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Creating a WOW Website

First Steps: Beginning Your WOW Pushbutton Website

Before you think about any content, you should set your basic WOW site to a "minimum configuration", and then build from there. Note that the default site is enabled with numerous pages and features "turned on", for demo purposes.

To set your site to a minimum configuration, you wish to disable all pages and menu items except "Contact" (a list of your staff officers), and then add in a manual link to the District's online Public Education Calendar, as described below.

To set the minimum configuration, proceed as follows:

  1. Navigate to your WOW website at dev02.cgaux.org/generic/index.php?flo=130-DV-FL 
  2. Log in with the credentials of a member who can make configuration changes (Unit commander, Vice, IP, CS, PB, or PA officer for the unit) 
  3. Click the "Configuration" menu item;
  4. Click the "Edit Navigation Menus" button;
  5. UNCHECK all checkboxes except "Contact" (your unit's officer list);
  6. Click the "SAVE Menu Items" button;
  7. Click the "Return to Unit Page" button, and confirm that only the menu item "Flotilla x-x Staff & Contact List" appears.

Your next step should be to review a few of the better unit websites in our district (see Organization >Units>Divisions and Flotillas) as to how they describe themselves on their home page, and then generate several short paragraphs in a similar vein for your home page.  Your own material should be used to replace WOW's generic home page.  The procedure is described in the WOW2 documentation.

WOW Websites - Your Permanent (Canonical) URL and Its Use

During the development and beta test phase of the Websites Without Webmasters system, the actual location of the WOW platform is on an Auxiliary development server. This is so that the occasional problem does not affect production Auxiliary applications running on production servers.

However, the final URL of your WOW site (the link that you will publish for people to reach your site) is available, and should be used now. This is called the "canonical" link because it follows a very specific rule (a "canon") for its creation.

The general format of a WOW URL is: aDDDddff.wow.uscgaux.info, where the DDD is your three-digit district number, the dd is your two-digit division number, and ff is your two-digit flotilla number.

For example, for Flotilla 02-02 in our district (130), the canonical WOW URL would be: a1300202.wow.uscgaux.info. If you are familiar with the URL convention for AIRS sites (Auxiliary Internet Resource System), you will note the only difference is the insertion of the .wow subdomain in the URL.

For Division WOW2 sites, simply drop the "ff", such as a13001.wow.uscgaux.org for Division 1.

You should always publish the canonical URL in any literature or in any links on other sites.  Also, you should never publish the development URL (currently "dev02.cgaux.org/generic/index.php?flo=DDD-dd-ff"), and you should advise your members (and visitors) that if they make a favorite/bookmark of your site, they should manually change that bookmark to use the correct, canonical URL above (on Windows browsers, right-click the bookmark, select "Properties", and change the link as above.

Although some find it awkward that a browser shows the development URL as opposed to the canonical URL that was entered to get there, it will be necessary to live with this "redirect" behavior until WOW is certified for, and moved to, a production server.

Required: Fixing Your WOW Site to Access the District Public Education Calendar

The built-in Public Education Calendar in the WOW (Websites Without Webmasters) System may not be used in District 13 because the WOW PE database does not contain any entries for 13.  Therefore, a user attempting to use this WOW feature will be frustrated with no results.

The required alternative is to have your WOW site link instead to the D13 District Public Education Calendar for your state (or if you filter it for your unit), which is formally and constantly updated directly from submitted Notices of Intent to Teach forms. See directions.

Maintaining Content

More information about maintaining content is available in the WOW2 manual.

Obtaining National Approval for your WOW Site

Obtaining National approval for your WOW site, which includes listing on both the National Flotilla Finder as well as on this site, under Organization >Units>Divisions and Flotillas, is identical to obtaining approval for a classical (HTML-based) website.

Please check your finished site against the Websites Standards Checklist . When you conform contact the DSO-CS to kick off the approval process.

Finally, if you unit intends to abandon your old AIRS website, please download all media that you wish to save or archive from that site before petitioning for National Approval, and then include in your Petition the comment: "We wish to abandon our AIRS Site aDDDddff.uscgaux.info. Subsitute in your own AIRS URL for the sample.

Until this happens you can redirect your old site by creating an index.html file with the following in it (replace the URLwith your new WOW URL):

HTML><HEAD><META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0; URL= http://a130dvfl.wow.uscgaux.info/ "></HEAD><BODY>Now you will be automatically redirected to the required website. If your browser does not support redirection, please click <a href="sites/"> here </a></BODY></HTML>