These links will provide you with all the information you'll need to get started. If you wish to discuss anything to do with creating or promoting a website - or if you have any questions about the material on this page - OR if you just want a site and don't have the time or inclination to bother with the rest of the material on this page - please feel free to use this Email Contact or to phone me at 402-475-4433 (Central Time Zone). I'll do my best to help.
How to Create, Promote and Host an
Alexander Technique Website Easily and
Quickly with no Technical Knowledge
Welcome. My name is Robert Rickover and I am a teacher of the Alexander Technique in Lincoln, Nebraska. I also teach regularly in Toronto, Canada. I have created this site in order to help Alexander Technique teachers create their own websites. If you already have a website, the material on this page will help you reach the audience you'd like to and is likely to save you money on hosting and domain name registration costs.
Alexander Technique Websites - The Movie:
The process of getting you own website can be very simple, very quick and very inexpensive - less that $300 to design a very attractive site and well under $100/year to keep it up and running. You do not need to own a computer - nor do you need any technical expertise.
A website gives you a unique opportunity to present yourself directly to a very large audience of potential students. Many teachers are now finding that the majority of their new referrals come from their own sites. A listing on the website of your professional society is useful too, but it is no substitute.
Using the Web to Promote your Practice Audio Interviews: Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher and website designer in Wilmington, Delaware and Robert Rickover, a teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska talk about:
1. Important design considerations for an Alexander Technique website. Listen 2. Using additional social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to enhance your site. Listen
3. Using blogs, videos and audio interviews,
email marketing and eBooks to enhance your site. Listen
4. Creating a smart phone version of your website using WordPress or DudaMobile.com. Listen
5. The extreme inter-connectiveness of today's web and how it can help teachers who have a web presesence. Listen
If you want to be involved in creating and promoting your own website, the material in the "Alexander in Cyberspace" articles, will give you some useful information, even though they were written many years ago.
The recent surge in interest in the Alexander Technique on the web, resulting from the British Medical Journal Backpain Study, is the topic of this article, originally published in the AmSAT News.
How to Have Your Own Website - Quickly and Inexpensively
The easiest and quickest way to have a website of your own is to take advantage of this offer:
Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher and website designer in Wilmington, Delaware, has teamed up with The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique and has created a set of easily customizable website templates from which she will create a very attractive site for you for less than $300. Normally a site of this quality would cost a great deal more to design.
Once the site has been designed for you, you'll need to "host" it - that is make it available for visitors on the web. The cost for hosting at Alexander Technique Website Hosting is $75/year. You'll also need to register a domain name - about $10/year. If you would prefer to have your site hosted without having having your own domain name, with an internet adddress alexandertechnique.com/YOURNAME (for example, alexandertechnique.com/nyc or alexandertechnique.com/london) your total hosting cost will be $60/year. Whichever option you choose, Imogen and Robert Rickover will take care of all the technical details, including helping you select and register a domain name.
A few tips for making sure your site draws potential students:
Be sure the phrases "Alexander Technique" and "Your City" or "Your Region" are in close proximity to each other at or near the top of your homepage. If you live in a large city like New York or London, be sure to include a reference to the part of the city where you teach. It's likely that about a third or more of your visitors will be typing those phrases into Google and other search engines.
Being listed on your website has been so terrific. I have a large increase in inquiries and students due to this. I need to quickly finish my first group of Teacher trainees so we can refer folks to them! So grateful for your understanding of AT and expertise in this field of technology. - Nancy Romita, Director of the ATMidAtlantic Teacher Training Apprenticeship in Baltimore.
I get 10 times more visits to my site from The Complete Guide than from any other listing. Adolfo Santamaria, teacher of the Alexander Technique in Los Angeles.
Make sure your site is listed on the website of your Alexander Technique professional society, and in their printed directory. If you are a member of AmSAT, ATI or STAT, you'll probably get 20-30 percent of your visitors that way. If there is a meta directory for teachers in your area - Alexander Technique Teachers of Greater Washington D.C., for example - be sure you're listed there too.
