sell things through it? (Resources, membership, tickets to events.) Though you can easily just link to an external site for convention ticket bookings, etc., and save yourself the problems of being responsible for any hacking scams. People's own on-line banking sites can let them transfer money to you with an explanatory note via email, and services like Paypal can do the same kind of thing.
Does it just need to be a central point you can easily refer to, with links going to the MEET group on facebook (which gives you group collaboration with member control), and to other sites as needs arise. SAAME now has its own YouTube channel, which apart from uploading our own clips, can be used to curate a playlist of other existing clips on YouTube.
That's just my short list off the top of my head. I'd thought of other things before, though can't recall them all now. But have created this website as a practical demo, and test.
I've taken a minimalist approach as a way of making things simple, neat and tidy. And easy to view across a variety of devices, with small or large screens. This isn't a template site, nor one of those blogging programs, it's hand-coded. It can run on virtually any webserver, and should work fine on any web browser.
I'm trying to stop mobile phone web browsers from turning some/all of the text into tiny unreable text (due to a stupid design flaw in those browsers when reading a page in portrait orientation), while not making everything huge for other browsers. You shouldn't have to zoom in and out to read the page, nor have to spin your device around, but should work just as well if you do. I only have an Android phone and tablet to test with the Chrome and Firefox browsers, I can't see what an iPhone or Windows phone will do. Please let me know if your browser does something problematic with these pages.
NB: It's impossible to make a webpage appear identical in all browsers. Nor is it possible to dictate precision layout. The web doesn't work that way.
I've also tried to use pretty printing wherever possible. That means that when printing a page it's tailored to being a better looking paper copy than just a screen dump of a webpage. Navigational links are useless on a printed page, the screen dimensions are different than A4 paper, background colours are generally a bad idea, etc. And you should be able to scale the page to print at the text size you need it to. As mentioned above it's impossible to dictate the appearance of a webpage, and no two browsers will behave identically, but suggestions can be offered that may be able to improve the appearance of any printed pages.
I'm in two minds as to whether to make email links clickable. While it makes it easier for someone to send a message, it usually subjects that address to masses of spam. The alternatives are to make it so that the person has to hand-type your address after reading on the screen, or cut-and-paste it, which is inconvenient but stops masses of spam. Or to use a webform to send a message, which is slightly less inconvenient (the writer has to hand type in their own address, if they need a reply, and it can still be a source of spam). The webform has a small amount of intelligence testing to be able to send a message, without using a seriously annoying CAPTCHA system. But webforms are another thing that can be difficult to use on a mobile phone browser.
Once things are up and running properly, and in the meantime, consider the following regarding files to be added to a website:
- If you want to make a printable document for others, then PDF files tend to be the best solution (though I can set pages up on this website so that they print in the best useable manner, rather than simply being a clone of what you see on screen—removing navigation menus, and link underlining, etc). Many word processors, or desk top publishing programs, will let you “print to a PDF file,” or “export document as PDF.” And exporting or publishing a file usually has the added benefit of removing personal data and previous drafts that were made before your final edited version.
- Word processor documents may only suit your printer (page size, margins, colour, etc), can make use of fonts that aren't available to other users, and sometimes the files just can't be read, at all, by other people. Word processor documents are meant for you to work on, but may be the best choice if you have something that you want other people to be able to collaborate on.
- If you want something to be read on the net, in a web-browser, then HTML is the format of choice. If you don't feel like coding HTML, then send the webmaster a plain text document or email. No fancy styling, just block paragraphs with blank line between paragraphs, and with any headings on a line by themselves. I remove all font instructions so pages don't become an untidy mess of differently sized text all over the place. (By the way, you can improve your own browser's printing of web pages by changing options within its print settings to adjust page margins, page sizing, and the gumph added as footers and headers can be changed or removed.)
- Use simple explanatory file names. For ease of typing and reading, and to avoid 404 file-not-found errors, I always use file names that can be typed without using the shift key (all-lower-case names, using hyphens as separators between words, no other symbols). And I pick names that will still make sense when the file is downloaded (they clearly identify what it is).