The Faversham Society Archaeological Research Group (FSARG) has used the Internet as its publication tool since it was established in 2005. This gives us the ability to reach an extremely wide audience. The publication of our work is absolutely vital. We pride ourselves on publishing all our findings and making them available free of charge, after all, the discoveries we make are not for us but for the local people, but can also be used to enable more widespread research by other groups and professionals worldwide.
Mike - one of our members - had some very basic website experience from dabbling at home and took on the role as webmaster. FSARG uses the hosting company 1and1 and the package costs around £86 per year to operate - a very modest sum considering the publication alternatives.
The old website met our needs very well, and has been very popular. The site gets around 30,000 visitors per year.
The new look website (now completed) was launched autumn 2011. This website has a more intuitive navigation structure.
From its original launch, the website has grown and grown in size. It started with just a few web pages and photographs, but by 2011 it contained over 650 pages and more than 2,800 graphics and images. The old design had simply outgrown its usefulness. There was also a problem with the amount of time required to maintain it.
In 2010, a website working group was established to discuss the existing content, the 'look and feel', the menu structure, and how best to make it future-proof. The group decided on a more intelligent and intuitive menu structure to make it much easier to navigate the website. In addition, we decided to make excavation reports available as a downloadable document (using the popular pdf format) rather than having web pages. This had several benefits;
Should anybody wish to include parts of our reports in their own work, then this is still possible by contacting us through the 'contact us' page of the website.
Many hosting companies provide tools to help get a website up and running in a very short time. Although we don't use these ourselves - we prefer using our own software - there really isn't an excuse for anybody not having a go!
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