Thread: Web Pages

  1. #1
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Web Pages

    Hey, a lot of departments are putting up web pages to reach out to the community. Has it helped recrutment or awareness? Also for those of us that don't have a web page how should we go about getting one and what information do you think is essential to put on the fire department web page?

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    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  2. #2
    Aff
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    To be truthful, the best way to design a web page is to plagerize others. This is a time honored web tradition. As far as info, review a bunch, and add what you like. Many add fire prevention info, contacts, upcoming events, and alike. Some even have section that addresses building owners/caretakers to submit preplans or ask questions. Firehouse has a link section, follow that. As to getting web space, try your municipality or county for free space or try a service that provides space for 'free'. The drawback with these type are; limited styles, limited creativity, tough to add links, and they tack on those STUPID ad banners.
    If you promote your site through the schools, fire prevention programs, or customer contact, people will look.
    A simple wep page program is MS FrontPage.
    Good luck and have fun with it.

    Mark

  3. #3
    cwerner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Developing a webpage is not as hard as it looks but you need to know some basics. Essentially, if you know how to "cut and Paste" you can build a webpage.

    Additionally, you will need to find an Internet Service Provider to host your site. There are many places to look for info but one helpful page might be at http://firetac.net

    Also, you can get your department's information on the web very fast with no knowledge of webmastering and at no cost by visiting www.fire-ems.net

    Sincerely,

    Charles Werner, Firehouse Moderator

  4. #4
    Chief Ruting
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Some additional thoughts on web pages:

    I agree about the use of MicroSoft FrontPage (I use it!) but unless your internet service supports FrontPage extensions, many of the features are lost. As an alternative, I suggest trying Microsoft Publisher. While I am not a big MS supporter, this is a great publishing program, which can do a lot more than web sites.

    If you are looking for a place to host your site, there are many availabe - but check on the method by which you can upload your pages (those which support open FTP are best.) Then get a copy from the 'net of WSFTP to do the file transfers.

    Resist the temptation to post lots of graphics - those still locked in the telephone modem world hate waiting forever for sites to load. If you do use graphics, keep the resolution low (< 100 dpi) and small.

    Update you site on a regular basis - no one will come back more than twice if there isn't anything new!

    If you need help, try a local community college or high school -you can even sponsor a web-site design contest.

    Anf, if you would like some help, e-mail me, and I'll do my best!

    Chief Bill Ruting,
    La Grange, IL

  5. #5
    cwerner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    As Chief Ruting mentions, if your ISP doesn't support the Frontpage extensions a lot of features (programmed) can be lost.

    We use Microsoft Frontpage simply as an html editing/authoring tool. We do not use the Frontpage extensions. Also, there have been reports that the extensions sometimes cause other problems (so I have heard).

    We tried using Microsoft Publisher but with little success in getting "what you see is what you get" (WSIWYG).

    In any case, it is not hard, it can even be fun. Just do it.

  6. #6
    rdrlve
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Web Site are great for Fire Depts..Im a Firefighter as well as a Web Developer...But I have 1 problem with Microsoft Front Page it tends to be a bit Biased with netscape I would recomend getting Maromedia Dreamweaver....and to design Graphics you can use Photoshop 5.0 which is the BEST Desgin tool if you have no design skill you can go to a great site call http://www.webdevelper.com they have great grphics and HTML tutorials and the best way to design a site is to look at how other sites are layed out on of the best is Hyattsville web site at http://www.hvfd.com its great

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    Engine 41, Heavy Rescue 43
    ----**SHAKE AND BAKE**----

  7. #7
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    I had forgotten i'd posted this and ran a cross it. Thanks for the ideas. Since then I have created my department's web page and you can see how i did by clicking on Schodack Valley in my signiture. Let me know how i did! Thanks

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    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!
    Visit our Dept. Schodack Valley

  8. #8
    evb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Indeed a web site can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I agree that too much flashy content can cause visitors to lose interest in a site real quick.. moving on after getting tired of waiting for java applets and graphics to load.

    The general rule of thumb is to watch the size of your graphics on a page, use low-res thumb nailes (or just text links) where possible, and distribute graphics across pages.

    Where possible, have friends connect and test your load times, because what might load quickly on your ISP (since you are on the same ISP), it may be totally different otherwise.

    I'm happy to see that there are many departments out there who not only have great sites, but extend help to others who want to create something new.

    Some of the tools that have worked well for me are Adobe Photoshop (the lite version is great for lite budgets). FrontPage 2000 is a world of difference from FP98.. I don't know how I managed to keep my sanity in the days I did straight html coding.

    Probably the best tool you can use is feedback from your friends - having tunnel vision when developing a site is pretty easy.. been there, done that! And finally, solicit feedback from your visitors.. that's a great tool also for a successful site.

    Best regards -


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    Eric Bush, Firefighter (retired)
    Houston, Texas USA

    http://www.lastalarm.org
    A National Internet Site for our fallen heroes of the fire/rescue services

  9. #9
    Tiger
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We've developed a fact sheet as part of a multi-faceted county-wide campaign.

    We're also using our web site as the clearinghouse for our campaign and we get 2-3 inquiries each day.

    Check it out at www.erie.gov.

    Let me know how we can help.



    ------------------
    Tiger [Earl] Schmittendorf
    Fire Training Coordinator/Recruiter
    Erie County Division of Fire Safety
    716/681-7111
    FAX/681-3645
    www.erie.gov
    schmitte@bflo.co.erie.ny.us
    ----------------
    Tiger Schmittendorf
    tiger@onscenemarketing.com
    OnScene Marketing Services
    "Mutual Aid for Marketing Your Fire Department"
    www.onscenemarketing.com
    716.549.2885

  10. #10
    Truck 132
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Another caveat that you need to be aware of when writing web pages. Netscape and Internet Explorer handle some HTML extensions differently. So I use both browsers when I am writing or updating my pages to check content. Another thing to think about, if you are planning to use style sheet extensions in your pages, older browsers do not recognize the style tags, so your carefully crafted pages may not turn out the way you plan. I have used them on some of our department's pages, mainly because it allows me to cut down on load time, but have been reconsidering because of this issue. Our departments web site is located at www.webpak.net/~cfd if you care to look for ideas.

    [This message has been edited by Truck 132 (edited May 06, 2000).]

  11. #11
    actionj21
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    I dont know if this would help but our fire co. sent a couple of members to a web design class and check out our site www.drexelhillfire.com


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