Author Topic: Website bollocks  (Read 16477 times)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Website bollocks
« on: July 24, 2006, 05:39:38 pm »
Although apparently it's not rocket science, editing a website using an FTP editor such as CuteFTP is totally beyond me. If anyone else in the club has the first clue about how to go about doing such a thing as updating text on a website I'll give them the password so they can do it `cos I sure as hell haven't got the faintest effing idea of how the hell you operate such software.

BTW the club owes £50 for website hosting, so a cheque would be handy `cos I've paid for it on behalf of the club....


Offline Les W

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 06:06:10 pm »
£50 for hosting? Is that for 1 year?
Does it include any special features or domain registration?

I'm a very busy person

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 06:32:31 pm »
Although apparently it's not rocket science, editing a website using an FTP editor such as CuteFTP is totally beyond me.

Clue No. 1. Use an HTML editor for creating web pages. The FTP client is for uploading them once you've written them, not for creating them in the first place.

Nick.

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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2006, 06:39:30 pm »
Given that I know nothing about websites and even the simplicity of the one we've got is beyond me, and while I thank people for trying to be helpful, there's no point asking me anything about websites since I know nothing about them. I know how to type and switch a computer on and off. More than that is a black art to me.

Therefore:

a) I don't have a clue what the £50 is for and I don't care.
b) there is a budget of £0 for website editing software
c) I don't know how to use website editing software other than Frontpage
d) apparently Frontpage is shit and I've been told not to bother with it
e) therefore I'm not going to bother with anything.
f) someone else can do it if they want to
g) I'm dropping this one like a bag of stinky poo and walking away from it (again)....

hoehlenforscher

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2006, 07:20:46 pm »
Chris

using ftp is no harder than using windows explorer. Download Filezilla (from firefox stables) enter your ip address, your username and your password (without these you are stumped before you start. Now log on, and you can open all the foldes on your computer on one side and all the folders on the server on the other side. Easy way to go about making simple text changes is to copy the current file from the server to your computer, open said webpage in frontpage or similar (dont knock frontpage if you are a novice), make changes to text (being carefull not to upset the tables and formats), save it, and then copy it back to the server via FTP. By copying it back again you overwrite the previous version on there. Always make a backup of the old page with another name (pageold.html) befoe overwriting it, just in case!

It really is that simple, even idiots like me can do it.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2006, 08:27:46 pm »
wtf is an ip address?

Offline Les W

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2006, 08:50:06 pm »
wtf is an ip address?

IP address 101

If you really want to know - it's the address of the computer where your web site is hosted, it exists in the form of numbers seperated by dots. It is converted by "Name Servers" at all the internet hosts into the name of your website.

Your IP address would appear to be 212.69.194.181

The name server at your internet access point (ISP) would search its index and decide that "cheddar-caving-club.org.uk = 212.69.194.181 (computers are better at numbers) then it would find the website and display it on your computer.
I'm a very busy person

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2006, 08:57:00 pm »
You see?... I've read that quite a few times now and my eyes just glaze over. It's meaningless to me and my brain doesn't decode the words I'm reading into any form of comprehensible structure. It doesn't get better the more I read it; au contraire, it gets worse.

You see!...

This is why I'm the last person who should be involved in maintaining a website. Typing jolly words and sentences, mebbe, but making sure everything works just ticketty-boo?.... fat chance, boyo. It's definitely a case of more luck than judgment, I'm afraid.

You see.


Brendan H

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2006, 09:28:55 pm »
I've got a website. Getting the files from my computer onto the server which holds the website is dead easy: I use CuteFTP. The problem is editing the pages in the first place. My web pages are pretty simple, and I edit them in Microsoft Word. The club's pages are a bit more sophisticated, and the page I saved to my computer was a bit of a fiddle to edit using Word, but it can be done.

If someone is pretty whizzy with Word or PowerPoint then they should be able to update the club's web pages fairly easily, I'd have thought. The edited files can be sent by e-mail for committee approval and testing, and then uploaded to the server by whoever has the FTP software and password.

If no-one thinks they can make a better fist of it than I think I can, I'll do the editing, but I need to know what the contents should be.

If you want to see a sample of my work, go to www.brendanhanley.com, but of course I'll stick to the club's layout and style.

£50/year does sound a lot. My website costs me £35/year for hosting (having my files on a server), and £25 for two years to bag the address. I use Low Cost Names (www.lcn.com).


Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2006, 09:36:33 pm »
I'm sitting back to see how long it takes Dep to post some advice here. Probably not long, possibly in the wee small hours..... :coffee:

Offline Les W

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2006, 09:37:22 pm »

£50/year does sound a lot. My website costs me £35/year for hosting (having my files on a server), and £25 for two years to bag the address. I use Low Cost Names (www.lcn.com).


This does sound a lot.
BCA will host sites for £25 per year and £7 for two years domain registration.
This offer is open to all cavers for their personal sites and also clubs/other organisations.
This is a not for profit service that BCA offers to cavers(another service from BCA) :)

More details at http://www.british-caving.org.uk/?page=21
I'm a very busy person

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2006, 10:35:42 pm »
This is a not for profit service that BCA offers to cavers(another service from BCA) :)

But BCA doesn't actually DO anything though, does it?  ;)

Offline Les W

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2006, 10:42:13 pm »
Are you suggesting that you would like them to maintain your website ;D ;D ;D

or...

