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.
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
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
A Simple Web Page (does not use the provided
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.
Do I Start?":
The first step is contacting WP-ORG. Send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org,
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.