Be sure you submit your site to the major search engines. Submit Express allows you to submit to the search engines in a few seconds for free.
This is a bit technical, but your web designer will know how to do it: Make sure your metatag "description" and "keywords" are properly filled out and that "Alexander Technique" and "Your City or Town" are among the first few keywords.
Do NOT use an opening page that visitors have to see first before entering your site. There is almost nothing more annoying that this. Even a quarter second delay in getting to your site's contents will cause many people to skip it according to recent research.
Consider adding an MP3 interview to your website so your visitors can learn more about you and your teaching.
Be wary of anyone offering search engine placement services for a fee. The same goes for paying to have your site be a "sponsored link" on search engines. You can use your money far more effectively in other ways.
Do NOT use any images or videos on your site that you don't own or have permission to use. (You don't have to worry about linking to or embedding You Tube videos that others have posted.) There is now sophisticated image recognition software that scans the web to detect trademark infringement and website owners have been billed and threatened with legal action if they don't pay. There are several sites like this one, that offer royality-free images.
As more and more people use smartphones to search the web, having a mobile version of your site is becoming increasingly necessary. Learn how to get a mobile site here.
Consider backing up your important computer files somewhere away from your home.
You can read Imogen Ragone's Tips for an Effective Website on this PDF Download
Be careful how you use email. If you decide to create an email mailing list - a good idea - do not add people's email address to your list unless they ask, and be sure your list is easy to opt out of. Most people do NOT want more email. As Chris Anderson, curator of the TED confereces notes: "Every day somebody's born who's going to be sending you a crappy email in a few years."
"Alexander in Cyberspace" Articles
This is a series of four short "Alexander in Cyberspace" articles about the Internet and the Alexander Technique, written during 1997-98 and originally published in the NASTAT News, the STAT News, and the ATI Newsletter. These provide some of the basic background and information you will need to get started.
You might also want to read some very important web design advice by Jakob Nielsen, a leading authority on the subject. One of the things he stresses is the importance of speedily downloads. (Smart Computing magazine reports that a survey conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology's Graphic, Visualization and Usability Center found the top reason why web users abandon a site is slow loading times.) Click here to read Mr. Nielsen's suggestions. Two other annoying features that turn viewers off are opening pages - often with elaborate graphics - you have to get past to enter the site, and music or other audio content that starts up automatically when the site opens. The first seriously slows down download times and the later can interfere with other audio functions that the viewer is using.
A long-time Alexander Technique student and Internet Consultant, Margaret J. David, gives a very unflattering description of several Alexander Technique websites in a very short article she's titled "Dying for an Alexander Lesson?" (Her remarks are directed at content, but it turns out the problems she identifies also seriously interfere with download times.) Click here to read her article.
Website Hosting and Domain Name Information
Alexander Technique Website Hosting is a website hosting service desgined specifically for the needs of the Alexander Technique teaching community. You get the benefits of world class hosting facilities at a very competitive price combined with a high level of personalized support not readily available elsewhere. You also get a free MP3 audio interview to use on your website and the knowledge that you are supporting my many Alexander Technique websites.
Robert is easy to work with and is very supportive. He helped me se up my web hosting, walking me through it step by step. I would highly recomend him!
- Dory Steinmetz, Long Beach, California Website: dorysteinmetz.com
When I decided to step out into the world of the internet with a website, I turned to my good friend Robert Rickover. He came through for me with wonderful web hosting services including helping me find and register my domain name. In Alexander fashion, Robert made my entry into the world of technology easeful and simple. It was easy to move on from GoDaddy to his hosting service. I am so grateful to Robert who is always there for me if I have a question or concern.
- Joanie Levine Mercer, Austin, Texas, Website: joanie-mercer.com
If you have a website with it's own domain name, you will need to register that name. Over the past decade, registration costs have dropped from $100/year to under $10/year for most domains. Yet many people are still paying $15-20/year or more for what is essentially a simple record-keeping process. If you are registering one domain name, and hosting it, HostMonster will register the name for you for free. If you are registering more than one name, I suggest you use 1&1 for the additional names. I've found 1&1 to be the least expensive registrar available, but without any sacrifice in convenience, control panel ease of use or customer service. Many special features, such as private registration, that you would normally pay extra for, are included for free.
