Marketing and the Web: Free websites for your community groupHaving your own website can, if you are not careful, become a costly experience.
And given that community groups often operate on tight budgets and small margins, they can ill-afford to be ploughing good money after bad into a fancy website with all the bells and whistles.
The good news is that in some parts of Australia, there are facilities available that allow selected community groups to grab a slice of the "web pie" for nothing.
These initiatives are scattered across Australia and offer a variety of different options for community groups or not-for-profit organisations to consider.
The list of regional initiatives is an ever growing one. So if your region is not listed below, it might be a good idea to contact your local government and see if they are running or know of any programs that you might be able to access.
It may also be that your local government body is planning something for the near future, and you could get involved early on.
A List of Free Website Options for Community Groups
Those eligible for Vicnet support are: Vicnet Volunteers, hobby sites, special interest pages, community groups (health, sport, arts, and more), individuals, Vicnet members, and Members of Parliament. Government agencies and commercial organisations are not eligible for this service.
Within VicNet is a section entitled MC2 (My Connected Community). MC2 works to ensure community groups are provided with the support and tools to "build" an on-line community.
It provides training and online resources that help community groups to:
MC2 also combines with the Victorian Government's other initiatives, including Skills.net and Libraries Online, to ensure greater Internet access, more user-friendly resources and Internet training and support is available where needed.
For more information on MC2, refer to the website: mc2.vicnet.net.au/index.html
Finally, if you are in Victoria and live in the City of Darebin, you can also build your own website through the Darebin Community Portal (via Darebin Council). For more information, click here.
It operates by linking IT students at the University of South Australia to community based volunteer groups which do not presently have a website. A web page (or more; some of the sites have two or three pages) is then designed according to the needs of the group. All sites created are posted on a new website: http://www.communitywebs.org for a period of 12 months.
There are costs involved if you wish to continue with the same site after the first year.
"This program will be fully subsidised by Brisbane City Council for a period of 12 months. After the initial 12 month subsidy period you will have the option to renew your ourweb starter account. This will be at a 25% discounted rate – on current costs that would be $22.45 per month."
Remember, more and more other bodies, particularly local governments, are looking into ways they can provides these sorts of services to the public. Local governments in Ballina (northern New South Wales) and Subiaco (Western Australia) are now offering programs as well.
If in doubt, contact your local government to see what, if anything, they are doing on this front – or if they have something planned for the near future.
The information contained on this site is subject to change. Australia Post or Our Community will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever coming from reliance placed on all or part of its contents.
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