Homeowners associations (HOAs) across the country have been embracing modern technological solutions for keeping track of members, payments, events, activities, and more in ever-increasing numbers for the past few years. These days, most people prefer to be able to pay dues, check out the event calendar, and communicate with other HOA members from the comfort of their homes. Having a stellar HOA website is the key to making sure that they can do that.
The problem is that very few HOA leaders also happen to be professional web designers. Thankfully, though, there’s a solution. Read on to find out how to use simple templates to create the perfect homeowners association website design.
Why Use Templates?
Before discussing web design best practices, let’s take a moment to discuss general options. HOA leaders can:
- Hire expensive web designers
- Try to program their own sites
- Use pre-made templates for easy site design
Unless the HOA happens to have members that are familiar with coding, graphic design, and the many other essentials of web design, or the members want to pay extra dues to hire a professional, using pre-made templates is the obvious solution. HOA templates are customizable to allow users plenty of freedom to get everything right, from themes to functional features, and using them requires no coding knowledge.
Including All the Basics
It can help to sit down for a brainstorming session before even opening up the web designer. Try to make a list of all the features required to run the HOA smoothly and ensure an optimal member experience. Although every HOA is different, the basics tend to include:
- Easy-to-use dashboards
- Private chat rooms
- Dynamic calendars
- Custom forms
- Email access
- Event planning features
- Member forums
The good news for HOA administrators is that these features should all be easy to add to a website, and each of them comes with appropriate templates.
The Importance of Intuitive Navigation
Even the most beautiful website won’t do an HOA any good if members can’t figure out how to use it. Keeping the site’s menu structure simple is important, so try to make sure that all of the site’s key features can be accessed by members from the menu with no more than two clicks. It can help to pre-plan where all of the information can go by creating a site map.
Showcasing the Brand
A professional HOA website will showcase its brand image. The process starts with creating a member-friendly, well-designed, and attractive site that features the HOA’s logo at the top of each page. Including an “about us” page that is accessible to non-members is also a must for any HOA that’s looking to attract new residents.
Although HOA administrators will most likely access the site from desktop computers, most members will use their mobile phones. Make sure that the website can accommodate mobile devices and that all text, images, videos, and other visual aids look just as good on a smartphone as they do on a laptop screen.
Find the Right Website Builder
Having the right site-building tools and templates is the key to success when it comes to creating beautiful websites without coding knowledge. Look for easy-to-follow instructions and live support to avoid getting left in the lurch if anything goes wrong.