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Drew & Tracey Cope
P.O. Box 50
Kelton, PA 19346

e-mail him   or   e-mail her

Web Site Design Help

All the time, we get emails asking us
-- "Who designed your website?"
-- "What programs do you use?"
-- "How much does it cost to have a website?"
-- "Could you do a site for me? How much do you charge?"
and stuff like that... so here are some of our answers. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us.

My name is Drew Cope... I'm the youth director at Ground Zero.

I designed www.GZYouth.com a few years ago with a couple of keys in mind. The biggest one was that it could easily expand to meet our growth and our need.   The second was that it was easy to update.   The third was that it was interactive enough to keep teens coming back.   I am a bit of a purist and I keep away from WYSIWYG editors like Frontpage.   I do everything in straight HTML using windows Notepad which is standard on any computer.

I went with a simple top & left navigation design with four main links at the top that would never change, and then an ever expandable list of buttons on the left.   I tried to keep away from anything that would be hard to update, or add stuff to later.  I made the buttons in Photoshop, saving an ON and an OFF button for each one in the list.

I keep the front page layout simple enough that making new graphics or images and changing text would only require about an hour or two a week. And most of that time is spent generating the content... coming up with what I want to say.   Putting it into the layout is pretty easy.

As far as the interactive thing goes.... I got the webpoll from an ASP code swappers web site... the message board script from a company in Europe... and a buddy and I wrote both the prayershield script that puts 6 or 8 names of students to pray for each day on the front page & the picture display pages that seem to be the real drawl of the students.

It's one of those projects that you just add a little bit to at a time... When I first wrote it, we started with 6 - 8 pages... and we've grown to 15 sections of the site and places like snapshots can have 30 pages of pictures posted from events each year.   I probably spend 30 hours on the initial development and then about an hour or two a week to update things.   If we leave the front page more generic, I can cut weekly time way down.

One other huge tool is called "Include Files"  The top & side navigation is all located in one file and every other page on the site pulls from that file, so if I ever want to add a button, I just change that one file... and every other page is automatically updated.  

www.ProjectRake.com took a little more initial development because I wanted to cram a lot of into 6 or 7 main pages, so I had to be a little bit more picky.  The initial design again took about a week to put together, but again, its design is focused on easy updates.  We are currently allowing Peppermedia.com to redesign ProjectRake.com to give it a cleaner, more polished look.

I barrowed the www.ProjectRake.com design for my own personal site www.DrewandTracey.com and that saved me a lot of time in development.   If you are coding stuff yourself, anytime you can steal a basic layout instead of trying to create it from scratch, you save yourself work.  And most developers don't mind you barrowing code so long as you are adapting it and not using it verbatim.  Barrow color schemes, cool layouts, etc... some people are more picky about barrowed graphics & buttons, but most of the time, you almost have to do your own buttons by necessity because of the specific content you want on your site.

www.GZMConline.com was professionally designed by Tom Yandell Peppermedia. He's a Christian and understands the needs of churches, youth ministries & christian businesses. He charges $600 for six pages.  You can see samples of his work online at http://www.peppermedia.com/samples.htm.   He can do as much or as little as you want.  If you need full help with hosting he can help you set all that up. We use a company called www.Readyhosting.com for our hosting space (They've been alright, but we've had technical problems periodically & the resolution time hasn't been the best) and www.NetworkSolutions.com (Excellent service) to register our name each year.   You can go to the network solutions web site and search to see what names are available... like YourName.com or something like that.   Then tell Tom what you found and he can probably help you work through that.   Also - If you decide to call him, please mention that you got his name from Mike Atkins at Ground Zero and Project Rake... (he is doing two sites for us and we want him to know that we're referring others to him.)

Here's his info....

Tom Yandell
13118 E 78 St N
Owasso, OK 74055
Email: tom@peppermedia.com
(918) 274-9631
(918) 274-9562 Fax

The other person I'd recommend is...

Tim Desilets
992 Old Eagle School Road
Suite 911
Wayne, PA 19087
Email: Contact Tim here.
(484) 586-0100
(484) 586-0109 Fax

Tim is a friend of mine from college who taught me everything I know and he is lightyears beyond me in terms of design skills. The best part is, he's local. Anyone can build a web site if you have the time to learn HTML or if you want to spend money on packaged software that makes it a simple process, but add up the time and money spent on buying and learning those products and you could have had your custom web site up and running with far less expense and aggrevation. The iBeast web team is dedicated to getting your business on the web; safe, secure, and within your budget. Our Team has expertise in HTML, JavaScript, VBScript, ASP, VB, XML, as well as database design with MS SQL 7.0. Tim designs all levels of sites, from small sites to full e-commerce and database driven sites. They also will do your hosting and handle domain name registration for you. Contact Tim here.

If you do things yourself, hosting will run you $100 a year from ReadyHosting.com - there are plenty of companies out there... look around.  If you already have web space someplace, you can use www.ZoneEdit.com to point your domain name to a folder on another existing webspace.  Example... www.TommsProduce.com redirects to http://www.DrewandTracey.com/~tommsproduce/index.asp    Name Registration will run $30 / year if you do it one year at a time, or $10 / year if you do it 10 years at a time... and they have all kinds of rates in between for 2, 3, 5 & 8 year registrations.

Can you design a site for me?
Tracey and I are incredibly busy with our work at Ground Zero and it doesn't leave a lot of time for side jobs. If you need a full site developed, an e-commerce site, or if you desire a lot of flexibility, I'd suggest you get hold of Tim. If you just want a quick & dirty church site, that is more Tom's specialty. If you'd really rather work with Tracey and I on a basic site layout, you want a great price & you don't need it done tomorrow, Contact Tracey & I about designing something. Tell us what type of site are you designing... for a business, youth group, church? How you plan to use the site... etc...

If I can help in any other way, just let me know.

-- Drew Cope --
Youth Director

G r o u n d  Z e r o  Y o u t h  M i n i s t r y
web site: www.gzyouth.com
email: click here
phone: 610-869-7332
fax: 610-869-4733

1Thes 2:6-12 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.

3 John 1:4 - I have no greater joy than this, to hear of [the youth] walking in the truth.

Ps 71:17-18 Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

1 TIM 4:12 Let no-one look down on you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith and purity.

Drew & Tracey received their Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry from Eastern University in 2001 & 2004.

We minister with the Ground Zero Youth Ministry and Cross Fire / Image Quest.