A website is a great way to tell the world about your club and also a chance to keep your members updated. Get it right and you’ll be top of the league.
1. Setting up a website may seem daunting, but with all the help available online it can be quite simple. You can sign up online for a free website or pay a subscription for a site with more features. There are specialist companies offering sports club websites, but ensure you read the terms and conditions – and are comfortable with these – before you sign up. There are various companies that offer free web hosting, such as, The FA’s FULL-TIME website (offering free administration tools for leagues), clubwebsite.com, Mitoo.com etc.
For some websites, you may need to invest in some web publishing software for your computer. This software will allow you to write and publish articles, upload pictures and display documents. You’ll need software that is suitable for your PC or Mac. Do a web search to compare prices and read consumer reviews, or ask for advice in your local computer hardware stores.
2. Consider whether you will have two elements to your website, a ‘closed doors’ area for club members to find information, download pictures etc. and a ‘public’ area for current parents, players and general visitors to the site.
3. Identify a member of your club to have responsibility for your website. They should be online, IT literate and ideally have completed The FA’s Safeguarding Children Workshop if you have youth teams. They may need to invest in some time up front to get a website launched, but updating each week will be simple and can be relatively quick.
4. Clubs and leagues are responsible for ensuring all content hosted on their websites, social network pages and any associated message boards or blogs abide by the Rules and Regulations of The Football Association.
5. Agree a plan for what you would like to include on the website. Players and parents will love to see pen pics, photos and match reports online. Club officials can use the site to give announcements and post registration forms. Make sure you read the helpful Dos and Don’ts section in the Website safety guidelines below if you are planning to feature articles and pictures of under-18s or vulnerable adults.
Think about your website look. This should be consistent with your club’s overall look, with the same colours where possible and the club crest.