Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: new guy

  1. #1
    Steve
    Guest

    Student

    Hi to Dave. I am a student at NMIT Nelson Malborough Institute of Technology. I have 2 great kids 6 year old girl and 1.5 year old boy. I am impressed with your site and infomation. I am doing a research project for a group of 115 preschools in NZ, most of whom don't have websites. My report covers Marketing of private preschools. Most of the schools to be surveyed have not got websites, and the object of the report is to get them to try building a site for themselves. I'm of the opinon that doing a basic site yourself with the help of a graphic artist is the way to go and also with a simple editor such as publisher? What do you think? Or is it better to go to a designer using dreamweaver and learn about updating the site yourself?
    Again your site is very impressive and gives of good vibes

    Steve

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,959
    Blog Entries
    79
    Hi Steve, always good to see another Kiwi here . Thanks for the comments about the site.

    I've been somewhat involved with local schools around Te Awamutu and we have a free hosting service for them. It's rewarding but a little frustrating as well. Most schools haven't taken full advantage of the Internet opportunity.

    My involvement with preschools has been less but it seems like the same sort of thing. Parents spend a lot of time researching stuff which affects their kids but preschools haven't yet got on board as much as they could.

    Anyway, my few thoughts....

    - A good website depends less on the software you use and more on the skills you have. A fine website can be made with Microsoft Wordpad in the right hands.
    - Having said that, if you are going to buy software, don't use Publisher. It's a shocker when it comes to web pages. Frontpage is better; Dreamweaver is much better again (that's what we use). Macromedia Contribute is also well worth a look (we recommend it to many clients).
    - Help from a graphic artist would be a big help, but perhaps a luxury for many preschools. In any case, the person making the site needs to understand how graphics work on the net (appropriate file types, sizes, etc).
    - Creating the site yourself can be easier and cheaper in the long run if you have someone who knows what they are doing (or is prepared for a lot of learning). The site designer needs to know all about how websites work, not just how to make a page in Frontpage. Try to find someone who wants to do the job - don't lump it on someone for whom it will just be another task. If you're not confident about being able to put in a sustained energy (including updates), it might be better to enlist outside help.
    - If you do get someone else to make the site, whether or not you perform updates yourself depends on how often you need to do it. For minor alterations a few times per year or less, it's probably safer to pay someone to do it.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3

    Hi Dave

    Thanks a heap for your reply. My report will first involve a survey of the 115 preschools through our national association. A couple more questions??

    Say an preschool operator gets a domain name and basic site though a web developer, but then uploads word doccuments as newsletters and notes to parents (perhaps via a secure area of the site). Also they upload photo's to keep parents and prospective client's up to date.

    Is it feasible for the operator to gain the skills and routines to simply upload new infomation into a format shell created by a web developer? If this was to happen, would the site be better developed in front page or dreamweaver for ease of these updates to be attempted by the average to skilled PC operator?

    Say 20- 30 schools in the assocation around NZ wanted to gain the skills to cusomise a basic and standard website shell with their own infomation and host with the same provider? Do you think this is a feasible option?? For a little effort they could basically control and regularly change some of their content which would be fantastic in terms of of their branding and parent communications. Even if this job was done by a parent or committee member of the school prepared to get to know the routines, it would a much better option than continually going back to the developer for help. Even a local printing shop with the file transfer protocols could processs newsletters and photos and upload them??

    Your opinions would be appreciated

    Regards

    Stephen Copeland


    My survey is due to go out to schools in the next month and reccomendations to operators in November. The subject is putting out a brand message using technology.

    Good luck with the parenting
    It's the best thing you can ever do! My little fellow is 1.5 and into everthing? I just wish I'de had kids earlier as your energy does drop off in your 40's.

  4. #4
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,959
    Blog Entries
    79
    Sorry about the delayed reply.

    Quote
    Quote: scopeland2
    Is it feasible for the operator to gain the skills and routines to simply upload new information into a format shell created by a web developer?
    Absolutely.

    Quote
    Quote: scopeland2
    If this was to happen, would the site be better developed in front page or Dreamweaver for ease of these updates to be attempted by the average to skilled PC operator?
    Dreamweaver. Avoid Frontpage at all costs. Seriously, it's the worst thing to ever happen to the Internet. I know it's cheaper and I know all the other thing people say about Frontpage, but ask in any professional web development forum and you'll get the same answer - Frontpage is as popular as herpes.

    I should have been more clear about Frontpage in my first message. I'm more vehement today because I've just been to a local primary school to fix a horrendous mess made by Frontpage. Honestly, it's just not worth it

    A good option for your situation is Macromedia Contribute (http://www.macromedia.com/software/contribute). It allows multiple people to make changes to any website.

    One thing to remember about web design though - the skills of the designer/constructor are more important than the software used.

    Quote
    Quote: scopeland2
    Say 20- 30 schools in the association around NZ wanted to gain the skills to customize a basic and standard website shell with their own information and host with the same provider? Do you think this is a feasible option?? For a little effort they could basically control and regularly change some of their content which would be fantastic in terms of of their branding and parent communications. Even if this job was done by a parent or committee member of the school prepared to get to know the routines, it would a much better option than continually going back to the developer for help. Even a local printing shop with the file transfer protocols could process newsletters and photos and upload them??
    You might be interested in one of our projects: www.contractbridge.net. This is a specialist hosting service for bridge clubs. As you suggest, each club appoints one or more members to keep the site updated, post newsletters, etc. For big jobs they come to us, but for routine updates they do it themselves.

    So the short answer is yes, a basic shell is a good idea and it makes sense for each school to have someone able to make routine updates.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  5. #5

    Front page

    Hi Dave and thanks for the reply. I have learn't heaps about websites through your efforts and are grateful for your replys. The project is still in the wind. Can you comment again on this ...........Talking to the schools I get the feeling the low cost website option is the way to go. My feeling is Front Page or Publisher for a simple web presence of under 5 megs. The updates could be done by local photocopying firms with some FTP experence, who should be able to occasional updates?????? without the teething probs??????? My feeling is for the regular newsletters and photographs sent to parents via a format in word. Interested parents could then subscribe to these broadcasted emails. Are thinking of reccomending clear.net for hosting at $10 month for a domain name and 5 megs of storage?? What do you think?

  6. #6
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,959
    Blog Entries
    79
    I fully understand the desire to go low-cost. Whatever happens, avoid Publisher - it's just about the worst possible choice anyone could make for web design. I really can't believe Microsoft has the nerve to call it a web design application, the way it makes a complete mockery of how web pages are supposed to work.

    Regarding the newsletter, MS Word documents are not a bad option for most people but the two main problems are:
    - Some people won't be able to see the file at all
    - Some of the people who can see it, will see distorted formatting

    A better option is to distribute the newsletter as a PDF file. This is very safe and almost everyone will be able to open it. It's really not that hard to do. IMO opinion the best option is to download the free OpenOffice.org office suite (www.OpenOffice.org). With this suite you can open a word document and export it as PDF. It's a huge download but well worth it.

    In fact, once you have OpenOffice.org, you can ditch Microsoft Office altogether
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Subscribe to us on YouTube