My Simple Solution
I have detailed this on other pages but basically it is Do It Yourself. It is really not that difficult.
By a Simple Solution I mean that you don't need to pay a lot of money or spend a lot of time to run your own website. My solution consists of just a few files that you have on your own computer that will give you a basic website. These files along with the financial and meeting data, which you already have on your local computer, are then uploaded to a hosting service.
If you can find someone to host your site for free then all you will need to pay for is a Domain registration. I am hosting our village's Parish Council website and I am paying for the registration as a donation to the village. There are some limitations to this but I am more than happy to discuss them with anyone who is interested.
Many providers will attempt to scare you into thinking that you will need to know how to code. This is partially true, however, there is little that you really need to know apart from knowing what to copy and paste. The mechanics behind the uploading to a host is pretty simple and I maintain that it is in your interest to understand a little of what is going on instead of relying on a tool that does it all for you.
Simplicity is the key here.
The provider that I use, HostingUK.net, currently offer packages that are similar to the one that I signed up for. In fact the prices have fallen since I started 2 years ago. I can recommend them as a hosting service. HostingUK offer design tools with free SSL certificates on their "Personal" package for £3 per month, even less if you sign up for 2 years and a guarantee that your price will not increase.
HostingUK.net also offer Wordpress solutions but I do not recommend this for a simple Parish Coucil website as I consider that there are too many options and functionality that you do not need. However, should you change your requirements in the future I am sure you could change your package with them with minimal effort.
The CMS package Drupal is also available as a free add-on by HostingUK.net. In a similar manner to Wordpress I do not recommend its use. An entry into the frey, is VCS Websites, describe Drupal as similar to a "professional" version of Wordpress, I think that like all CMS it is overkill for a parish Council. Both Drupal snd Wordpress are database driven systems and require a MySQL database. HostingUK also offer this for no extra charge.
My Google search to find this page was not working
This could have been due to the misspelling of essexinfo on my original page. I observe that pages can often be found if an exact match is found for the search that is made. A mis-spelled page/file name will not help.
Hopefully this page will be found if currrent users of the free hosting and website creation service offered by EssexInfo.net make a search for alternative services.
- The Status of the Parish Council Website project - this may change due to the emergance of Voice (see below)
- VCS Websites - a company who also saw a business op here.
- My earlier page on the closure - the file name was mis-spelt
- Prototype Parish Council website
- Using an External Website with Essexinfo - in an effort to maintain Search Engine Indexing.
- Another Prototype Parish Council website
- My approach to Essexinfo closing
- Website Design for Small Organisations - and what EssexIfo.net advise