Sep 13, 2021 • 6 min read
Building and launching a website for your youth sports club, league or team can be daunting. So daunting most organizations push it off as a future project to be tackled at a later date. But a professional, reliable website is a crucial part of operating a successful sports club or team. More importantly, it can mean the difference between attracting new members versus losing them.
Your website is where prospective members find information about your organization, where members go to register, where fans go to view schedules and results and so much more. It’s an informational hub for your sports league, club or team. Despite its importance, we know that the prospect of getting a new website off the ground is extremely intimidating. To help make searching and building a new website less stressful, we put together a guide on some of the most important parts of building and launching a new website, so you can feel more confident and comfortable before you even request a demo.
There are a ton of website builders out there, and it can be intimidating to sift through them all. Identifying the must-haves for your website in advance will make it easy to cross any potential solutions off your list during your evaluation process that don’t have what you need . Are aesthetics most important or is site reliability and functionality something you value more? Do you need a website building solution that is easy to learn, build and manage? Are integrations super important? These are all common components of a website that you may want to consider in your evaluation process.
How much time do you have to build your website? Is this a longer-term off-season project or do you have a tight deadline you need to stick to? A tight deadline might impact or change the direction you go with your website building software. If you have a shorter time window you may want to consider paying for your site to be built for you, to ensure you are able to meet your launch deadline. Look for website building providers who offer that service. At TeamSnap, we have a dedicated website build and design team for just this!
In addition to your timeline, ask yourself how much time you or your website developer/administrator have to build this website? How much time can realistically be dedicated to building and launching your site? This is an important factor to consider when purchasing a website builder and identifying who will actually do the building of your site.
Figuring out who will build your new website is imperative. One of the biggest reasons we see clubs or teams fail to launch a website is because they can’t find anyone to build it. Are there existing members of your organization who have website building experience? Co-opting assistance from parents, or college students in your community who are looking for resume experience is a great way to find website building help as well. However you select your builder, just make sure you have one before you purchase your new site. One of the biggest reasons we see website builds stall, or never get off the ground, is because a club or team can’t find someone to build their website.
Whether it’s you building your website, or another member within your team or club, be sure to set enough time aside dedicated to building your website. This may seem like an obvious tip, but calendars fill up quickly between work, sports schedules and anything else you might have on your plate. Allow yourself or your website builder plenty of time to get familiar and trial and error with the software you’ve chosen to build your site. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to build a website last minute and feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
You also don’t need to go it alone on this adventure, especially if it’s your first time using a website builder. Many website builder solutions offer online tutorials and help resources. At TeamSnap, we provide you with an online onboarding, dedicated resource articles and a website support team who can help you along the way.
Once your build is complete, be sure to test your new website out! The last thing you want on your brand new site is a broken link that takes you to a 404 error page. Test any and all buttons, pages and links you added to ensure they work as expected. Don’t forget to check your site on a mobile device as many of your visitors will be accessing your website from their phones or tablets.
Have an existing custom domain or a newly purchased domain? Awesome! You can absolutely connect it, but we always recommend completing this step last. By connecting your custom domain last, you can ensure that no one searches or accesses your website by that domain before it’s launched, directing visitors to an incomplete website – yikes! Take advantage of the default URL your website builder solution gives you. Because no one has access to that URL, you can build your whole website out behind closed doors.
Once your website has been tested and passed all the tests with flying colors, it’s time to promote it. Send a message out to your entire organization through TeamSnap, or other club or team management software announcing the launch. Share it on social media. Tell all your friends and family about it!
If you’re in the market for a new website, TeamSnap’s Website Builder seamlessly integrates with TeamSnap for Clubs & Leagues and our world-class team app to connect all aspects of managing your club and teams. We also offer custom website design and building services if you want us to do the heavy lifting. Chat with a TeamSnap rep today to learn about your options and get going.