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Step 1 – Plan
Work out your audience, your message and how you will maintain, build and publicise the damn thing. Look at other websites and note what you like and dislike. Storyboard your website to work out how many pages you need.
But do you really need a website at all? Maybe a simple blog – an online diary – would do the trick. A myriad of blogging sites will let you rant within minutes (try www.blogger.com).
If you are determined to build a website, here’s the fastest way.
Step 2 – Buy your land and register your virtual home
You need to find someone to lease you space for your new home on the web (a host provider – see links at the end). Find a company that offers space, gives you a web address (lets you register your domain name) and also offers free and idiot-proof site building tools.
If you can’t register your site through your host provider, do it through www.gandi.net, the cheapest place to register domains for non-profit organisations and activists. Or use an existing domain shared by groups working on similar issues (www.schnews.org.uk).
Step 3 – More advanced sites and communities
If you want your site to look professional, you may need to buy website software such as Microsoft’s Front Page and Macromedia’s Dreamweaver. These take a while to learn and are often expensive, but give you total control.
If you want to build a community site where people can post their views and you can store masses of content, look at the Open Source movement. This massive community creates free software to get people on the web. Take a look at ready-to-go portals such as PHPNuke (www.phpnuke.org). The learning curve is steep, but open source software lets you create a complex site without spending a penny.
If you’re not a web techie and have a bit of dosh then look at ‘website in a box’ resources. Poptel (www.poptel.net), for example, has a click-to-build website that can get you online in hours.
Step 4 – Test
Test your site before launching it. When you are ready to go, ‘soft launch’ first – your site will go live without drawing too much attention, allowing you to check glitches that only occur after you’ve started up.
Step 5 – Web promotion
With major search engines overrun by product commercials, getting found on the web is a whole different ball game. The bare minimum you must do is:
Everything the budding webmaster might need for building, promoting and maintaining their lovely website is at www.freesitetools.com.
The best free resource for web-related stuff is www.webmasterworld.com
Free web hosting for activist groups with no funding is at www.riseup.net. For groups with money, it will take a donation.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns