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Web Guide for Clubs & Classes




The Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association provides limited free server space to club and classes for their websites. By posting your group's site with the Alumnae Association, you can make your organization available to current students, faculty and fellow alumnae all around the world at no cost to your club or class. This guide offers helpful information on:

  • Setting up a website for your group
  • Linking your site to the Alumnae Association website
  • Privacy and policy issues

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Creating Your Site
You will need the following to create your website:

  • A volunteer who will serve as website manager. This person must be willing to create and update your pages.
  • A web host
    • The College is able to provide free server space to an authorized alumna "webmistress" representing your constituency (a Class or Club). By using the blogs set up by Bryn Mawr, your website manager doesn't need to know how to use HTML code language.
    • If your website manager decides to use an off campus host, this person must be willing to create and update your pages by using HTML code language or software that converts word processing to HTML.  Most off campus hosting solutions' webpage editors are not “what you see is what you get.” They also will cost your class or club money.

The website will need to be updated frequently, at least monthly. Once your page is established, it should require about four hours of work to update monthly. Choose a volunteer who has enough time to invest in the project and can stay with it. The website is useless if it is neglected.

Planning Your Site
A web page can provide lots of information and be updated without costly printing. However, the information must be well organized and frequently updated to be useful to other alumnae. In your planning process, consider the following questions:

  • How will the online information complement newsletters or other print publications?
  • What content (information) do we want to have on the site?
  • Who will write and edit the information and prepare it for conversion to web files?
  • Who will design the web pages?
  • Who will maintain the pages and update them?
  • What links would be useful for our volunteers? - (For example, if your group volunteers at a school, consider a link to that school. If your class is having a mini-reunion at the top of Seattle's Space Needle, consider a link to their website)
  • How can we share information and safeguard our volunteers' privacy?

Be aware that your pages will appear differently on different browsers, both because of the browser software itself and the specific preferences established by different users. Check your pages on different types of browsers to see how the pages will appear to different users.

The equipment your viewers use will vary widely. A page which relies heavily on graphics may frustrate viewers who must download over a slower modem. The download time can be extensive, and some will not be able to view the graphics at all.

  • Crop images to retain the key information and keep photos approximately 2 x 2 inches.
  • Use "thumbnail" images that can be expanded if the viewer wishes to take the time.

Except for password-protected sites, your web pages can be viewed by anyone with a web connection. Please review the privacy and policy section below for requirements and suggestions on dealing with online information sharing.

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Start an Alumnae Class or Club Webpage using our Blog Tool

Make your Alumnae Class and Club web pages faster and with ease! Once you are signed up, pick the theme or look of your site and start posting your content.
This step-by-step guide is designed to help you through the sign-up process and to familiarize you with some of the features of the WordPress blog environment. For additional help, please go to http://wordpress.org/ and refer to the documentation they have there. Also, feel free to email Andrea Kaldrovics at akaldrovic@brynmawr.edu for additional support.
Please note that plug-ins and themes need to be approved and added by the college. Feel free to submit your suggestions at the main blogs.brynmawr.edu site for review.
Enjoy your new web page!

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Design Tips

When not using a blog with ready-made themes, or templates, please keep the following in mind. All the pages you create should share the same visual framework; each page should resemble the rest of the site "family." Keep the pages simple. Sound and moving object files take time to load, and what was charming the first time may become annoying on the second or third visit.

Keep images fairly small to reduce page loading time.


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Required Elements

The home page must clearly identify the group and its relationship to Bryn Mawr College and the Alumnae Association.

The home page should carry the following text:

Welcome to the official web page of the [organization name]. The [organization name] is a regional alumnae organization independent of, but affiliated with, the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association.

Please include the following disclaimer:

This page was created by and for the Class or Club Group of Bryn Mawr College. Information on this page is intended for individual communication of a personal nature among Bryn Mawr alumnae. Use of this information for any other purpose is strictly prohibited. Accuracy of the information on this page cannot be guaranteed.

Bryn Mawr College and the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association are not responsible for the content of this page. Responsibility for the page and its content belongs solely to Class or Club members who author the relevant content. This page is maintained by [insert page manager name and address].

Other Requirements:

Every page must have a link to the homepage.
Identify the website manager and provide an e-mail address on each page.
State the date of the last update of the page.

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Web Privacy and Policy Issues

Unless it is password-protected, your web page is available to anyone with an Internet connection. Any names, addresses, telephone numbers, or photographs reproduced on your web page are available to the world. Consider carefully the security issues that may be involved. The Alumnae Association advises all clubs and classes and affinity groups not to place personal information on the web page.

It is important to provide an e-mail address at which Web site visitors can contact the person responsible for the site. For this purpose, the Alumnae Association will provide an alias: (e.g. webmanagerGreenwich@alumnae.brynmawr.edu) to forward messages to your account without revealing your name online. This address should be included on all pages within your site.

Bryn Mawr College does not release personal information to anyone other than staff or approved volunteers working on specific projects.

Server Space for Your Site

The Alumnae Association has arranged for free limited space for clubs and classes approved by the Association. Please coontact Andrea Kaldrovics to have a space set up for your club or class. Instructions for your approved space will be sent to you shortly. The Alumnae Association will assist alumnae by:

  • Reviewing pages and providing helpful suggestions
  • Checking pages for required elements
  • Creating links from the Alumnae Association website to club and class websites.

The Alumnae Association reserves the right to deny or remove any link to the Alumnae Association web page.

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Steps To Success

Complete the following checklist to be linked to the Alumnae Association webpage.

