What is it?
Berkshire Scouts now offers a free and easy to use website package. This is customisable to your requirements, but typically includes a domain registration, web space, email hosting, a website template in the new Berkshire brand and full content management making it easy to update by volunteers within the group.
Example Site & Feedback
Our "guinea pig" group was 13th Maidenhead - with the new website package they managed to get a great new website online in no time. To view the site, visit www.13thmaidenhead.org.uk.
Feedback from the GSL, David Harding
Why did I reach out?
Our existing website was proprietary and dependent upon one or two people to keep up to date, in terms of look and feel as well as content. As you can see from www.13th.org.uk, the look and feel is not fresh and the content is (trust me!) out of date. To keep up to date was a hassle and if we ever wanted to make changes to the look and feel then this was a big job. This approach frankly is not sustainable for a volunteer organisation. I therefore wanted to find a solution that represented the fresh look and feel of the Scout brand and was easy to maintain.
What did we do?
Using the shell of the county website we determined what the most important components are of a website. These being:
• Background to 13th (home page)
• An area for each section
• How to Join
• Where we meet
• What the program is
• Links to district, county and national resources
These we easily achieved with a consistent image with the county website whilst also adding some customisation for 13th Maidenhead – Splat logo and 80th Anniversary badge.
On top of this I have begun to add "nice to have pages" like a trading post. Also on the horizon will be some picture gallery pages.
Things to think about
Remember a website might look good but if the content is out of date then people will not come back.
Think about what you need a website for. Is it to attract new members or inform existing members? Probably both so try and think about how your website looks and the content you display from both sides.
As previously mentioned the challenge now is to maintain the site. From an administration perspective the county have easy to use tools to help load / create pages etc. Each section can be responsible for their own pages if needs be. The message is that the county resource is flexible. We have not yet decided whether one person should have overall editorial rights or not. There is nothing worse than spelling mistakes and poor grammar though.
I recommend you to take up the county’s offer to help with your group websites. They are a good bunch to work with and know what they are doing. If you have an old, tired looking website then these guys can get you up and running within weeks. They offer a truly sustainable web site service and all the groups have to do is make sure the content is up to date and representative of the image we want to portray as Scouts.
What do I do next?
For more information or to take advantage of this offer, get in touch the Web Team to arrange a meeting. We are extremely flexible so please don't hesitate to ask questions - we can almost always find a solution which works for you.
For basic support on using the sub hosting system, click here. For more information, contact the Web Team.