Club websites can vary greatly depending on the type of club and function of the website. Many organizations simply want an overarching national site for all members, with more intricate local club websites for each division. Other clubs need an extensive site with comprehensive information and member abilities.
A club website’s success depends greatly on identifying and meeting the club’s needs as well as its members’ expectations.
What Type of Club Website
Perhaps as a new club, you are fine building a simple informational site hosted on someone else’s domain. Maybe you need a prebuilt site that is accompanied by software. We have worked with clubs of all sizes and in all stages of growth. By far, the number one concern is making sure that you choose a site that will work for today and tomorrow.
Most club websites will invite users to create an account and sign in. It may be just a username and password, it may contain additional personal information, payment information, etc. One thing to note is that when you change club websites, you need to change over all that user information, and ask them to register or log back in to a new site. While some clubs are able to maintain a very high retention rate, almost all lose some number of members during this transition. It’s for this reason that we always recommend that any club website you create has great membership management and software features that meet your needs now and the near future. If you are looking at a club website that doesn’t do something you require, reach out and ask if they have any plans to further develop their platform.
What to do When Switching Club Websites
Some of you may be beyond choosing your first club website and need to move on from your first site. So how do you maintain that high retention rate and avoid losing members? Your new club website should be able to assist with this.
Many providers allow you to upload all of your current members at once. Simply fill out their template or database file (often Excel), and the software will pull all the member information into your new site. From here, it’s important that you can reach out and message members, asking them to login to their new and improved site. If you simply let your current membership know there is a new site, but count on them to find the new site and register themselves, you’re much more likely to lose members along the way. Once members activate their new accounts, a user-friendly experience is important to maintaining their willingness to use their new site.