Most clubs and organizations have their own websites; they are invaluable for communicating with existing club members, and for recruiting new ones.
A club website can have many pages, depending on the nature of the club and its activities, and care needs to be taken to make sure that everything relevant is included.
Of course, there are clubs of all types, covering all genres, past-times, and interests, but here we will use a particular type of club, an athletics club, to run though the stages of setting up a website for it.
Choosing a name needs to be the very first step in building a club’s online presence; it needs to be relevant to the club and what it does, and not too clever or obscure that it becomes hard to find in search engines.
Next, decide what the club needs to achieve:
There will be other requirements for different clubs, but these are the basics.
All websites need to start with a ‘home page’. This introduces the visitor to the club, provides a description of its activities, and carries easily-accessible links to all the other pages on the site. The home page will need a good template that reflects the nature of the club. Most website builders today provide a great selection of professional-looking templates, and you will be able to change the colors and fonts to suit the club, and maybe even choose team colors, too.
‘About us’ page
This page gives an outline of the club and its history, such as the day it was founded, achievements so far, and its vision for the future. On this page, names of relevant organizers and members puts a human touch to the website.
This page needs to provide a warm and friendly welcome to its members, both existing, and those it hopes to recruit. If relevant, it needs to include information such as membership fees and how and when to pay them, and an invitation to join. If the PayPal facility is included, members will be able to pay their fees directly to the club.
On the ‘welcome’ page, visitors may be invited to sign up for a regular newsletter, if there is one.
All forthcoming fixtures should be listed here, with the important details, such as location, date, time, and ticket information included, as well as the names of the teams or individuals taking part. A map and directions to the fixture would be a great addition.
Calendar of events
Besides sporting fixtures, the club may have other events, such as fund-raisers, club meetings, and so on, that can be listed on this page.
This is an essential page; visitors to the site will need to know how to get further information about the club. Contact can be by way of a simple form that the visitor completes with space for their own details, and room for them to write their request. The website owner can then reply directly. If a telephone contact number is provided, that’s even better, and creates a more personal feel.
A photo gallery is a great addition to any website. It brings the club to life, and showcases the activities undertaken. You can add a wide range of photos here, of the athletes, trophies they have won, the club’s headquarters, and the various venues that events and fixtures are held in.
A blog page is a great asset to a club website; it’s an informal platform that can be used to talk about anything to do with the club’s activities, and its members and patrons. It can even be set up so that others, besides the website owner, can post on it.
A ‘links’ page will be very useful. Visitors to your website may be interested in other athletics clubs and rivals, and a link to each would be much appreciated.
Social network/community page
If the club has its own Facebook page, it can be detailed here, with links taking visitors directly to it.
This article details just a few of the essentials for a club website. The elements described may be all you require for yours, or you may have ideas for other pages; the choice is yours and, with the advent of easy-to-use website builders, you’ll have a professional-looking website that is unique to your club, up and running in no time.