Webmaster help needed


#1

The main IAA website has a lot of good content, and we are gradually building more, thanks to many contributors.

However, the basic look and feel of the site is, frankly, ugly. I know, I designed it. I admit I have no graphics talent at all. [But remember- I work for free, so you at least get your money’s worth!]

For some big money, we could hire professionals to make it prettier and probably function better. However, that is probably not a good use of limited IAA funds, and members would rather buy more cartridges than pay higher dues for a prettier website.

There must be some IAA members who have some talent with websites who could make the IAA site a lot better, and do it for the same pay your current webmaster gets. (Zero!)

If anyone is interested in doing this sort of work, or has a teenage kid who knows about this stuff, stop by and see me at SLICS, or send me a PM.

As an example of a really great looking cartridge site, I offer the ECRA:
http://www.ecra.info/start.php?main_cat=11&sub_cat=145

Maybe volunteer help from other IAA members cannot end up looking as good as the ECRA site, but we can do a lot better than what I am able to do.

If no one volunteers, you are stuck with ugly forever…and you forfeit your right to complain about it.


#2

John

The planets must be aligning. I just sent an email to Olaf Greve discussing this exact issue. As you know, he is ECRA’s webmaster. I was afraid to offend you and the others by making the suggestion. Not so much, now. Anyway, I have no clue about any of this stuff but will do whatever I can to “upgrade” IAAs page. I’ll see you at SLICS.

Rick

Almost forgot. I will only help if I get paid TWICE as much. 'Cause I’ll have to learn everything. Which is gonna take a lot of time.


#3

wish I could help, but I still haven’t figured out how to post my own pictures on the Forum I am so computer stupid.

The ECRA site is very pretty, what there is of it. Very little information on it.
Overall, it can’t compare with the IAA Site or the Spanish site, which may be, in the long run, the best of all of them. That is one prospective helpers should really look at, IMHO.

John, you and the others have done a job that is nothing short of spectacular. I don’t judge anything on the web by how pretty it is - I judge it by the information is provides me. You guys, and the guys who contribute to the Forum, have increased my library and my knowledge about ten fold.
Thanks to all of you.

Improvement is always a good thing, but don’t sacrifice content for a sophisticated look. There is no contest or question about which is more important, in my mind.


#4

Another “fancier” site is wk2ammo. Categorized and all that. And BOCN. My recent absence from the IAA forum is due to my extensive perusing of their sites. Provides for an expanded field of interests as well, which will help in drawing new members. As great as 450 revolver headstamps are, there ARE other things out there of amazing interest. One the first new categories will have to be devoted to torpedoes, for obvious reasons. Maybe title it JASON’S PAGE.


#5

Shouldn’t be too difficult to ‘pimp up’ the site a bit.

But I guess the main question is more about the basic structure of the site. Do you want to keep it a strictly HTML-based site or do you want to consider using a more advanced content management system driven site.

If the site info is relatively static, HTML will do the job and there are lots of capable editors available, including the old MS Frontpage.

The later sites usually employ different techniques, including dedicated style sheets, content databases, etc…

Personally, I think that the strength of a site should be it’s message or content and not the amount of bells and whistles it has. Secondly, to get the info across, a site should have a lay-out that is not screaming in your face but helps you to enjoy reading. A ‘theme look’ that helps to identify it will help. Personally, I think the elegant simplicity of the forum part could be a good starting point.


#6

Vlim has some good points.

If we go beyond HTML, we need to find some people willing and able to do new magic tricks.

I can barely do basic HTML things, and am hard to teach new computer tricks. This is sort of like a Boy Scout who can do basic first aid. Call me if you need a bandage but I’m the wrong guy if you need brain surgery.

If we don’t have any brain surgeons volunteering, we’ll stick with bandages.

We have a few people who have contacted me and we will see how that goes. Meanwhile, anyone else with even the slightest bit of talent and time is welcome to volunteer.

We may break up the work and task someone with the main page and someone else with the various “Introduction to” type pages, etc.


#7

I wish I could help but I just recently learned to post pics, quality still suffering. (Geeezzzz, I can do something John can’t?!!!)

This site is great and a great teaching tool. I’ve learned tons and will learn much more. All for better, just not harder.


#8

I guess one of the bonuses of using a basic setup with no fancy graphics and no complex pages is that it is much quicker to load pages when using dialup internet. I got broadband last year and before that I had dialup. The site was still easy to use and new pages would load up quickly.
I would much rather have a basic no frills website and have everybody able to use it no matter how slow their connection. Prettier doesnt mean better.
I would rather have the pitbull without the lipstick :)


#9

I am going to give it a shot…