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Chapter Web Developers



The purpose of this page is to help you create an effective chapter webpage. There are many reasons to have a webpage, but the most important one is to create a resource for the rapid distribution of information to people at any corner of the globe.

Table of Contents
How to start a webpage.
Identify your audience.
Design your webpage to be effective and functional.
Meeting TXTECH webpage criteria
Building a webpage (code, editors, etc)
Advanced topics (forms, databases, etc)
Frequently Asked Questions





Starting a webpage
In order to start a webpage, you must first have webspace. The first person you should contact is the person at your school who is in charge of the college or university's webpage. Inquire on their policy regarding webspace and services for campus organizations. If that doesn't work or you prefer something else, there are many free sites on the web that will give you space inexchange for a little bit of advertising. A few examples are: Geocities, Tripod, and Angelfire. If you have the financial resources and technical know how, you may even want to consider maintaining your own server. If you have some cash, you can also try a hosting company like Hiway.

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Identifying your audience
This is the single most important factor when beginning a webpage. You must consider who is going to use this site, and how can you make it so that it is useful. Here is the audience of a typical chapter site:
Alumni -- they use it to keep up on current chapter events, to UPDATE their info, and to get in touch with other alumni.
Undergrads -- use it to view the current calendar, get other brothers' email addresses and phone numbers, and to pass time when they are bored.
Parents -- like to see what their kids have been up to.
Friends -- they want to see when the next party is.
Rushees (and their parents) -- use it as another resource to get a feel for the chapter's personality, its financial obligations, and what typaical fraternity life is all about.
Theta Xi's from all over -- like to see what other chapters do and look like.

The key concept here is that the webpage should encompass every aspect of the chapter's operations. A webpage should be easy to use, informative, and convenient to find.

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Design your webpage to be effective and functional.
In order to make the webpage a source of information that everyone can turn to, follow these simple guidelines:
  1. Have a FAST loading page. This means small graphics and not a novel of text on a page.
  2. Provide links to everything in a CLEAR and orderly fashion.
  3. Make the page look CLEAN. Do not clutter it up with millions of animated images and nast colors.

After you have identified your audience, sketch out on a piece of paper how you want your page to function, then figure out how you are going to build the pages.

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Meeting TXTECH webpage criteria
TXTECH criteria is what we use to judge the best webpage. Here are the things that you should pay special attention to:
  • Effectiveness - how beneficial is it to Alumni, Undergraduates, and potential members.
  • Navigation - how well one can surf through the site and find what they need.
  • Design - is the page clean and unobtrusive?

Here are some things that you very highly encouraged to have:
  • Theta Xi Web RIng.
  • Link to HQ Alumni Update Form or a similar form that is also mailed to HQ on submission of the form.
  • Recruitment section with contact names and numbers.
  • The mention of affiliation with Theta Xi on the first page.


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Building a webpage (code, editors, etc)
Building a web page is really a labor of love. To make things easier on those who do not really enjoy it, here is a list of editors:


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Advanced topics (forms, databases, etc)
FORMS
Forms are extremely useful in gathering information such as alumni updates and rsvps for events. They are also useful in gauging how effective your site is by providing a means of feedback. In order to set up a form properly, you must understand how it works. The form tag is a paired tag, and looks like this:

<FORM METHOD="POST" ACTION="mailto:[email protected],[email protected]?subject=subject line" NAME="form_name" ENCTYPE="TEXT/PLAIN">
...form elements
...form elements
</FORM>

Please note:in order for the information that you get via email to be readable, you must set the ENCTYPE attribute to "text/plain". Also, most forms do not work with early versions of AOL's browser.
Also, you can cut and paste the code in the alumni update form on this page, but you need to edit the email address it is sent to. Do not remove hq's address from the action line. You can have multiple addresses separated by commas.
Goto HQ Alumni Update source code by loading the page, and "right clicking" the mouse, and go to "view source". If you have any questions, email Brett.

SERVER SIDE DATABASES
Server side database systems that allow information to be accessed or updated from the web are becoming more common everyday. Products such as Microsoft's Active Server Pages and Allaire's Cold Fusion are powerful tools in the collection and management of data. They allow you to dynamically create webpages and manage large amounts of data from a remote site.
One day this site will have such features, and we will be able to have access to view and update all chapter/initiate information forma a secure location, but until the it is important that you inform HQ of any alumni updates.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When can we update all of our information directly from the web?
    In the next 1-2 years, we will hopefully have the means to use server side databases.
How do I borrow the code from the forms on this site?
    Go to the page in question on your browser, click your right mouse button (pcs), and choose "view source." Then highlight what you want and press "ctrl+c". This copy's the selection to your clipboard. To paste it, go to the document you want to paste it in, an press "ctrl+v".
Wouldn't be great to not have to use the mail anymore to submit/recieve forms form HQ?
    Unfortunately for trees, we will never live in a "paperless society". There will always be a need for the physical mailing of printed forms due to convenience and security. We will be striving to minimize the needed paper work, and have most things on the web.


Have a question? email Brett!

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Crest of Theta Xi Fraternity
The internet has opened up vast resources to improve communications with everyone.