4 Website Mistakes Your Chapters Are Making
Updated: Oct. 12, 2018 | Categories: National Perspective
Depending on your association’s approach to chapter autonomy you may allow your chapters to source their own website solutions. This can increase the likelihood of these website mistakes:
- Hiring a professional local designer: it can be costly; updates and maintenance would have to be considered as well
- Finding a free site builder: many of these solutions offer very little functionality so you would have to source other vendors for event registration, surveys, and more
- Setting up a WordPress site: there are many risks to consider with an open source solution like WordPress, we’ve outlined a few in our whitepaper, CAUTION: Why WordPress May Not Be the Right Solution for Your Chapter
- Identifying a volunteer to attempt to build a website: this could become a lengthy project as they are volunteering time outside of their full-time careers, and when they’re not available for every update, it could turn into a detrimental bottleneck
The bottom line is that across your association, you’ll find many kinds of websites and it can make your head spin how off brand some of them can be.
Faced with these options you may have considered creating a template for all of your chapters, maybe even taking it a step further and thought about how you could manage them all. But then you woke up in a cold sweat with your heart racing thinking how impossible that would be. Even if you wanted to manage all the chapter websites or provide a template for them to use, updating, implementing, training, and supporting them over the long run becomes unsustainable. To add to that, the local chapters are committed in one way or another to their existing solution. Chapters need to be educated on the risks they are taking and the loss of revenue, membership and attendance their current website may be causing. Sending out best practices, or passing along ideas that can be easily adopted by the local chapter would go a long way. It won’t happen overnight but it will start to happen.
Look to schedule webinars with trusted third parties (ehemm, StarChapter), that have years of experience with chapter management. Educating the local chapters on the dangers and risks of popular website solutions is important because what is at risk is the membership data and reputation of the association as a whole. There are many topics National can help guide chapter leaders on about proper website design, maintenance and updates.
Talk to us at about setting up a webinar for your chapters to attend or ask us about other resources we can supply you with to help avoid the website mistakes your chapters are making.