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Part 1/2 - The Web Page

Contents -- On This Page Below:
A. The Concept
B. Advantages Of Using A Blog
C. Disadvantages Of Blogs
D. Examples Of Local Blog-based Websites
E. Overview - Updating A Blog
F. Other Types Of Simplified Web Pages


  1. Introduction:
    - These notes are currently on NineDollarWebPage.com site, links 15 & 16 in the right menu bar.
    - I am sharing a few things I have learned while creating the Brown Library's Susquehanna SeniorNet web page and several others. (Hard to find info in Wmspt area?)
    - Note that Google has an extensive Blog Help section at
    help.blogger.com, to anawer all questions

  2. Definition: What's A Blog ??
    A blog is one of many types web pages -- generally intended to be sort of an online diary or journal, but can be "tweaked" to use as a fairly attractive web page.
    - The source I use is Google,aka Blogger.com, aka Blogspot.com. There are many others available.

    A. The Concept

  3. If you want a web page for either business reasons or just to expand your skills, there's no longer any reason for you not to have one.
    - For organizations with no web page, even a simple 1 page site with schedule / overview / contact info would be 1000% improvement over no web page.
    - Note that pages you create may look BETTER than my mine, as you likely may have more artistic talent then me.
  4. The Two Main Steps:
    You can create and maintain an inexpensive web page of reasonably-nice appearance, at a cost of about $9 per year, that you can easily update yourself, by doing the following 2 steps:
    • Create a web page, by using a currently-free blog from Google (Blogger.com) or similar.
    • Register a "forwarding domain name" of the format "YourName.com" from a low-cost Registrar like GoDaddy.com, or 1and1.com, or similar (~9/year), and then forward it to your web page.
      • The domain name is optional. You don't need a domain name to have web page.

    B. Advantages Of Using A Blog

  5. Low cost.
  6. Simplified Hosting:
    You don't have to worry about finding a web hosting company to host your domain, and all the accompanying details. Google provides you a free, reliable hosting service via a blog page.
  7. Updating:
    You can update it YOURSELF.
    - A blog is easy to update. It's almost like sending an email -- except after you finish editing, you click the 'Publish' button for a blog, instead of the 'Send' button as you would with email.
    - Any family member, friend, or responsible high-school student could be hired to handle updating.

  8. Photos:
    Photos will display viewable size, but when "clicked", will open FULL size. Blogger software does this automatically.
    - For best results, use a photo-editing program to re-size appropriately before uploading -- like Photoshop Elements, or free online
    Picnik.com (free online PhotoShop Elements??).
    - I usually reduce the full-size photo to 1500 pixels wide max, and usually 30% - 60% "quality".
    - Blogger will display the photo about 400 pixels wide, and open it to the full 1500 pixels when you click on it.

  9. Multiple Administrators:
    - You can give (and remove) "Administrators" privileges to people, so they can also update/add/remove pages.
    - You can also configure the blog to give a particular user "Author" type "privileges", so they can edit only 1 or 2 pages, but cannot modify the rest of the blog.
    - (Negative: Unfortunately, any "adm" can delete whole blog; not like Yahoo groups where "owner" can assign privileges.)

    ------------More Advantages Of A Blog

  10. Turnaround Time Minimized:
    This frees you from needing to write an elaborate description of what you need changed, sending it off to a web design company, then having to WAIT for it to get done.
  11. Software:
    - The only software required is a free web browser like FireFox or Explorer or similar (either Mac or PC).
    - This frees you from needing complicated or expensive web-authoring software, that requires continuous updating and relearning

  12. Any Computer:
    You can update your website from ANY internet-connected computer. (Because all data is stored on Google's computers, not yours.)
  13. Change Appearance:
    You can easily change the whole color scheme by changing to a different "Template", & then further "tweak" that template.

    C. Disadvantages Of Blogs

  14. Less Fancy:
    You cannot create as fancy a web page using a blog, compared to what can be created by hiring a professional web designer using a professional web page program like Dreamweaver or GoLive or similar.
  15. Limited Formatting Tools:
    You can only do only relatively simple formatting; you cannot (easily) have tables, or links to the middle of the page.
    Comment - I put this outline on my own website, rather than Blogger, because I wanted tables.
    - Note there are "how to" blogs that deal with "souping up" & customizing your blog.
  16. Size:
    A blog can become cumbersome if you're trying to build a really large website.
  17. Backing Up:
    Not as easy to "back up" as web site that resides on your hard drive.
    - I periodically use my Mac to save the whole blog as a PDF file, as a backup method.
    - If you cannot save in PDF format, you can use "save as web page archive".
  18. Can't Store All File Types:
    You can upload only JPG, GIF & PNG formats (photos). Other file types you might need,such as PDF files or Quicktime movies, have to be stored somewhere else.

  19. Statistics
    - There is no easy way to tell how many visits to each page of a blog. (Some ISPs include built-in statistics that tell you this.)
    - You can apparently add counters by inserting them into the HTML, but seems sort of clumsy.

    D. Examples Of Local Blog-based Websites

  20. Pa Design Gallery ('Tic-Tac' template, blue background, apparently modified)
    - In Greencastle Pa - no connection to me, just a nice example.
    - Note the 'automatic para. numbering does not seem to work with this template
    Demo - use "View Source" to see what blog template was used
  21. SusquehannaSeniorNet.org ('Thisaway Blue' template, blue background)
    Demo - Show how this "connects" to Brown Library's main website JvBrown.edu. It gives SeniorNet a way to operate its own "satellite website", to update its own info, without having to bother the Library's webmaster, or worry about disturbing the main website.
    - Allows a 2nd person to update the 'Class Details' page.
    - Links to YouTube class overview videos.
    Observe - Some templates use black text on a white background, others use colored text on a colored background.

