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5 Tips to Plan a Successful Association Website Project

Navigating the Complexity of Association Website Projects

Embarking on a website project for an association involves a unique set of challenges and considerations. From catering to diverse audiences to managing budget constraints, every decision can have a significant impact on the success of the project. Drawing from years of experience in guiding associations through website projects, I have distilled 5 key insights to help you navigate the complexities and make informed decisions.

Phil's 5 key website planning considerations:

  • 1

    Pick your top 'top priority'.​

    Identifying the most critical problem that your website project aims to solve is paramount. Narrowing down your top priorities to one or two key objectives can provide clarity and focus throughout the process. By adhering to these core goals, you can effectively manage costs and ensure that your resources are allocated efficiently. Consider a phased approach if the task list seems overwhelming or if budget constraints are a concern.

  • 2

    Rebranding?​ Finish that first.

    If a full rebrand is on the horizon, prioritize this step at the outset of the project. Web designers work best when armed with clear branding guidelines, ensuring a cohesive and impactful digital presence. Some firms offer combined rebranding and website services, but be sure to choose a partner with expertise in associations to achieve a seamless and tailored outcome.

  • 3

    Traditional design vs. branded templates.​

    When contemplating design requirements, weigh the intricacies of an extensive design review against the efficiency of customizing existing templates to align with your brand. While unique designs can deliver a distinctive online experience, opting for branded templates can yield substantial cost savings without compromising quality. Assess your team's capacity for design involvement to determine the most suitable approach.

  • 4

    Put it all together to give your members more.

    Evaluate how your website will engage with other systems within your association's digital ecosystem. Whether basic hyperlinks suffice or seamless integration through a Single Sign-On (SSO) is necessary, leveraging technology can enhance member experience and streamline operations. The benefits of integrating systems often outweigh the perceived complexities and costs associated with such enhancements.

  • 5

    Don't under estimate the effort of content migration.

    Consider who will oversee the migration of content to the new website—a crucial but often overlooked aspect of the project. Embrace the opportunity to revamp and refine your content rather than opting for a simple transfer. While this may require additional resources, it can significantly enhance the user experience and strengthen your online presence. Assess your team's availability and consider budgeting for external support if needed.

Need help planning your website project?

Navigating the intricacies of an association website project demands meticulous planning and informed decision-making. By prioritizing objectives, aligning design strategies with branding, integrating systems effectively, and optimizing content migration, you can set your project up for success. 

Don’t go it alone – get expert advice to help make a plan.