Association websites are gathering places for professionals to share and promote themselves. At Orbit, we bring all your members together. A professional association website has to serve multiple members with different access points and different goals for using the site. They list events and conferences, promote their members, promote their industry, and are a place for experts to share information and publish work.
Creating a website that serves all these functions can be a challenge. Look at a few examples to see which features these websites share, and how Orbit solves the problems of association websites.
For good reason, association websites often include a member directory that helps connect website visitors to people within the association.
We create this directory by combining experience with customization.
Member databases are the central place where an association can manage all member information. In an ideal world, some of this system data is available publicly on the association’s site—and it gets there automatically.
The one-way stream of communication saves the time and energy of manually moving information from the association’s database to the website database.
Or take it a step further: If a member’s contact information changes, allow her to log in and make updates herself (rather than contacting the association). When members manage their own profiles, it creates two-way communication between the databases, saving the association time.
The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) sets the standards for rehabilitation counselors. In addition to keeping standards high, they maintain a database of thousands of certified counselors.
This group needed a website that would connect visitors to counselors with various specialties and language skills. For example: Need a mental health expert who speaks Bengali?
We created the tools to open that two-way communication because it’s great when databases get along. The website grabs updated member information from the database; the database grabs member information that was updated on the website.
If your association website needs to be a database itself, it takes is little more planning and a little more programming. But thoughtful strategy and a strong development team enhance the possibilities.
A few of the features (beyond member directories) that we’ve built into association websites are event calendars, event registration, membership dues, member profiles, articles and job postings.
Since 2001, the Orbit web design and development team has been creating custom sites and managing tricky integrations. We’re content management experts and work closely with web strategists and project managers to create your perfect site.