Building a community homepage - Noob edition
April 1, 2013 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Looking for knowledge/ideas on how to build a homepage that brings a community together.

The community does not yet exist, it concerns one thing that folks have in common and the homepage would help to bring people together locally. No money is involved.

I have a ton of questions, those for example:

1. I have never built a homepage – can I do it on my own? How? It needs to be bilingual, allow members to post and me to create events. (Just setting up a group on another platform seems not enough).

2. Should it be a subscription based email service or an open website? Pros/Cons?

3. What do I need to do in terms of the name? ("Secure" it with meetup, facebook, linkedin, twitter etc. ?)

4. Design. Can I just make up my own logo & design? Have no professional knowledge, but creativity. Do I have to protect a logo / design?

5. Cool guerrilla strategies to help reach people & bring them to participate in the community?

6. Should I work on this until it is more “professional looking” so people are more inclined to join or can changes be made later on (like adding functions / changing design)?

Please pardon this unstructured thoughts, I have some time and this idea. Any help greatly appreciated. Many thanks!
posted by travelwithcats to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you explain why setting up a group on another platform doesn't seem to be enough? That would help us understand what you're trying to do. For example, what does lack that you're trying to solve for?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:45 AM on April 1, 2013

Response by poster: For one: non-English country, platforms don't reach the audience.
Second: it is easier to organize if there only is one such community spot, so if any groups on platforms are created they would link back to the main page. The community needs a space to meet/find each other online but the goal is to bring people together in real life.
posted by travelwithcats at 11:56 AM on April 1, 2013

Best answer: Take a look at BuddyPress for the platform itself. It is based on WordPress, so there is very little technical knowledge required to make it work. :)
posted by raihan_ at 12:18 PM on April 1, 2013

Best answer: There are a variety of not-particularly hard to install open source content management systems that are free and work terrifically as community web site frameworks. Many hosts will set these up for you as part of their services, or provide control panels for your hosted site that can install them with a few clicks.

My host, for example, has it set up so that clients can install Drupal with a single click.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:07 PM on April 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks guys! I have worked with WordPress before, it is nice for very basic things. I wasn't aware of BuddyPress so I'll play around with it. Will check out Drupal as well!
posted by travelwithcats at 9:31 AM on April 4, 2013

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