Creating powerful websites that engage audiences

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  • Creating powerful websites that engage audiences

    1. 1. Creating Powerful Websites that Engage Audiences Michael Slater, CEO michael@webvanta.com 888.670.6793 www.webvanta.com
    2. 2. Aspects of Website • Visual design • Interaction design • Content structure • Ticket purchasing • Donations • Social media • Search engine optimization 2
    3. 3. Technology and User• In the past few years, the web has become much more sophisticated – Visitors expect easy-to-use, engaging sites – They expect them to work on phones and tablets – Most 5-year-old designs look dated• Underlying technology has changed – Flash no longer recommended, primarily due to iPad – New opportunities with the latest web technology 3
    4. 4. Visual and Interaction• Visual design – How it looks – Adapting to changing, diverse content• Interaction design – Navigation and browsing interfaces – Photo and video galleries and slideshows – Hiding and showing content (tabs, accordions, etc.) – Ticket purchasing and donations – Social media and commenting 4
    5. 5. Content Structure• Information architecture – How you structure and organize your content – How users find what they want (nav, browse, search)• Design the structure of your content independently of the pages you will present it onPerformances Events Performers Blog Posts 5
    6. 6. Building Simple Websites• Create each page using a web authoring tool – Software you install, such as dreamweaver – Hosted service with browser-based tools, such as SquareSpace or Weebly• Problems with this approach – Time-consuming to add pages – Doesn’t provide features like blog, calendar, database – Hard to maintain consistency and preserve design integrity 6
    7. 7. A Better Way: DB-Driven• A single “performance” page can serve for all performances• The database stores all the details about each performance – Your staff enters the information into a form – No need for technical skills – No concern for page layout or styling when entering information• Layout and styling determined by the single template page – Painless consistency 7
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    13. 13. Many Ways to Connect Website Mobile Site Database of Admin performances Mobile App Social Media 13
    14. 14. Media• Photos – Easy to include throughout site – Display as banners, slideshows, galleries – Associate with artists, performances, facilities• Videos – Host on YouTube or Vimeo – Embed on your site – Organize using the database• Audio – Can be hosted on your site, with embedded player 14
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    16. 16. Ticket Purchasing• Use a service focused on this function – AudienceView, Veritix provide features needed for reserved seating, etc. – Brown Paper Tickets, EventBrite for low cost• A link to purchase tickets is stored in the site’s database and turned into a button on your site• Ticketing service will style its pages (more or less) to look like your website 16
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    19. 19. Taking Donations• May be handled by ticket purchasing system• Can easily accept donations via PayPal – One-time – Monthly (subscription)• Consider how you are going to do follow-ups to donors – Customer relationship management (CRM) system – Ticketing special offers 19
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    21. 21. Integrating Social Media• Link to your Facebook and Twitter pages• Make it easy for people to share your pages with share buttons• Include Facebook “Like” widget to make it easy for them to like you on Facebook• Blog posts can be automatically posted to Facebook and Twitter 21
    22. 22. Search Engine• You want to show up prominently in search results – The art and science of getting there is called SEO• On-page optimization – Build the site using best-practice technology, coding, writing• Off-page optimization (link building and social media) – Get lots of links from well-ranked sites covering related topics• Achieving a great SEO position takes an investment and some time (commit to a 6-12 month plan) – Once you get there, your site gets lots of free traffic 22
    23. 23. Choosing a Content• Lots of choices, so focus on type first – Software you maintain, on a server you rent space on • Open Source, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal • Commercial, such as ExpressionEngine – Hosted services provide CMS as a managed service • Provider handles all the software maintenance, server admin, backups, etc. • Fewer hassles and lower cost in the long run • Simple sites: WordPress.com, SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix, LightCMS • Sophisticated sites: Webvanta, Agility, Limelight, Vae Platform 23
    24. 24. Project Management• The heart of a website project is the content – Be sure you have the resources to collect, manage, and maintain it all• Consider outsourcing the writing and collecting of images, videos, etc.• Make sure staff is trained in how to add and change website content 24
    25. 25. Don’t Neglect Mobile!• Web access from smartphones is exploding – Restaurants seeing 30% mobile traffic• Tipping points are close, within 1-2 years: – More than half of all phones sold in U.S. will be smartphones – More than half of web traffic for entertainment and hospitality sites will come from mobile devices• Requires modest additional investment 25
    26. 26. Tablets Are Semi-Mobile• Tablets use mobile browsers and touch-based interfaces – But are more often used at home• 10” tablets have desktop-like screen size – Minor adjustments to desktop site• 7” tablets are small for desktop site – May do better with mobile site 26
    27. 27. Do You Need a Mobile• Your own mobile app is a great way to connect with your most dedicated fans• Provides a semi-permanent place on user’s phone• Can use the same content as the website• Multiple platforms to consider supporting – iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Mobile – Phones and tablets 27
    28. 28. Getting Your Site Built• Two major services: design and development – May come from the same or different suppliers – A quality site is a team effort – Overall project management is also critical• Freelancers are least expensive and can be great if you find the right person• Web agencies bring a team, and typically a higher level of sophistication and experience 28
    29. 29. Getting Started• Unless you have an expert as part of your team, find a consultant to work with you to define needs• Once you have a document that clearly describes what you need, get proposals• Be sure you are getting the level of strategy, technology, and project management you need, in addition to design 29
    30. 30. We’d Be Glad to Help!• Webvanta offers strategy, specification, and site- building services• We’ve partnered with Athena Web Design to provide visual and interaction design for performing arts sites• Call Justin at 888.670.6793 ext. 4 – Or email sales@webvanta.com 30

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