Common Mistakes Found on Club Websites

by Janice Sadler

As the GFWC Virginia Web Designer I am often asked to provide a link from our state website to a club website.  I'm delighted to do so and the state website has a special "Links" page to link our club women to clubs and many worthy organizations.  I want all our club women to be connected and informed.   When our club women are looking on the internet for information, they want it to be current and accurate. 
 
Occasionally I surf to your club website to test the link, check out your web setup, or judge the site for the state awards.  I've seen some neat graphics, terrific photographs, spiffy calendars with linked data, and some excellent profiles.  I've also seen some data that was 2 years old, no email contact available,  the old VFWC emblem, the old state name, or no state affiliation/emblem.  I want to share with you some of the most frequent mistakes I have found on club websites: 
  • No club affiliation found.  List your club's affliction with GFWC at www.gfwc.org and GFWC Virginia at www.gfwcvirginia.org

  • VFWC is listed as the state organization.  It should be GFWC Virginia  or General Federation of Women's Clubs of Virginia.

  • No state emblem is shown.  You can go to the www.gfwcvirginia.org site to copy the emblem.  (Point--right click--save as)

  • The old VFWC emblem is still displayed.  Visit the  GFWC Virginia site and copy the new emblem.

  • No revision date is shown.  Display a revision date at the bottom of every page.  This lets the viewer know how fresh the data is on that page.

  • Data on the website was one or two years old.  UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE.  Officers and chairmen should check the website for accuracy on a regular basis.  Don't forget the website when club officers and chairmen change.  Passwords and setup information must be documented.

  • Spelling mistakes were made.  Use your "spell check" tool and your club officers and chairmen.

  • No calendar found.  This is not necessary but extremely helpful to your club members, especially big clubs with many computer literate members.

  • Links don't work and pictures don't display.  Test your links from other computers.  Get your members to test your website from their computers. 

  • Only part of the page shows.  Different size monitors and different browsers show different things!  Get your members to test your website from their computers.

  • No contact link found.  Show an email contact on EVERY web page.

  • Contact email bounces back in error.  Make sure that the contact person checks their email DAILY and their email link is ALWAYS up to date and typed accurately.

Now go visit your club website and see if you have any of these problems.  Remember it is not the size of your website that counts, it's the accuracy and timely material that matters most.  A one page website can be just as effective as a ten page site if you avoid the above mistakes.