If you’ve got a club, a website is one of your most useful resources. When you create a club website, you’ll be able to share announcements or upcoming events, keep your community engaged and attract new members. Done right, the website you create for your club or hobby group can keep you connected and provide a sense of much-needed community.
Chances are that web design or development aren’t your areas of expertise–and that’s ok! There’s never been a better time to easily build a website for your club and engage with your community, even if you have no idea where to start. With so many site builders out there, the challenge is deciding on what you need and picking the right tools to do it.
Don’t worry about technical abilities, we’ll walk you through it. Here’s how to make a website for your club with some great tools to get you on your way.
1. Register Your Club’s Domain Name
The internet moves at lightning speed and you never know when the perfect domain name for your club could be registered by someone else first. To ensure your club gets the best domain possible, check to see if yours is available and, if it is, secure it right away. Obviously, we suggest you use Hover to do your search–with over 400 unique top-level domains (extensions), we’re pretty sure you’ll find something that you like.
You have a few options when it comes to picking a domain. Start by searching for your club’s name and see if it’s available. You may have your heart set on a .COM domain, but one of those many alternative top-level domains might be even better suited to your club’s website.
2. Choose a Website Builder
Whether you want to build a unique site from scratch or just want a nice-looking template to customize with your information, there is no shortage of tools out there to help you make a website. If you’re reading this article, then chances are you’re searching for one of the easier solutions that you can build and manage yourself.
It can be overwhelming trying to narrow down the hundreds of solutions out there. A good place to start is by focusing on solutions that have been designed for users with needs similar to yours in mind.
General Site Builders
These are great general purpose website builders. They will create websites that look beautiful to your members and be a breeze to set up.
Notable features: Responsive design, templates, blogging, eCommerce, SEO, analytics, 24/7 customer service
Pricing: $12/mo – $40/mo
Notable features: Responsive design, eCommerce, mobile apps (for site management), templates, SEO, blogging, third-party apps, analytics
Pricing: Free – $30/mo
Notable features: Templates, mobile apps (for site management), eCommerce, blogging, SEO
Pricing: Free – $49/mo
Notable features: Beautiful, responsive themes, fully customizable, drag-and-drop website builder, client proofing, blogging, eCommerce store, SEO, SSL, 24/7 support
Pricing: $7/mo – $16/mo
Niche Site Builders
In addition to the more general-purpose site creators, many website builders focus on specific-use cases. These are a great option if you’re looking for more advanced functionality.
For stats, schedules, registrations, highlights, and announcements:
Notable features: Responsive design, inline editing, widgets, permissions, online registration, team management, tournaments, leagues, background verification
Price: Free – 69$/mo or contact Sports Engine for a quote
Notable features: Online registration, scheduling, communication, statistics, teams & rosters, online store and mobile app
Price: Pricing plans based on specific admin needs – you’ll need to contact SportsSignup Play for a quote
For taking and managing your members’ orders:
Notable features: Responsive design (for visitors and site management), themes, order management, automated email notifications, customer login, analytics
Pricing: $14/mo or $29/mo
Notable features: Responsive design, subscriber accounts, customizable subscriptions, one-time sales, checkout, customer management, store management, referral programs, coupons & discounts, analytics.
Pricing: Free or $39/mo + with transaction fees for both options
For communicating to and among members:
Notable features: Online registration, blogging, announcements, anti-spam verification, themes, forums, events, groups.
Pricing: $1.99/mo or $5.99/mo
Notable features: Forums, blogs, surveys, calendars, automation, content management, member management, reporting, premium and privacy tools
Pricing: $39/mo and $399/mo or contact Crowdstack for a quote
For showcasing your great work to your biggest supporters:
Notable features: Responsive design, themes, flexible layouts, fully customizable, client proofing, publish from Adobe Lightroom, blogging, 24/7 support.
Pricing: $12/mo – $25/mo
3. Regularly Contribute to Your Website
Now that you’ve learned how to create a website for your club, you’ll choose the best tools for your club and get the perfect domain name. After all the hard work you put into creating your website, you owe it to yourself—and your club—to keep at it and make it a success.
Make your site a regular part of your routine and you’ll have the best chance possible of creating it a hit! Just a few minutes of effort each day can keep people coming back for more information, relevant articles, resources or updates. Keeping your website engaging will help you stay in touch with your members and keep that community going strong.