Technology moves quickly. From best practices to legal compliance, make sure your association’s website is not coming across as old and dusty and in turn making your association seem the same. You need a site that has a modern look, great usability and awesome functionality – something your members (and staff) can be proud of.
Here five ways to tell if your website is, in fact, dated and in need of a refresh:
1. Poor use of imagery
Whether it is the use of stock imagery or have a small “hero” image on your home page, a poor use of images on your site can turn back the clock quickly. Many of our clients choose to take their own pictures (or hire a photographer) over using stale, commercial photography that could be found on a multitude of sites across the Internet. Check out www.phikappaphi.org
for an example of a great use of the hero area, in-house photography and, also, how they make sure the filter and treatment of each image blends well with the overall vibe color-wise of the home page.
2. Not ADA compliant
From PCI to GDPR, it seems like there is always one more compliance issue heading your way. But don’t underestimate the importance of complying with web accessibility standards. Those that do ignore it, may be found legally liable. Check the graph below. We provide a service called AudioEye to our clients. It solves the issue of compliance in short order and permanently. No ongoing maintenance of your site’s code required. This is what all modern websites are moving to. Don’t be the old stodgy org, left behind.
3. Using old techniques
Nothing is more telling that your side is old than if you’re using old, dated practices on your home page. Do you still have a navigation bar running vertically down the left side of your site? Do you have a tabbed box of options (see below) for users to ignore…er, I mean, click on? Do you have wild, animations on your home page distracting users? Are you relying on your members to pinch and zoom on their mobile phones because your site is not mobile-ready? Nothing says old like these techniques.
4. Bad site search
We live in a Google world. Some users will bypass your nav bar and head straight to your search box. Can your site handle it? The #1 thing our clients tell us that their members complain about is that they can’t find the content they want on the association's website. A good site search can help alleviate this a bit.
Do you know the most searched terms on your site? Are pages optimized on your site to ensure they show up when people are looking for them? Have you re-indexed your site recently to make sure that your new content shows up? Have you archived older content to ensure it doesn’t show up any more? What about faceted (filtered) or even federated search (when you display results from other third-party products on your site) options? If you’re not serious about site search, you’re not serious about your members’ online experience. Below is an example of complex search results page we recently developed for a client.