There’s a common misconception that a website is a set-it-and-forget-it platform. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true at all. Even if you are going through an all-out redesign (best practice is to redesign about every three years or so), there will still be a few things you’ll have to come back to - and even after that you’ll have to continue to maintain it moving forward!
Why? Your association or chamber website is arguably your best tool for both member recruitment and retention - so it’s important that all of your information is accurate, relevant, and engaging.
It’s a little overwhelming to think about as a whole, but break website maintenance into two categories - short-term and long-term - it’s a lot easier to digest:
Short-term website maintenance
Inevitably, there will be small things that you’ll have to be more reactive to: misspelled words, broken links, an image that uploaded funky, etc. Try to make these edits as soon as you can after they’re brought to your attention to get it off your plate - and off your mind!
There are plenty of ways to proactively maintain your website in the short-term, too. What are some things that change on a relatively regular basis?
- Benefits are added (or details change)
- Events come and go
- New resources are created
- Jobs open and are filled
You get the idea. Make sure that website updates are a key part of your process for everything - or at least get into the habit of asking yourself: Is there anything related to this on our website that needs to be updated, too?
Long-term website maintenance
Like I mentioned, best practice is to revisit your website’s design every three years. In part to stay fresh and keep up with trends, but also because it’s probable that over that amount of time your goals as an organization will change.
And as your goals change, your strategy behind member recruitment will - so you’ll need a website that can support that strategy. We recommend starting to talk about a website redesign at least six months before you’re ready to start the work on it so you have ample time to make an effective plan.
Chances are, your membership itself will also change in that amount of time. Make sure you consider member needs and wants in any long-term maintenance plan so you can also maintain (or even improve!) their level of engagement.
And if you haven’t noticed...MemberClicks has a new website! We’ve been hard at work since the beginning of this year redesigning and revamping everything, and are beyond thrilled to finally share it with the world. Click around and explore - we hope you like it!
If you’d like to chat about your website design and functionality, we can help! Learn more about our Premium Website services below.