Are you trying to provoke another BCA debate here ::)
I'm a very busy person

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2006, 11:03:07 pm »
No, it was a joke along the lines of "What has BCA ever done for us?..." (you know the one).

Anyho, the Cheddar CC website already exists. It's just that I no longer have software to edit it since my old computer blew up and I had to get a new one. Despite this I have been told (it's so easy to say stuff, innit?) that it's dead simple to edit website text.

I disagree.

Therefore those who consider editing text so simple are welcome to do it.

Whichever member wants to write/edit stuff only has to ask me for the username/password and then they can touch-type to their heart's content.

darkplaces

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2006, 11:40:17 pm »
Can I help with editing files and uploading?

hoehlenforscher

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2006, 11:59:29 pm »
I know a man with his own hosting business. Name of Ashley. Runs a pub in Mid Wales! Charges £14.99 a year for basic hosting and £5 a year for .co.uk domain name. I have 3 sites hosted by his service and have had no problems at all. This is his company for anyone interested.

http://www.stweb.co.uk/hosting.htm

If you have and trouble you can ring and talk to the man himself rather than some pimply nerd in a call centre, something I find very useful since i am pretty useless when it comes to setting the whole thing up.

Dep

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2006, 02:16:12 am »
Once you have a system setup hosting requires minimal work, all it involves is settng up an account and taking the money. That is reasonable though for a small to modest website, the rate that hoehlenforscher mentions.
They are very cheap rates in a highly competetitive, cut-throat race, looks like a small one-man operation - good luck to him. Sounds like you are lucky there.
But most web hosts will charge serious money for coding services - or just say no! Support is usually strictly confined to how your website environment exists on their servers, the rest is up to you.

But web-maintenance is a different matter...
Without wishing to state the obvious: If you know how to do it, it's a trivially simple task  - but if you don't then forget it.

Any intelligent technically minded person can learn how to do it, but they have to really want to!
CNC may be the first two of these but he clearly does not qualify for the third, to me he sounds like he would rather stick pins under his fingernails! ;)

FTP editors are just confusing... no need to argue the toss about which third party application to use.
As an example CuteFTP is pushed by a number of hosting services as they are paid to do so - not because it is a particularly special or clever program. The idea is that a certain number of people out there pay for the fancy FTP software as they do not realise that there are TWO free FTP programs that ship with Windows.

wpwiz.exe is one (and what I usually use for automated uploads to the wesbites I run)
The other is good old command line FTP from the DOS prompt...
"Wow, that must be dangerous!" I hear you all gasp...

Actually it is a really basic and therefore simple tool, and it does not pretend to be anything other than unix based!
As long as you understand the fundamentals of what you are doing there is nothing to confuse you in these basic utilities.

But having grasped the basics of FTP you are no nearer to getting the job done...

You still have to make the changes to the HTML code.

If they are simple carefully designed and written pages using compliant code the you will at least have a head start trying to figure out which bit of the code really contains the text you want to change.

...but if they are a spaghetti mess because your predecessor did not really understand it either and relied upon a WYSIWYG editor (like Frontpage et al) then you have better get your prussicking kit on for this learning curve!


So in short my advice is this:
However long it takes, hang out for someone who really does know his/her stuff and can demonstrate it.
However well intentioned do not try it yourself unless you are 100% confident.
Getting it right can be rewarding - but breaking it without having any idea what it is you did wrong! SIDIGTTS



PS: I've just had a very quick troll through the CCC website. Excellent site, shame about the frames - a "Bad Thing(TM)" But for something built with Frontpage it ain't bad at all and a credit to whoever did it.

The reason frames are bad is that they allow the following oddities to happen:
http://www.cheddar-caving-club.org.uk/intro.htm
http://www.cheddar-caving-club.org.uk/banner.htm
http://www.cheddar-caving-club.org.uk/archive.htm
And you cannot specify a link to a particular page:

If it's a simple one-off edit, such as updating a meets list or someone's contact details, and not time consuming then I can possibly do it for you if you have no other options and are willing to wait until the begining of August. PeterB will vouch for me I hope.


Dep

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2006, 02:24:13 am »
BCA will host sites for £25 per year and £7 for two years domain registration.
...
More details at http://www.british-caving.org.uk/?page=21

A good offer from BCA which I wasn't aware of.

But what is wrong with their website?
Under IE5.0 (which I use as my lowest denominator test browser) it is a jumbled mess.
The browser detect is wrong - it causes invalid CSS to be loaded.


Dep

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2006, 02:56:51 am »
... I edit them in Microsoft Word ...

