Hopefully you have taken time to inventory your web content and to understand the strategy for your website as you move forward with creating a new site or migrating your current one. You should have an understanding of the type of content, frequency, sources, etc. and the resources available for creating and maintaining the site (See previous posts to this blog). This prework will help you choose a web hosting solution.
Web platforms vary in both functionality and price. Usually the more complex the functionality, the more you may have to pay. The rest of this post will cover different things to think about when selecting a web hosting service.
Will the website be set up and managed by volunteers or will you be able to hire someone to manage it? If you are using volunteers, what is their level of expertise in creating a website? Will you be able to maintain that level of expertise as volunteers turnover? Does their expertise match that needed by the webhosting platform? What is the learning curve of the platform?
How is the content edited? Does it have an easy to use editor or does someone have to know more about coding (or something in between)? In many cases, a WSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor is sufficent and preferred as it minimizes the learning curve and is accessible to everyone.
More advance functionality may include:
All of these advance functionality will require https:// and probably a security certificate .
Many users choose WordPress, an open-source platform, for creating a website. Some hosting companies offer WordPress as an option.
Keep in mind:
Other Service Providers
There are some providers which include additional services ranging from design to integrating your web communications with emails and other marketing channels. These services can be quite costly but may provide the level of promotion and interaction that your group desires to have with its members.
Finally, remember your website should not really be an archive of everything your group has done. Having outdated information will make it more difficult for users to find the current, up to date details that you want to share and will negatively impact search functionality and findability. We hope to give you some ideas on archiving in a later blog post.