Dorking U3A member and local author Geoff Saunders decided he needed a website to promote his book Reports from Coastal Stations. Prompted by his daughter, he looked at various free web hosting sites, of which there are many. Different sites have different options to build your site, some easier to manage than others, but none is hard to use.
If you want to build a website to promote your group, or an activity dear to your heart, a couple of steps are necessary. First you must decide how you will present your idea. Then you need to collect the information, particularly pictures, that you will place on the site.
For Geoff, the idea was easy: the structure of the website would follow the structure of the book. Reports from Coastal Stations describes a series of journeys to the weather stations reported in the BBC Shipping Forecast; not the sea areas of the forecast itself, but the weather stations that record the actual weather so a forecast can be calculated. Night birds will recognise these from the late night and early morning Radio 4 shipping forecasts: Tiree, Stornoway, Lerwick, etc.
Collecting the information was similarly easy, but cutting it down took a little time. Also, you can do things on the web that you cannot do in books, so an interactive Google Map of each weather station is included on the website.
Lastly, you need to decide whether to use the free web address, which promotes the host site (wix.com in Geoff’s case) as well as yours, or to buy your own address. Geoff did the latter, so you can find the results by going to www.reports-from-coastal-stations.com.
When you do, you will be able to hear Geoff interviewed by John McCarthy on Radio 4’s Excess Baggage. Just click on the link on the front page. If you want to buy the book, a perfect gift for any Radio 4 listener, contact Peter at Bartons Bookshop in Leatherhead on 01372 362988.