Early inspiraton came from browsing books and internet guides such as:

My first attempts at a web site were with a WYSIWYG editor, Microsoft FrontPage Express (bundled with Internet Explorer), and a simple template downloaded from my ISP. These were used in 2000 to write the content on which this site is based. You can check out the originals biography page 1, biography page 2 and biography page 3. Later, I offered to create a web site for Crocus Ministries (a former local Christian charity), again using FrontPage Express. Curious to know what HTML looked like, and why I couldn't edit tables satisfactorily, I would peer at the code to make adjustments. I would browse the internet looking for HTML helps, of which there were many. The organisation closed in Nov 2006.Back to Top

The Crocus web site task involved taking the paper brochures and transferring the information onto web pages, breaking it up into related sections and adding graphics (photos) where helpful. The organisation's logo had already been prepared and this became the dominant feature on most pages. A template was soon designed and page content was inserted into the template. Table layout is used to position content. Navigation links are distributed in the content. Back to Top

Testing was accomplished using Microsoft Internet Explorer, probably IE4, as this is the browser invoked when the Web Preview function is used in FrontPage Express.

Visitors are attracted to the site by two methods: Keywords and Registration. Here's how they were achieved:

Initially, the site was hosted on free web space at Clara.Net, but after a few problems we purchased the domain and moved to Simply.com (now Namesco) and later to churchhosting (part of SolidRock).Back to Top

Statistics about visitors were collected by WebStat.com (now NextStat), initially using their free service and later by subscription. A snippet of JavaScript code is supplied and pasted into the body tag. All manner of information is available graphically from WebStat and also by PDF and Excel downloads. I produced a 6-monthly report for the Directors and Trustees using Excel data downloaded from my WebStat account. This is fairly labour-intensive though. If I was to do it again I would customise the graphical reports online and download them as documents or PDFs, and style the report around them. Commercially, the style of report would probably be decided elsewhere and the raw data would have to be assembled and charted accordingly.Back to Top

One result of my efforts with Crocus was a recommendation to the staff at The John Young Foundation, a charity based in Stafford, UK, who bring together the medical and Christian healing communities. I began to look around for a different program to use for web development, and stumbled across the web page facilities in Word 97. This, I thought, would ease the table design restrictions I had encountered with FrontPage Express. Several meetings later I began the design related, again, to their brochures and newsletter. I had to bear in mind that the staff would (hopefully) be able to take over the maintenance once I had set up the web site, so detailed instructions were called for. The charity organises meetings, retreats and pilgrimages and prepares publicity for them. These events would be entered, one per page, on the site with an index page. Separate table cells would be available for a title and a description. For some events booking would be required, or at least an indication of numbers. On the publicity, a tear-off form is used so a separate web page was arranged as a form to be printed and posted. We didn't want to go to the extent of e-commerce, but again I would do things differently now after all my training. I produced an extensive instruction manual for the Foundation, which was greatly appreciated and duly filed never to be seen again! Back to Top