Having a webpage for your group is an essential element of organizing in the 21st century. The webpage fulfils many overlapping functions:
1) Provide basic information and resources to members and others. This includes WebPages dealing with key issues that your group stands for. It also includes good articles that articulate your positions and the facts in support of your cause.
2) Provide a forum for event announcement and promotion
3) Provide a center for organizational activities (e.g. depositary of bylaws, meeting minutes, groups decisions etc.).
4) Provide links and resources to reach other groups and network with them
5) Provide a way for people to reach you (“contact us” page).
Your webpage should accomplish all of this without being too complex or difficult to navigate. I think simple designs without too much bells and whistles are the best. Avoid flashy structures and pop-up windows. Your pages should not take too much space/memory (that way they load quickly). If a page takes more than 8 seconds to load, studies show many people skip going for it.
A system called phb allows easy web updates without being knowledgeable of much computer code (like html). You can get someone to help you set-up your page so that folks with very limited computer knowledge easily update it. Dany Qumsiyeh set up a very secure system for us in Al-Awda to update the webpage using simple text. Security is maintained at two levels: editing will not be available except from specific IP addresses (specific computers), and editing requires a user name and password. This kind of security that entails both hardware and software is the best protection.
Ofcourse websites are attacked by other means. One f the most common is to attempt to load-up the system with access and files (sometimes originating from many sources). This “clogs-up” access by other people trying to reach your website and in some occasions may bring the website down. You should have a cooperative Internet Service Provider (ISP) who is willing to deal with such attacks. Some ISPs actually shut down progressive websites because of persistent attacks that can take much resources to deal with.
Another way to deal with this is to set-up your web page on 4-6 servers (including both University and commercial servers) and set-up a software that allocates hits randomly to one of the 4-6 servers. This way, if one of the servers is clogged-up, you can quickly modify the settings so that it is removed from eth allocation and all hits go to the other servers. Servers can also be set-up independently (a friend has several in his basement) but you must have access to a large-enough bandwidth and know what you are doing.
You may also develop strategies to optimize visibility through Search Engines.
Webresources on Web work
Consider making visually powerful graphics and images:
http://visual.ly/ (almost 5000 examples)
http://visual.ly/category/politics (almost 200 examples)