Our board has authorized us to begin asking our member nonprofit environment-focused groups in the Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Region if they want EPCAMR to host their website. This means that we will store the files that run your group’s website with ours on our Host Gator web server (powered by Texas Wind Energy). We do not want to get in the business of building or maintaining your site, but can provide the virtual web space and some technical assistance.
If you already have a web domain, that’s great! You’re one step ahead. You will still be responsible for your website domain (ex. abcwatershed.org) and we will redirect it to our servers where your groups files would be stored. Otherwise, your web URL will read abcwatershed.epcamr.org. If you do not already have a domain, EPCAMR can help you get one and manage that as well. Typically, they range from $10 to $20 per year for a “.org” domain through GoDaddy.com.
Many web hosting companies charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per year to host a single website. We would charge a small administration fee of $30 per year just to cover our costs to maintain the files on the server and the one-time setup of the account. The only prerequisite is that your group has a current EPCAMR membership.
If interested, please contact Michael Hewitt at email@example.com or (570) 371-3522.
Members that are taking advantage of the service:
Friends of the Nescopeck – www.friendsofthenescopeck.org
Schuylkill Headwaters Association – www.schuylkillheadwaters.org
Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Committee – www.treatminewater.com
Anthracite Living History Group – avondale1869.epcamr.org
Huber Breaker Preservation Society – www.huberbreaker.org (Webspace hosted by BRF Designs)
EPCAMR would like to stress that we are providing a place to store your website, as a web host. We are not responsible for maintenance of the website content (i.e. webmaster). We can refer your group to cost-effective webmaster services, depending on the content on your website. EPCAMR Staff can aid in webmaster services, which would be billed at an hourly rate. Time frames would vary depending on our current workload. The EPCAMR board does not want us to delve too deep into the webmaster business, as it is time-consuming.
Some other web tools that we suggest:
There are many new web-building applications that our servers can support, one category called a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is different from the traditional software programs that are installed on a single computer, such as Front Page or Dream Weaver. A CMS is installed on the backend of the server and therefore can be accessed by any computer that has web access through a secure login. Multiple accounts can be created with many permission levels to share the workload of maintaining a website. An easy-to-learn, expandable, and secure CMS is WordPress. Basically, if you can set up a Facebook page or make a PowerPoint presentation, you can maintain a WordPress website. For more advanced content there are a multitude of “WordPress plugins” from contact forms that email you when someone has a question to maintaining an online store.
We can set your organization up with a free Google Apps account so you can have multiple e-mail addresses at your domain (ex. firstname.lastname@example.org), address books and calendars can be embedded in your website for the group. If you or someone in the group uses Gmail, it will be easy to work with these features. Google’s SPAM filters and security measures are top of the line and easy to maintain. If you need more features, we can help you look into upgrading to a Nonprofit Business Google Apps account. EPCAMR Staff was addicted to Outlook, but Gmail is much better and we haven’t looked back since!
Want eye-popping photo galleries to showcase your projects and programs? We can help you set up a free Cincopa Cloud account. The Cloud not only provides you with virtual space to place your photos, videos and audio files, but it also adds features to help display the galleries in ways you never imagined. There are some stipulations to the free account, but for most nonprofit organizations this one works nicely. See the slide show gallery on our EPCAMR homepage for an example.
Have your heard of Social Media? The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile applications to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Facebook and Twitter are two of the largest social media applications, where you can set up and maintain a free “blog” to get the word out about your organization. It is a great marketing tool! EPCAMR has their own FaceBook account with hundreds of fans following our organization’s day-to-day happenings. There are WordPress apps that integrate content from your social media sites to your website as well.
Need a way to accept donations online? We can help you set up a PayPal Donation Gateway and Nonprofit Business Account.
More ideas to come …. and we are always open to suggestions to help develop this service.