This guidance is split into several sections:
1. Why set up a Scouting website?
A website is a growing necessity in the modern world for all organisations, Scouting included. It is a means of promoting yourself and the work you do to your local community and disseminating information to your leaders or parents. You can use a website to perform basically whatever function you please.
2. How to set up a Scouting website
The first thing to do is to decide on your audience. Is your website going to be primarily aimed at prospective youth members, prospective adult members, or existing youth and/or adult members?
Then think about your hosting and domain name. Are you willing to pay for hosting? If not, do you know someone who is willing to let you use their hosting or do you plan to use Escouts hosting or some other free provider? With your domain name do you want to use a free domain name or buy one? I strongly suggest that you purchase a .org.uk domain – these cost just £7-8 for two years. The domain should also be descriptive – such as my Group’s website 9thnorthwatford.co.uk* or my District’s website watfordnorthscouts.org.uk.
Now you have your hosting and your domain name. So you need to choose your CMS (Content Management System). I use – and encourage others to use – WordPress, which is free. and for which this theme has been designed. But it is not the only free CMS out there. Others include Joomla and Drupal.
If you choose WordPress (which I hope you do), you need to install it and then upload the theme of your choice.
* I made a poor choice of domain ending here.
3. How to use the themes
Download the theme of your choice from this website, log in to WordPress and go to Appearance > Theme > Upload and select the zip file you downloaded. This will automatically install the theme and once you click Activate, you will be up and running.
Please refer to the user guides for more information.
4. Data privacy and security
Data privacy and security is important. As stated in the Scout Association guidance, you should not publish the exact details of both meeting time and place in a public online location and you should not publish the full names of young people in photographs, and have parental permission before publishing any photos.
If you wish to publish details such as your full programmes online, you should ensure that they are not publicly accessible through utilising a plugin such as Page Restrict that allows only registered members to access certain pages.
5. Further help and guidance
Want more help and guidance with your website? Want to know what other think about it? Then you should go to Escouts, where there are hundreds of Scouters to offer help and guidance on your website, and Scouting in general.