Many small groups and clubs ask themselves if they are too small for a website.
What’s the point? Would we use it enough? Why don’t we just have a Facebook Page?
Here are several reasons why you aren’t to small and could really benefit from having your own website.
- Having your own website can help you appear earlier in Google search results. This makes your group easier to find and opens you up to a wider audience of people who may be interesting in joining and contributing to your organization. While a Facebook Pages offers great visibility within Facebook, Facebook Pages do not always appear at the top of Google search results. If somebody went onto Google (or Microsoft Bing or another search engine) looking for your group, they might have a hard time finding a Facebook Page because of the way search engines index content (without getting too technical, search engines tend to favour web content that have certain characteristics such as long-form content or a lot of links, and Facebook Pages typically don’t have these characteristics.) Having your own website can improve your visibility to everyone whether they are a Facebook user or not.
- Your home page is a place to display contact information so that people interested in joining your group can easily find and get in touch. This can include your address or location, opening hours, phone number, email address and other similar information.
- But having your own website can, over time, go beyond contact information. Having a home page also gives you the opportunity to add upcoming events and meetings to a club calendar, this can eliminate confusion amongst your members and makes sure everyone is on the same page! If you want to go a step further, you could even add some RSVP functionality so that you know who is attending upcoming events. Or, you could add in a members directory, private bulletin board, blog or discussion page. As your club grows, so can your website.
- As with Facebook, having a website is a great way to share all of the photos that you love and keep the group updated with posts. But your website also allows you to collect and keep track of information about your club, so that if your committee changes, there is an “archive” that the next committee can use. This can also help new members find older information.
- Having your own website gives you total control over your online presence. Having a Facebook Page is awesome and lets you keep in contact with your group members, but you can’t really change the look or design of your Facebook page. Want some of photos to appear in a very large size? Want to highlight particular text or information? You can do this to whatever extent you want on a website, but not so much on your Facebook Page where photos, posts etc all have a standard appearance and don’t express the don’t express the real personality of your club or group. A website is something that is entirely yours and you can make adjustments and changes to at any time.
- When you have your own website, you also get your own domain name (say, “myclub.org.au”) that you can also use for email (say, “firstname.lastname@example.org”). This can be a massive help when communicating with your community and also allows for you to keep a track record of email correspondence in your club email account rather than in personal email accounts.
- Lastly, having your own home page might make it easier to apply for grants as there may be an expectation that an established community group will have its own online presence. It can also allow you to acknowledge any sponsorship and/or grants you’ve received from public bodies.