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Guidelines for Contributors

It is inevitable that this website will be something of a hotch-potch, because it is a combination of contributions from many different U3As. However, this effect can be minimised if the various contributors stick to the following guidelines:

Each U3A should have an overview page, supplying information which changes infrequently. This can include venues for general meetings and details of the committee members. This latter should be supplied as portfolio, name, telephone number (optional) and e-mail address (which will be concealed from trawling robots to avoid spam). This page must be in .htm or .html format – if your U3A has no member capable of creating this, contact the webmaster. Note that creating .htm pages by exporting from MS Word is not really an acceptable method.
Also note that if you have sent a page by email to be uploaded, there may have been improvements made to the online version (e.g. hiding embedded email addresses, adding missing links, background colour etc.). if you need to update the page, download the online version and update that, rather than the original on your own PC.  

BlueGriffon is a free piece of software, that you can use to create and maintain htm pages.

The overview page can optionally have a link to the latest newsletter. This page can be in either HTML or PDF format.

The overview page can optionally have a link to the latest course list. This page can be in either HTML or PDF format.

Note the word latest in the paragraphs above. A very poor impression is created when such documents are several months out-of-date, and the webmaster will simply remove the link(s) if this happens.

Broadly speaking, these secondary documents should not normally duplicate information which is provided elsewhere, e.g. on the overview page. An exception is made when the documents are intended to be available for download or printing.

You may wonder why we accept secondary documents in PDF format. Members using Firefox as a browser and Foxit as a PDF reader (both highly recommended free open-source software) can also install an add-on which makes these pages visible as if they were written in HTML. They are easily produced by installing PDFcreator, also free and open-source. They can be downloaded and printed using Foxit or Adobe Acrobat Reader. Foxit can be downloaded via the page called 'Website Instructions' – further assistance in the use of Foxit or PDFcreator is available from the contacts named above.

If you use pdf format so that you can download newsletters, then by all means duplicate the information. There are several ways to get your newsletters and course lists to members. One way used by a number of groups is to set up mailing lists of members. The email message to them contains links to the newsletter and course lists. The recipients simply click on the links, and see a dialog box asking whether the page should be displayed or downloaded. If displayed, the file can still be saved on the member’s computer.

Contact Peter Lawson if you need advice on creating a mailing list on an external site such as Yahoo.

A standardised system of naming files has been established. Take for example Helderberg:

  • HBG.htm - overview page, often with committee or contact details
  • HBGcourses.pdf - course list (note change to pdf)
  • HBGnews.pdf - newsletter
  • HBGmemapp.pdf - membership application
  • HBGmemren.pdf - membership renewal
  • Other types of documents, such as bulletins, can be accommodated.

The names do not change for new issues, so there is no need to amend the links on the overview page. Please be sure to use the correct case (upper or lower) and stick to it, as the main host site for U3A SA is sensitive to the case. When you have prepared an update to any of these pages, rename it in accordance with the above system and e-mail it to your web contact

Some U3As have provided copies of their constitutions – these are all linked from the 'Constitutions' page in the sidebar.

Some U3As provide picture galleries of tours, events and visits. These pictures should be scaled down to a size suitable for display rather than high quality printing. Consult the instructions on resizing in your imaging software.