How to design a Toastmasters Club Website
You now have access to your Toastmasters club website … now what?
I remember receiving admin access to Free Toast Host and learning how to navigate designing the home page, updating links in the left side-bar, adding new members, creating and managing agendas. It may be overwhelming at first trying to figure everything out. Luckily there was a training session one Friday night before one of the District Conference meetings.
During this meeting Tim Mullins, DTM trained a group of us how to edit pages, add photos and answered everyone’s questions. The best part about this session was that he was there as an expert and could show someone how to figure things our right there in person on their computer.
While in that training it dawned on me, what the most valuable information I could update in that moment that would be valuable to guests and members visiting the website?
This question was extremely valuable in getting focused.
If you get too caught up in everything imaginable, you may not start and feel it’s too much to handle. It’s very easy to focus on advanced features vs. getting started with the basics.
Building Your Toastmasters Club Website – Where to start?
Ask what questions would a visitor ask about your club when finding it online?
- When do you meet?
- What time do you meet?
- Where do you meet?
- Do you meet online or in person?
When these questions came to mind, it was clear this needed to be the information on the club home page and easy to find for new guests.
Once I had those questions, during that training session … rather than figuring out all the cool advanced features, I created this page you see above. Imagine you’re a new person looking for a Toastmasters Club and you land on this page. It’s easy to find all the club information right at the top of the page. Slightly below that information, I’ve included my email and phone number.
Now your first thought is, well that doesn’t look very advanced. And you’re right … it’s very basic. It’s very basic and easy for new visitors and returning visitors to find. Below that information, you’ll have an opportunity to talk about your club and include photos.
Club Webstes – What to include on your home page?
You’ll notice at the very top of the page “Non-Zappos Employees Welcome.” The reason this is right there at the top of the page is that it was the most common questions I would receive on my voicemail, text messages, and emails. If there is a question that comes up often, be sure to answer it on your home page. You may also want to include a FAQ page.
FreeToastHost is doing an amazing job including valuable features to support your Toastmasters Club. You just have to dedicate the time to learn how to update your club website. Once you have that mastered, you can explore all the amazing features for managing members, agendas and sending emails. It’s all there. You can also add your Google Analytics tracking code for those of you with a little of experience working with websites. If you ever get in a pinch, just Google your questions.
“freetoast host how to _______”
You can also access experts for support here at FreeToasthost.com
This post was to get you started with FreeToastHost and share what important information to include on your club website.
Why Use WordPress for Your Toastmaster website?
All of my clubs use FreeToastHost as it’s the primary platform for club websites. Our District 115 website and ZToasters.com site, however was created on WordPress to have more flexibility with the design. Ztoasters.org we were using it for our members while the WordPress site Ztoasters.com was for prospecting new members. This allowed the messaging to be more focused on the target audience, members vs. potential guests and new members.
For more information about WordPress sites, be sure to check out the WordPress Theme I used for D115tm.org and Ztoasters.com
Wish you the best!