How to Prepare Material
For the Web
Everything that appears on a web site must be 'marked up' as an HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) document in order to be viewed across the web and interpreted by web browsers (Netscape, Internet Explorer, FireFox, etc.). A web page can consist of text, pictures, forms, and included documents, such as PDF files, WAV files, etc. Most of the material that will be presented for the Bethel web site will probably consist primarily of text, with perhaps a few pictures or graphics to 'dress it up' a little bit.
For many contributions, the text portion is best left as simple as possible - a plain text file without any particular formatting or special treatment. Microsoft notepad is a good tool for generating such files. If necessary, you can add parenthetical notes to explain a ny special issues that you may have with formatting, to note the location of graphics or pictures, etc. Once your document has been rendered in HTML for the web and posted on the development page, you can review it's appearance to insure that it looks the way you want it to look. For documents that have complex formatting (many tables and graphics, for instance), it may be better to send it as a formatted .doc file. Also, the graphics will still need to be sent separately - I cannot necessarily extract the graphics with sufficient resolution from a Word document. I can however look at your formatting as a guide to putting it in hypertext format. Do not send Microsoft Publisher documents, files from other word processing programs, or .docx files from Microsoft office 2007 as we have no reliable mechanism for viewing, processing, or converting these files to something we can use. If you are sending something from a word processing program, it may be better to send files as RTF (Rich Text Format), which provides a degree of portability between different word processors. I believe that most word processor systems will now export or 'SaveAs' to an RTF file for transportability. Revisions to existing material can be sent as just a list of changes to be made, provided they are fairly limited and easy to find in the existing document. Otherwise, it may be just as easy to start with new text to replace the old.
For pictures and graphics, there are only three formats used by web browsers: GIF, JPG (or JPEG), and PNG. Any other graphic format will have to be converted to one of these three. I have a variety of tools for modifying and interconverting graphic files, so it may be very possible that I can take your existing graphic and still use it on the web page. However, if you have a choice of formats for a picture or graphic, please select one of the three web-supported formats.
Forms are a special form of hypertext that provides for input fields that a user can fill in, and a button to submit this information back to 'somewhere'. A form really consists of two different pieces - the form portion that the user fills out, and a script portion that takes the information submitted and does something with it. The most normal thing to do is have the script format the information into a usable form and email it to one or more email addresses. This script is typically custom written for each particular form and application. If you want a form on a page, I need to know what that form should look like (text material above) and what kind of information/responses you are looking for. I also need to know where you want this information sent when a form is submitted.
Any other included files, such as PDF file, are simply imbedded as a link in the page and downloaded directly to the browser's appropriate plug-in or external application for display or processing - they are not converted or processed at all for web presentation, simply linked for the browser to find.
For any new material that is submitted for the web page, it would be useful to have an idea of where in the menu structure you would like to have your material placed, and an indication of when it should be removed. If you have a registration or other form, or other limited time material, when should it become inoperative and/or removed?
Once your material is ready, it should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure that you include the e-mail address you would prefer using - we will contact you with any questions that may come up, to advise you when your material is posted, so that you may review it for accuracy, and periodic reminders to review the material for timeliness and accuracy.
|Bethel Lutheran Church's Mission is declaring the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, calling them into faith, while sharing and strengthening the faith of our members and fellow believers.|