If you click on the logo above and order any service from them, I receive a small commission.
Be very, very careful about letting anyone else - your web designer, for example - register your domain name in their own name as it will then legally belong to them. And this can be - and has been for several Alexander Technique techers - a major problem for you later. Either register it online yourself - a very simple process with HostMonster or 1&1 - or, at the very least, have someone you know well and trust completely register it in their name.
Also, be sure the email address you use in the registration process is one you will always have access to - you will need to use that email address when you renew your registration, or make any changes in it. Also make sure your credit card information is always up to date with the register. Even if the card number doesn't change, but the expiry date does, you absolutely need to update that information. You can avoid a world of heartache by following these two guidelines!
The Internet is chock full of websites that enable you to add useful features to your website, create free websites of your own, and check on such things as how many other sites link to yours and how many people are visiting your site each day. New services of this kind appear every day and, for the most part, they are absolutely free. Below are listed a few that I've found helpful and it's my hope that as more and more Alexander Technique teachers and students begin to explore the Internet, many more suggestions will be added to this list.
TheFreeSite.com maintains a current list, along with evaluations, of several companies that offer free websites - almost always with advertising. This site also offers free counters, guestbooks etc. You can also type "free websites" in the search box of any search engine (see a comprehensive search engine list below) to find such companies. Be forewarned, however, that these companies come and go and you could wake up one morning with no website!
Most internet providers, like AOL and CompuServe, also offer free websites and help getting started but bear in mind that if you change providers, you won't be able to keep the site you've created. Changing an internet address once you've got started is a major headache. You're much better off getting a free web page and email account with someone other than your internet provider. (It is also a huge mistake to use an email address that's tied to your internet provider for much the same reason. See the suggestions below for free email services that do not have this problem.)
You could have an actual domain name site hosted for free if you're willing to have a banner advert or pop-up ad on each of your pages. See the Open Directory listing of these companies below. If you use one of these companies, your only cost is the $10 - $15 or so annual charge for domain name registration. But remember that many of these companies have gone out of business with the decline in web-related advertising revenue. Be very careful if selecting this option. You're almost certainly much better off paying a few dollars a year more for an advertising-free site. Click here to go to the Open Directory list of companies that provide free domain name web hosting.
You can also have a free email account at any one of a number of websites. This enables you to send and receive email from any computer with an internet connection, including those at your local library, for instance. Google's Gmail is now the most popular free email service. You can find out more at Gmail.com One of the many special features of Gmail is the ability, using Gmail Apps, to have a Gmail account that uses your own domain name - eg email@example.com absolutely free. (Be forwarned, however, that unlike a standard Gmail account, you will need some technical skills to set up a Gmail Apps account. If phrases like "DNS settings" and "MX files" mean nothing to you, get the help of someone who knows what they're doing.) Two other popular sites offering free email service are MSN (Hotmail) and Yahoo. As mentioned above, never use an email address tied to your internet provider since you'll lose it if you change providers and you'll almost certainly loose a lot of important email in the process.
Search engines and directories function somewhat like card catalogs in a library. These are important in order to find local web sites with which you may want to exchange links. They are also useful if you want to find out what people looking for information about the Alexander Technique on the Internet are likely to find - and if your own site shows up! The most important search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask
Google has become the most used search engine in recent years because of its superior search technology. A Google search is often in the background of other searches. A recent study showed that over 95% of all searches use Google, either directly or indirectly. This means that for people to find your site using a search engine, the search term: "alexander technique YOUR CITY" on Google should show your site among the first few listings.
In addition to the major search engines, there are a number of "meta" search engines that combine the results of simultaneous searches done by several of the primary search engines. Dogpile and MetaDog are two of the most efficient and flexible of these.