  22. NineDollarWebPage.com ('Rounders 2' template, gray background)
    - The support page for this "Easy Web Page" project.
    - The concept has been for me to do the initial setup of web page and domain name registration, then "turn it over" to the owner so they can maintain it.
    - - The "weak spot" in the concept, is that owners tend to procrastinate doing their updates, and they forget the "training" I have given them.
    Observe - Can make title shorter (example $9web), so page numbers or names show in multiple tabs.

  23. KaraffaConstruction.com ('Minima Black' template, black background)
    - This black template nice for displaying photos; probably not so good if lots of text.
    - Used logo and photos provided by Don Karaffa.
    Demo - "Masking" is turned on (hides actual address).
    Demo - Clicking on a photo, opens it full size.
    - 'Back' button usually returns from photo back to web page, but occasionally not.

  24. CatawissaTrackCleaners.com ('Minima Black' template, black background)
    This site displays PHOTOS of unique, custom-made products; an EXCELLENT use for a web page.

  25. WilliamsportBallroom.com ('Ms Moto' template, magenta background)
    Allows multiple groups to post their dances.

  26. KidsAndTrains.org ('Rounders 3' template, dark blue background)
    Hands-on model railroading program for community kids, a volunteer effort run in Danville
    Demo - the YouTube video allows the organizer to show the program to the whole world (talks 2:15)
  27. Track2 RailNet Fall Train Shows Page ('Rounders 2' template, gray background)
    A good example of how a blog works well, for listing a modest-sized calendar of events

  28. Central Pa Mac Users 'Members' Web Sites' Page ('Rounders' template, green background)
    - Uses small photos and automatic line numbering.

    Some More Blog sites set up by James Ingram

    E. Overview - Updating A Blog

  29. The image at right, shows the 'key' part of the update steps.

    - Step 7: Verify the 'Compose' tab is selected (otherwise see html code).
    - Step 8: Type in your updates.
    - Step 9: Click the 'Publish Post' button, and your web page is updated.

    Note you have font style & size, boldface, alignment, number and bullet controls.

    A complete outline of the complete editing process can be viewed on NineDollarWebPage.com on
    Page 13 '
    More Detailed Editing Steps'.

    F. Other Types Of Simplified Web Pages

  30. - Verizon - FrankAndSandy.com (local Wmpst Consistory dances).
    - Comcast also offers them.
    Info is here. (Could not get them working with my Comcast account.)
    - My personal opinion (based on using both) is that Verizon is more reliable for both internet & web pages, although I'm currently w/Comcast.
    - Disadvantage - Your web page is now "married" to your ISP.

  31. Registrars Web Pages:
    - 1and1.com offers a free website up to about 5 pages as part of the domain package
    - Godaddy.com offers a website for about $5 or so per month - example,
    SoundsOfMusic.Name in Pittston.
    - - I don't recommend paying for this, when you can do essentially the same thing using a blog for free.

  32. Google Pages - Jennifer & Jason's Wedding by Kathy Scott (prev. Bus, Services Mgr)
    - Drawback: Spammers can deduce her Gmail address from the web page address
    - Google has suspended new accounts for Pages
    - Google now apparently is offering 'Google Sites', example '
    The Scott Family Site' (Google example, no connection to Kathy Scott). A less 'clean' appearance?

  33. Zoomshare.com - example LaNotaDance.zoomshare.com (near Scranton)
  34. Credit Cards - sometimes offer a web page as part of their package, example Let's Dance Studios in Pittston.
  35. Also Yahoo Geocities, Freewebs.com, tons of others (Google search on "free web pages").

    G. Demo - Creating A New Blog Page

  36. * Play YouTube video - 'How to create a blog with Blogger' by Blogger support staff (2 min)

  37. - Also 'Adding a Google Gadget to your blog' by Blogger staff.
    - - Note main gadget of interest to us, is the 'Links List' - used to list links in the right sidebar.
    - Other video available - see NineDollarWebPage '
    Pg 3 VIDEO Overviews' for more links.

  38. * Demo - Create new blog page, use 'Rounders 2' template (gray w/white text background)
    - Title: 'October 9 Demo Page', URL 'jvbtest3'

  39. - Publish 1st post (page) with the title 'All About Setting Up A Blog'.
    - Publish 2nd post page with title 'bb'. (explanation on NineDollarWebPage '
    Pg 10 Saving Posts For 1st Time'
    * Observe: Blogger uses the initial title ('bb') in the URL, so better to publish 1st time with a short title, then later rename it.
  40. ----> "Clean Up" (declutter) the blog, by using the steps on NineDollarWebPage "Pg 11 Settings For New Blog
    <---- Return here when done on Page 11.
  41. - Upload a test banner, and photo from the image directory track2.com/ninedollarwebpage/jvb/images-demo/.
    - Change template from 'Rounders' to 'Minima Blue'
    - Add a links list, and link the two pages together.
    * Observe - When logged in, pencil shows in Posts area, and screwdriver/wrench shows in Links area. You can click on these to edit these areas.

  42. Other:
    Putting page numbers in titles - considered "old school", but makes it easier for me to find pages. (Church hymnal example.)

This page created 9/26/2008
modified 10/07/08 by

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JamesRobertIngram.com , Williamsport Pa, Voice Mail 570-322-7597