Don't! One day that will come back and bite you in the arse, I'm surprised it hasn't already.
MS-Word is a word-processor.
It's primary function is as a 'clever type-writer', it doesn't just store text it also tries to arrange it in what it believes to be a meaningful and useful way - for a document! (and belive me, Word is not even very good at things like that)
But a webpage is a text file, a script of sorts and it needs to be fairly precise.
Never use word processor for tasks that require a text editor, it may look like 'text' with a monospace font etc etc but it isn't! And the save as HTML option writes absolute garbage HTML code that no one could possibly maintain as code. It totally fails to meet any compliancy standard for the code it produces.
Windows NotePad is better suited to the task - (but a clumsy tool)

IMHO by far and away the best text edtor available is freely available at:
http://www.notetab.com/

I use that, Apache, MySQL, Perl, wpwiz.exe and ftp.exe and my filesystem to design, build and maintain my sites from a win32 platform, and unix equivalents on my linux box. I don't need anything else, all open source or freeware.

If someone is pretty whizzy with Word or PowerPoint then...
...then keep them the hell away from your club website!  :)

Quote
£50/year does sound a lot....
I agree. Brendan's prices sound about right

But CCC might originally have bought a massive space by the standards then and thus costly, which is now dead cheap as hosting space has really dropped in price.

Wow!
I've just clicked the link to your site Brendan:

It failed to load the page properly:
I clicked View Source and I got this:
This is the first three lines of the source code:

Code: [Select]
<html xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml"
xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word"

Note the first three stray characters in the first line (If they survive this BBcode posting) umlauted i, double right-angled brackets, upside down question mark.

This is a prime example of why you should not use Word and I swear I had not seen these before I wrote what i did above.
What browser are you using? It may be that it is being kind to you and filtering out your mistake so you cannot see it?





Offline bubba

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2006, 09:34:17 am »
And the save as HTML option writes absolute garbage HTML code that no one could possibly maintain as code. It totally fails to meet any compliancy standard for the code it produces.
This is very true - abandon Word for anything like this:

IMHO by far and away the best text edtor available is freely available at:
http://www.notetab.com/

Also check out Notepad Plus for a well regarded and free general programming editor.

If you want something a bit more like Frontpage, but that will produce decent code, Nvu is meant to be excellent.

I would choose webspace that uses LAMP - Linux/Apache/MySql/PHP - these are proven, open source technologies. This site runs on such a server. Personally I'd avoid webspace running on Windows server...though by the sounds of it Win 2003 server is much more secure than their previous offerings.

£50 is much too much for a years hosting of a small club site which probably doesn't get that much traffic - £15 is much more like it, plus a tenner + vat for a .uk domain for 2 years. That's what I'd charge. If you get desperate, I can also host sites so long as they're not too big ;)

=:blubba:=

[ nsfw ]

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2006, 09:38:24 am »
We'll here's an overnight thought for club members.

Given that UKCaving can have photos uploaded (or at least linked via a picture hosting service such as Imageshack), can have threads created by anyone, could easily have trip reports and proposed trips on it then why are we bothering to have a separate website AT ALL when everything can be done here?

So, my new proposal is that the club forgets about the website and just concentrates on its online stuff via this amazing website - a far better one IMHO than Cheddar CC's could ever be unless we had our own tame bubba kept in a gimp box for special occasions... and that's probably not going to happen for a day or two now that he's found out about our plans to kidnap him.

Offline bubba

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2006, 09:45:56 am »

When I finally get the bloody gallery fixed things will be much better here.

Quote
unless we had our own tame bubba kept in a gimp box for special occasions
Ooh goody...now where's my ball gag? :)
=:blubba:=

[ nsfw ]

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2006, 09:50:27 am »
So, in good old constitutional stylee all I need now is someone to second the idea and then for at least 51*% of the club membership to disagree otherwise it's all systems go and I'll copy over all the relevant text under relevant new headings and tell our host we no longer require his services.

Anyone? Your initials or simply a blank response to this thread will be considered all the approbation I require to actually DO SOMETHING about this impasse.....


* Which won't happen cos 75% of them can't read.

Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2006, 11:30:23 am »
So, in good old constitutional stylee all I need now is someone to second the idea and then for at least 51*% of the club membership to disagree otherwise it's all systems go and I'll copy over all the relevant text under relevant new headings and tell our host we no longer require his services.

Anyone? Your initials or simply a blank response to this thread will be considered all the approbation I require to actually DO SOMETHING about this impasse.....


* Which won't happen cos 75% of them can't read.

For the time being, Chris, I will take over the website.
Andy Sparrow



Offline Les W

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Re: Website bollocks
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2006, 06:02:07 pm »
A good reason for a web site is that it is a place to promote the club to prospective members and the general public at large. It also offers a route for contacting the club / officers.

Neither a forum or photo gallery can do that efectively.

Also a private members area for distributing minutes and notices will help keep admin costs down. Oh and perhaps an online newsletter to keep printing / posting costs down.

Lots of good reasons for a website. ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

The forum is a good place to keep a log book and a photo gallery though :)

Make sure you print off the log entries though and stick them into your real (as opposed to virtual) log book. This is your clubs history and is possibly the most important part of the clubs output. DONT RELY ON THE INTERNET to protect your log entries. :o
I'm a very busy person

 

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