Welcome. This is a community web site for the market town of Hatherleigh in Devon, England, along with the nearby villages of Meeth, Highampton, Exbourne and Jacobstowe. Anything related to these places can find a home here free of charge, thanks to our sponsors. Please take time to read their pages (left, or see home)
Page updated: July 23, 2008
Hatherleigh.net uses software written by Geoff Hodgkinson's company GGH Marketing Communications especially for the Community Web Site market. It provides:
Email forwarding: Residents can also have their own firstname.lastname@example.org email addresses if they wish - for example email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. These are automatically forwarded to your own email address so no changes to any existing arrangements are necessary and you get a unique email address too! Furthermore, If you decide to change your service provider, your special email address does not need to change.
The technology can grow further, since we can extend the site in whatever direction the town wishes. Ideas, and particularly helpers, are sought. No special skills are needed. Training can be provided and generally you can work from the comfort of your own home using your favourite browser.
The background to its development
GGH is a consultancy that helps high tech companies, located mainly in Germany and North America, with their PR, marketing, advertising and promotional needs. The World Wide Web is basically just another medium to use, except that it is more complex, more far reaching and much more difficult to understand and use then all the others! GGH started using the Internet 10 years ago, before most people had heard of it, and has amassed considerable experience, particularly in database driven applications and important areas like Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing and e-Commerce.
With our clients this is all very dry stuff, so to keep ourselves sane we like to do lighter projects from time to time, and that led to the development of this software for www.titchfield.net, the village where GGH is based. Building the software was easier than working out what people needed but over about 4 years we refined things until they work well, taking into account the needs of every part of the community. Titchfield's web site has easily reached a visitor rate of 65,000 p.a., a target that Hatherleigh should exceed easily because of its different community culture.
For the techies amongst you
The software runs on a Windows Server and an SQL database. It's a hybrid (we found doing everything one way made things too inflexible). A Content Management System (that's an Admin function in simple terms!) lets you make changes easily to the database from any PC with a browser. So you can control most of the site yourself. If you have html experience and can use Dreamweaver or Front Page for example, you can amend templates, create pages and make other modifications too.
What's it called?
We've named the software AMIX, (Ann-Marie's Internet eXperience) in appreciation of the developer who did most of the work. There are two packages:
I am interested in this software for my own town/village/community. Can I use it?
We are willing to discuss ways of letting you do this cost-effectively. We cannot let you use it free of charge, but here are some possibilities:
Your web site can also be hosted on our Servers if you like, taking away the hassle of managing the service. That would also allow us to update your software without you getting involved, so you'd take advantage of improvements, new functionality (and even bug removals!) as they came along. We could also build in your own ideas.
Please contact us if you'd like to discuss these possibilities.
(NB: Most community web sites are awful! If you are serious, the quality of your proposal will count!)
What do I need to use it?
Administering the database areas of the web site needs only a browser (Explorer, Firefox, Opera etc.) running on your own PC. You gain access to the Admin functions via a password and then you fill in fields of information and click SUBMIT. It's that easy.
Your changes go online immediately, without anyone else getting involved. The sections of your web site which are managed this way include:
Dreamweaver or Front Page (or a similar web package) are needed to create and amend other functions or pages. With these you can also use FTP to upload as many images as you need. This requires a little more experience of html and computers, but actually packages like Dreamweaver (especially) hide most of the complexity and let you use normal drop and drag and menu selection techniques. If you have word processing experience, you're about half way there and a page like this one should be quite easy to build. The only other thing you need is enthusiasm.
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