The SLPA website could provide a means for better communication among members of the SLPA and Star Lake community;
The web site and e-mail accounts could also reduce postage and office expenses, since fewer paper mailings would be necessary;
The site would provide a great way to preserve the SLPA archives which include meeting minutes dating back over a hundred years to the creation of the Association (archives are currently in paper form; one copy only exists);
It might assist in the promotion of the lake;
It could potentially be useful to people with rental cottages and businesses;
It could be a positive attribute of the community to be noted in grant applications and economic development;
Most important, it could provide a glimpse into the history of Star Lake and its only Association.
A motion passed unanimously to authorize up to $200 for the purpose of starting and maintaining an SLPA website. Bo agreed to make it a winter project, time permitting. Thus began the journey that would get us where we are today, March 12, 2007, the day of the site launching. Work progressed slowly throughout the winter. At the July, 2006 meeting, Bo reportedthat a site was created using Microsoft FrontPage 2003. So far, we have :
A home page with table of upcoming events and an intro to the SLPA;
A password protected "members only" area to address some members' need for privacy;
An archives area (within the member area) for the By Laws, past minutes and historical information;
A links page pointing to various resources of interest to members;
Links to the Star Lake Handbook in Adobe .pdf format for viewing;
A photo gallery with some favorite pictures of Star Lake;
A feedback form so that viewers of the site could react to the site or communicate with the SLPA.
Bo noted that he should not be solely responsible for all the content of the site; that volunteers could and should submit information. He suggested some topics that might interest members and asked for volunteers to work on those topics. He said that this is a great opportunity for some older members to preserve forever, their "reflections" on Star Lake. First-person narratives about "Star Lake when I first came here" would be great reading, as many of our senior members have a rich history with the lake.
At the August, 2006 meeting, Bo reported that some new pages have been assembled and the web site is progressing nicely. A "most recent minutes" page has been added, as has a page dealing with unwritten rules of the lake for newcomers. He is shopping for a web host service that will meet our needs, be economical and offer additional services that might be useful to members, such as free e-mail accounts. Bo again said that he would maintain the site; but would not be responsible for generating all the content for the site. Help was again sought from volunteers to research and create content. Suggested topics include:
The Microburst of 1995, event and pictures;
Memories of youth on Star Lake, narrative;
A history of the Star Lake Regatta, narrative and pictures;
"Rafting on Star Lake," history, pictures, Adirondack Life article;
A summer rentals section with descriptions, pictures, and reservation info;
An old Star Lake postcard gallery (many members have collections to share)
Bo said he would hopefully have the site up some time this winter.
The site continued to be refined and a web host was selected. As of March, 2007, the site was ready to launch for the first time! We are officially the owners of the domain name "SLPA.info". After extensive shopping for and reading reviews of (it seemed like) hundreds of web hosting services, Lunarpages was finally selected to host the site. They were carefully selected for a number of very good reasons:
Lunarpages Web Hosting is the #1 rated, affordable web hosting service for uptime, customer support, and feature-rich hosting.
They provide a huge amount of server space--1,500 GB with 15,000 GB of bandwidth per month. While we probably won't have that much traffic, we will need lots of storage as we continue to add to the site and archives.
They domain transfers for only $7.95, private domain registration, and a FREE domain name for the life of the hosting plan. Additional domain names are also only $7.95 each.
They provide for free $700 worth of "Coffee Cup" webmaster-and-design >software and other server-based features, including the FrontPage extensions necessary to help develop and maintain our web site.
They provide unlimited POP-3 and SMTP based e-mail accounts, which can be used by our members. Many of our "snowbirds" will appreciate the "web-based" access to their e-mail, for when they travel south.
Lunarpages seems to rule in the customer service area. Based on user reviews and my own experiences, they are simply "the best". They provide 24/7 award-winning support services by >e-mail or toll-free phone support, and they maintain a member forum to help solve problems. Coffee Cup Software also provides great support from their Coffee Cup Site.
Their price is extremely attractive. By purchasing a two-year contract and by taking advantage of a coupon offer, we were able to get 26 months of hosting for just $149.75 which is well within our startup budget. That's just $5.76 a month for the first 26 months. After that, it will cost around $7.00 per month.
Another great feature is that, through an affiliate program, if someone signs up for a Lunarpages account by using our affiliate link to their site, the SLPA will receive a commission of $65 to help defray our future costs. Always looking for no/low-cost projects, it's possible that our web site might become self-sustaining or even generate some revenue--time will tell.
If you are considering a new web site or have an existing site and need a hosting service, you should take a very close look at Lunarpages. If you decide to start a Lunarpages account, when you are ready to sign up PLEASE FOLLOW OUR LINK TO THE LUNARPAGES WEB SITE . Following this link will help us to defray our costs, as Lunarpages will pay us a fee for each account referral. Once you start your account, you too will have the same opportunity to become an affiliate of Lunarpages. Please let us know if you do sign up.
>For more detailed Information, see the Lunarpages links:
For personal reviews from Lunarpages' customers, please see http://www.lunarpages.com/reviews.php.
To see what Lunarpages is known for in the community, see http://www.lunarpages.com/awards.php.
Lunarpages also maintains a blog at http://blog.lunarpages.com which is a fun, informative way to interact with Lunarpages and their customers.
Lunarpages also offers Dedicated, VPS, and Windows Hosting! Please see the following address if you would like more information about all their plans: http://lunarpages.com/solutions.php.