YOUR WEBSITE IS UGLY!

Looking for a little take home knowledge from that awesome #NAMPC session about ugly websites? Of course you are and the panel speakers aren’t going to let you down.

They’ve hand-picked the choicest cuts of prime tips you should carry with you back to your office. Share and enjoy.

Ceci Dadisman
Ceci Dadisman

  • Be sure that you have a clear picture of what you want your new site to be able to do and what functionality you want it to have.
  • Take a look at some premium templates to see what can be done regarding site framework and also to get inspired.
  • Hire a WordPress professional to help you install the site, do any customization you need, and get it up and running.
  • Utilize the vast amount of plugins to add functionality to your site.
  • Remember that your site is now kinetic and can (and should) be updated often.

Kimberly Clark
Kimberly Clark

Content Strategy and Management Tips

  • Have a plan. Know your organization’s assets and use them.
  • Install Google Analytics and look at them regularly.
  • Get help. Find out who within your team is interested in social media, writing, technology, ect and make them responsible.
  • Schedule! Work smarter not harder.
  • Be diverse. Multi-media is your friend.
  • Have fun. Enjoy your content and your audience will too.

David Dombrosky

Embarking on a major overhaul of your website can seem overwhelming.  As you endeavor to revolutionize your ugly website, here are some tips to help you on your way:

  • Consider moving to an open-source CMS:  These stable platforms are free to download and offer robust features as well as a large community of developers upon whom to draw for implementation and support.
  • List everything you want your website to be able to do:  Take a “sky’s the limit” approach, but be specific and prioritize your list in order of need.
  • Draft an RFP with your specs:  Be sure to list your preference for an open source CMS, present your specs in a table format for easy reading, and include training for your staff in the scope of work.
  • Download Idealware’s Open Source CMS Report:  This will help you learn more about the most commonly used open source CMS systems and determine which one(s) may work for your needs – [ilink url=”http://www.idealware.org/reports/2010-os-cms” style=”note”]http://www.idealware.org/reports/2010-os-cms.[/ilink]
  • Identify CMS developers in your area: Use www.guru.com/CMS to search by location and/or CMS system(s).
  • Send your RFP to at least 5 developers: Give them a submission deadline, and ask them to highlight areas for potential cost savings in their proposals.
  • Schedule a Skype chat or phone call with each developer before making your decision: This will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions, gain clarity on any areas of concern within their proposals, and observe how well they communicate with prospective clients.

How To Lose Online Ticket Sales In Seven Simple Steps

Drew McManus
Drew McManus

<satire>Who has time to mess around with this online ticket fad? Listen, all your website is good for anyway is to put your print brochure and subscription order forms online as downloadable pdf files. So follow these seven simple steps and you’ll be rid of online ticket sales once and for all.</satire>

  • Step1) Don’t include direct buy links for upcoming events on the home page.
  • Step 2) Don’t include direct buy links on event index list pages or calendar widgets/pages.
  • Step 3) Always make ticket links land on a box office page listing all of your events.
  • Step 4) Never mention that subscription tickets are only available by calling the box office (let your website users scratch around on half a dozen pages to figure it out; it’s like a scavenger hunt – fun!).
  • Step 5) Always require registration to view available seats.
  • Step 6) Never, ever make the checkout process less than seven pages.
  • Step 7) Use as many Flash elements as possible in the conversion and checkout process.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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