  • Review the Alumnae Association Web Guide and determine the purpose, content and design of page
  • Write and design the page, and convert copy to HTML files if not in the blog environment
  • Check to confirm that your page meets the requirements in The Alumnae Association Web Guide
  • Inform the Alumnae Association of your organization's web page or request a blog page on the college server by contacting Andrea Kaldrovics, the Alumnae Association's Web Specialist
  • Assure on-going maintenance of the website

Support


For questions or further information on the Alumnae Association Web Policies,
please contact Andrea Kaldrovics.

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Step-By-Step Guide


If you don't have a college ID and password,
request one now!




To start a blog on the Bryn Mawr College blog server:

  • First, visit the login page at http://blogs.brynmawr.edu
    /wp-login.php
    and log in to the site with your college id
    and password (what you use for email and everything else). This will register you for the site.

  • then, go to: http://blogs.brynmawr.edu/
    wp-signup.php


  • Enter a domain(aka. the website address). The domain you choose will be a part of the url of the website, for example, if you were to choose “history547”, then the url of the blog would be "history547.blogs.brynmawr.edu" .blogs.brynmawr.edu is automatically added, so there is no need for you to add it here.

  • Enter a blog title - this is the name of your blog. There are no limitations to the characters that can be in this title.

  • Select if you want your blog to be indexed(and searchable) by sites such as Google and Technorati, and to be listed on blogs.brynmawr.edu.

  • Click on "Create Blog >>". You should now see a confirmation message that the blog is now yours.

  • Click on the site address for your blog. This is what your blog looks like - it's the default theme - but don't worry, you can change it.

  • Click on "site admin" - it's on the lower right corner under "meta."

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Use your new blog!


Dashboard



The dashboard is where you can customize all aspects of your blog

To write a new post or page,

  • click on write in the top left, and

  • then once you have clicked write, you are given the option of what you would like to write. A post is just what you think it is - a post that will appear on the front page of your blog. A page is a static post - it will not be pushed back behind posts and has its own separate link on the main page.

  • To publish your page or post, Click on publish (next to save) - it's off to the left - to post this blog entry.

  • After you type your post into the text box, you need to publish if you want it to be viewable. Make sure the publish status is set published - if it's not, no one else can see what you just wrote. You can add tags to your post or place your post into a category. This enables other people to quickly find what they need to on your blog.

  • Click the manage tab to manage entries that already exist. Let's say that you want to delete the “hello world” post that's on your blog.

  • Click on manage, and then posts.

  • Select the checkbox next to the post entitled “hello world” and click on delete.

It's that simple!

  • If you'd like to edit the content of a page - say, the about page - click on ‘about.'

  • Change whatever you'd like to here and then remember to

  • click on 'save' or your changes will not be remembered. The links tab is where you would enter your “blog roll.” A blog roll is a listing of favorite blogs and websites usually in the sidebar of a blog. Also referred to as link lists or bookmarks.

  • The categories and tags tabs also allow you to manage and delete tags and categories that you may have created when you posted a blog entry. You can add tags and categories here, too. If you delete a tag or category, it does not delete the posts associated with those categories. The basic difference between categories and tags is that categories are structured and tags are unstructured. Please refer to this great reference to read about categories and tags in detail: http://dougal.gunters.org/blog/2007/09/22/tags-and-categories-in-wordpress
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WordPress Design



Under the design tab, you can change the theme associated with your blog. Wordpress uses themes (a specific site layout that's predesigned) that you can select to customize your blog. We have two great Alumnae themes that you can choose from, if you'd like something that says "Bryn Mawr", otherwise feel free to use any theme we have available.

  • To select a new theme, click on its picture. A preview will pop up, showing you what your blog will look like.
  • If you like this look, click on “activate” in the top right corner.
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WordPress Widgets

A widget is a small add-on to your blog site. A widget will be viewed no matter what page is currently displaying on your blog.

To add a widget, click “add” next to its name. You will see the widget appear under “current widgets.” You can drag and drop widgets to reorder their placement on the page.

Some common widgets are:

  • Pages which show what static pages you've created. Be careful - some themes automatically show what pages you have created, so adding this widget might be unnecessary.
  • Calendar shows what dates you have made posts to your blog.
  • Archives shows a monthly archive of the titles of posts.
  • Links is your blogroll.
  • Meta contains important links for blog users - logging in, logging out, and RSS feeds. Search is a search box for your blog. Be careful - some themes already have a search box and having another search box would be redundant.
  • Recent Posts shows the most recent posts.
  • Tag Cloud shows your tags in such a way that the most commonly used tags are in a larger text size.
  • Categories shows the categories.
  • Text is a place to add static text. This is a good place to add contact information. RSS stands for really simple syndication - here, you can add snippets from another blog or site.
  • Recent Comments is a widget that shows the most recent comments on your blog.
  • Akismet is a spam-filtering software.
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Blog settings

Under settings, in the top right corner of the dashboard, you can change the general settings of your blog. Under General, you can change your blog title and tagline (subtitle).

  • Plugins - A plugin is like a large widget that adds greater functionality to your blog. Activate and view which plugins are active underneath the plugins tab.
  • Users - Here, you can manage users on your blog.
    • To add a user to your blog, they must first have a blog account.
    • To add a user, enter their email address and select their role. An administrator has full power to change many things on your site - it's best to only have one or two administrators, and add users as subscribers.
For General Help - Please refer to the documentation in WordPress; and if that isn't helpful, please contact Andrea from the Alumnae Association to assist you: akaldrovic@brynmawr.edu
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