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As we compose this, we realize that there are different levels of computer knowledge by our members. We choose to write this for the beginner, who has very little 'computerese', nor works in the computer field. If you are one of those more knowledgeable, feel free to skim through those sections that you already feel comfortable. But be careful, there may be recommendations that you'll want to know.

What Is:
A WP-ORG web site has two main functions. One, it is a LISTSERVER. What that means is that your site can send and receive e-mails between it's members (who you choose) and it's owner and/or moderator. An Owner of a web site is that person who is ultimately responsible for everything associated with the site. A Moderator is that person responsible for communications within the site. An owner and a moderator very often are the same person. If all your site will be is a listserver, all you'll need, besides a computer of course, is a web browser, such as MS Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

The second function of a web site is a WEB PAGE. This is what you see when you 'surf' the internet. It can contain text (words, phrases, numbers, etc.), as well as pictures, photos, 'fancy' images, etc., which are all referred to as 'graphics'. To successfully design and 'publish' a web page, you'll need an additional program for your computer, called a Web Builder Program. You'll have many different choices, such as 'Front Page' (Express, 3.0, 4.0, etc.), 'PageMill', 'Composer', and many others. What the programs do is allow you to design and see what your web page will look like, then convert all your 'page' information into something called Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), which is how computers communicate your web page information. Which program you choose is completely up to you. With that said, here's a recommendation, and the why: For an initial choice, use NETSCAPE COMPOSER. The first, and most important reason is that there's no cost for the program. The Netscape company allows you to use it's programs provided you don't use them for commercial purposes, and parent clubs, graduate sites, etc. are not income producing. The second consideration is that assuming you buy one of the more exotic programs available, it will only be licensed to use on one, and only one, computer. Parent clubs change membership as 'firsties' graduate, and plebe parents join. Grad 'moderators' and/or web site owners change jobs and move, so their time becomes limited. What happens if there's a new 'webmaster' next year? What happens if the current webmaster become ill? Using a 'no cost' program alleviates that, because each new webmaster can download and use the program. Finally, there's a compatibility issue. Not every web builder program can 'talk' successfully with WP-ORG's computers.

The First Major Decision:
What do you want your web site to do? Do you want to use it strictly as a communication tool to your members, or do you want your members to access something else? Or, as a third choice, do you want some combination? In the 'words' of WP-ORG's computers, do you want a LISTSERVER, a WEB PAGE, of a combination of both? How much time are you willing to spend, and how much information are you 'wanting' to provide? That's the first major decision. The easiest is the LISTSERVER. Once you enter your member's names, then all you have to do it write one e-mail to your web site, and all your members receive it. The only maintenance will be adding and deleting your members e-mail addresses (people do change their service providers). For a 'relatively' small list - 100 or so members - you can do this once a month of so, in about 15 minutes. Next, in order of difficulty and time, is a simplified web page, one with only a limited number of directions or 'links'. Finally, you can have the 'glitz', glamour, multi-function, and prestige, of an elaborate web page (site) containing a listserver. Here's a few examples:

A Simple Listserver Web Site: (note: the page points only to listserver information)

A Simple Web Page (does not use the provided listserver)

A Web Page with Listserver (Note the "subscribe now" button at the bottom)

A Web Page with Listserver (without an obvious link to the working club listserver):

A Complex Web Page / Listserver

Again, the choice is yours.

If you are becoming the webmaster or moderator of an existing page, your choices are easier. Your decision is to change it or not. Here's a strong recommendation: Do not change anything initially! You'll first have to learn how everything is put together, and why it's there. That may take you a couple of months or more. Once you're familiar with your site, then feel free to explore its possibilities.

"Where Do I Start?":
The first step is contacting WP-ORG. Send an e-mail to:, stating who you are, your e-mail address, whom you represent (a 'grad' list, a alumni society, or parent club), what your title within that organization is, and whether you are asking for a new site, or becoming a moderator or webmaster of an existing site. WP-ORG's SysOp (Systems Operations Manager) will respond to you shortly (via e-mail) assigning you a WP-ORG name (USERNAME), and a PASSWORD - either as an 'owner' of the site, 'moderator', 'webmaster', or a combination of all three. Very Important: Put your 'Username' and 'Password' away somewhere that you'll never forget. They are your 'keys' to everything you'll do.