Site Should be Optimized for Viewing on Various Media: Modern site design requires a “responsive” website. As recently as just a few years ago, no one imagined the extent to which people would be accessing websites today through mobile phones and tablets. If you view a responsive site on your PC, you will see that when you drag the browser to make the window smaller, the site rearranges to optimize viewing based upon the size of the screen. A responsive site works perfectly on tablets and cell phones. This does not equate to what used to be referred to as a “mobile site.” A mobile site is a different site, often stripped down, that displays when a visitor uses a mobile device. A responsive site offers the same content, just optimized for the particular device which may be used to display it.
SEO Optimization: The site must be SEO ( search engine optimized) enhanced. That means that the titles and various pages have links that are in plain English and thus more easily found by major search engines.
Front End Editing of Content: A large part of what you see on a comprehensive web site is in the form of “articles.” Administrators of a site, people in the office, or other people who create content should be able to log in and create and edit edit articles directly from the front end.
Member Submissions: If an organization has members, the the members (or some subset of them) should be able to submit proposed content. When an authorized user/member logs in, he or she will see an option to submit an article. They can create a proposed article. The administrator will receive notification of that proposed article. It will not be published until it is approved.
Facebook Integration: A modern site should automatically feeds in new entries from the Facebook page of the organization. When the Facebook page is updated, anything new will be reflected on the site immediately.
Other Social Media Sharing: Content should be easily shareable to social media. We can design the site to automatically include social media share buttons.
Sermon sharing: A church or faith site should have a component that lists sermons by name, subject, speaker etc. and allows linking of sermons so that they can be viewed on the site.
Online Donations and payments: A church or other nonprofit site should include a capability for members and others to donate online. People like the convenience of credit cards for lots of reasons, including for their own record keeping. If an organization has a payment processor (it should), then the site can accommodate donations, not just for the general fund, but for particular ministries or activities. The site will keep the records of the donors.
Membership: The site should be capable of completely managing membership functions. That means that certain areas can be reserved for members. The site can allow for members to be placed in a particular “group” which has different rights from the public,
Document download: A site like this should permit the sharing of documents in articles and a repository. It’s possible to limit downloads to particular groups (members, public etc.)
Member Directory: A modern site for a membership organization should be capable of accommodating a member directory. Visitors can access practice area listings and a regular alphabetical list of members.Members should be able to edit their own entries seamlessly without our intervention. Once they login, they will see an option next to their own entries to edit those entries.
Member Mailings Can Be Handled by the Website Itself: The site should handle member mailings. In other words, as long as you enter all the members information initially, you should be able to login on the front end and create a wonderfully pre-formatted newsletter type mailing which will be sent to all the members when you say so. That mailing can easily include links to the various locations on the site, images and all kinds of other good things. There is no reason to be sending mass mailings out using Outlook or anything like that. Your website should handle all of that now. The mailing template I have designed is “responsive.” That means it alters shape for optimized viewing on phones, tablets or desktops.
The site should accommodate multiple newsletters. For example, one for members only, one for any member of the public who chooses to ask to receive mailings.
The newsletters should have a simple “unsubscribe” link.
Member Forum: A modern site can have a sophisticated forum. That forum could have accessed controlled so that it would accessible only by members. Members may subscribe to the forum and get email notifications of new postings.
Archives: Articles that may not be current can now be put in an archive section.
Security Enhanced: Websites are constantly under attack by hackers. Site security should be enhanced with latest malware prevention solutions.
Commerce Sites: Commerce sites (which accomodate the buying and selling of goods and services) can include all of the above, but such sites require many additional considerations which we will separately address.