The Lions Clubs of District 20-Y2

Serving New York State's Capital District and Eastern Leatherstocking Region

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How to set up a web site for your club

(If you already have a club site, click here for some tips on maintaining it)

There is now a free and easy way to set up a web site for your club. Just go to http://www.e-clubhouse.org/application.php and follow the simple directions. Here's a list of clubs that have already done so  - if they can do it, you can do it!

The only downside to these web sites is that you end up with a cumbersome domain name, or URL. (URL stands for Universal Resource Locator, and it's what folks have to type into their web browser to get to your web site.)

But for the very reasonable cost of about $10/year, you can solve this problem.

You can buy a URL and have it forwarded automatically to the actual lionwap domain name. There are quite a few places where you can buy it, but I've had good luck with GoDaddy.com. Their prices are reasonable, and their tech support is generally excellent.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Go to godaddy.com.

  2. Where it says "Enter a domain name," type in yourcitylions. (Domain names are not case-sensitive.) Use the drop-down arrow to change the suffix from .com to .org. Click "search". If the domain is not available, try variations  like "yourcityNYlions" or "yourcitylionsclub".

  3. When it shows it's available, click "add". Then click "continue to registration" (Along the way, they'll try to sell you many variations; you can ignore them all.)

  4. On the registration page, create an account, fill out the info and complete the purchase transaction. Buy it for at least 5 years.

  5. When you're done, call 480-505-8877 (it's a 24/7 number) and ask them to walk you through how to automatically forward your new URL to the long one. For no extra charge, they will also create a new e-mail address for you (I would suggest "info@yourcitylions.org") and auto-forward that to your e-mail or anyone else's you choose.

Let me know if you have any problems, and please let me know when it's done. Then read the tips on maintaining your web site

Jerry Gordon, 20Y2 Webmaster
518-235-8232

Some tips on maintaining a web site

  1. You should promote your club's web site every chance you get. Your URL should be on your business card, your letterhead, your club literature, your club newsletter, all ads and PR that appear in the newspaper, any signs that you have posted around town, your e-mail auto-signature, etc.

  2. Note that you don't have to include "http://www." in step 1, and you don't have to include it when you type it in to your web browser. All you need is the "yourcitylions.org" part (without the quotes). But you DO need the http://www. when you're creating a link to your site or to a sub-page.

  3. It's important to keep the content current. There's nothing worse than going to a web site and finding that the Coming Soon section includes events that happened six months ago.

  4. Make sure you have at least one e-mail address on the site, preferably on the "Contact Us" page. A common reason for visiting a web site is to get an e-mail address to write to the club. And if someone does write to you, respond promptly! 

  5. To create a professional impression, proof-read it carefully. Better yet, have someone else proof-read it. Make sure everything is spelled correctly (especially names), phone numbers and e-mail address are correct, your grammar is right and all your hyper-links work. (For some tongue-in-cheek proof-reading guidelines, click here.)

  6. Sometimes new web masters like to show their mastery by using every font they have, but you're generally better off to stick with one font. If you want a second font for emphasis or for titles, that's OK, but don't get carried away.

  7. There are two target audiences to keep in mind when you're creating content: 

    (a) Your members (and Lions from other clubs) visit your site to get current info about your activities, read your newsletter, get contact info for an officer, etc.

    (b) Potential members visit your site to help them decide whether they're interested in membership or to find out about the services you offer to the community.

    So make sure that whatever is on your site is appropriate for both groups.

  8. Want to know how other clubs do their web sites? Check these out.

 

I'll add additional items here from time to time as I think of them, so check back every so often. I also welcome any suggestions anyone may have.

Rev date: Nov 24, 2009