How do you make a website?
If you're pretty conversant with all the coding requirements you can 'do it yourself'. However, 'page builders' make this a lot easier by putting the necessary bits of code into 'drag and drop' icons so you can construct a page by simply dragging and dropping whatever you want onto the page - the advantage of this is building a page/site is much quicker and you don't need to understand coding. You then choose a template that best suits your needs, simply customise it (like modern document template settings) and add your content.
You also have to buy and license a domain name and find servers to host your site (preferably in the country you are operating in as this improves download speed).
A crucial piece of work is getting your website listed by search engines (Google, Bing, etc) so it appears in searches. To be successful your site's content needs to maximise its 'search engine optimisation' (SEO) - a whole industry is built around helping you achieve this! It also needs to load fast - so don't be too fancy just because you can.
Nowadays, the focus is for websites to be mobile friendly by having either 'responsive' pages (like this one) or a website with pages for both desktop and mobile devices. Search engines also give priority to websites that are secure/encrypted ('https') - this requires a 'secure sockets layer' (SSL) certificate; these are licenses that need to be renewed regularly.
Why do we need a new website?
The original Club web site started life in 2002 and was written purely in HTML code. Then in 2014 the original designer retired and a new Webmaster took over (with zero coding experience). The then 'new' site was built using a content management system (CMS) and page builder called 'Sandvox' with a responsive template. This proved to be extremely easy to use (still is) and was further customisable with simple CSS/HTML/JS code (and it was).
Unfortunately, it became apparent in 2019 that the company behind Sandvox had stopped supporting the software in early 2018. As a result it will increasingly lose functionality in operating systems (OS) that have been updated from late 2018. So as a computer's OS is regularly updated the software becomes difficult to get to function correctly, if at all. This posed a threat to our ability to maintain our website.
How is the new website built?
After an extensive evaluation of the options we have settled on our new site with the following characteristics:
If you have any questions use the contact form with "Website" in the 'Subject' field.
What will happen/has happened to the old website?
The 'old' website (warlinghamarchers.co.uk) is still in existence. That is, it is being hosted on the same servers since 2002. Updating the website ceased late February 2020. From 1 March 2020, the aim is to use '301 redirects' on its pages to transfer search engine ranking value to their equivalent pages on the new website. This is important for 2 reasons:
- 1To ensure the Club's website appears on the 1st page (preferably at the top) when relevant searches are made.
- 2Anyone landing on the 'old' website gets directed to the equivalent page on the new website - and they don't see a "404 error - page can't be found" message.
If this goes well, and to plan, we aim to 'switch off' the old site in August 2020 when the hosting contract expires. However, we may have to extend hosting for another year (at an extra cost) if there appears to be a lot of traffic still going to the old site.
Is there anything I need to do?
All Club members at 1 March 2020 would have received an email detailing what they should do to ensure they have access to the new website. Basically, this is:
- 1Change any browser 'Favourites', 'Bookmarks', 'Top sites', etc that have 'warlinghamarchers.co.uk' to the 'warlinghamarchers.uk' home page: https://warlinghamarchers.uk
- 2Clear the cache in your browser(s). Your browser contains cookies and other files in its cache that store information on previously visited websites - a bit like a memory. This enables the browser to quickly identify and find the website it thinks you are looking for - based on your browsing history - you may notice your browser automatically completing a search phrase in your search field. If you don't clear the cache it will keep loading the old site address. To do this:
- 3If you have any Club officer email addresses (Secretary, Club Captain, Treasurer, Records Officer, Webmaster, etc at 'warlinghamarchers.co.uk') in your 'Contacts' list then you must change them asap. The names (the text before the '@') haven't changed; the address after the '@' can be edited by just deleting the '.co' bit from the address. So 'email@example.com' becomes 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
If you have any questions, observations, suggestions or requests please use the contact form with "Website" in the 'Subject' field.
Page updated 16 February 2020