LinkedIn Facebook Twitter  
April 13, 2016  

April 2016 Newsletter

Table of Contents 

By  Julie Kennon
While we don’t claim to be experts on industry trends, we can often spot hot-button issues just by looking through the RFPs we see. If the thought of integration or incorporating your associations’ chapter sites keeps you up at night, you’re not alone. Here’s our take on notoriously tricky parts of a website redesign:

Integration…Always a Headache?

At Hodgson, we feel as though integration is our middle name. Every project that comes our way needs some level of integration, and clients are always asking how we’re going to do it and how we’re going to make sure it’s pretty much invisible to users.

When we’re integrating a Content Management System (CMS) with any third-party system (whether it’s an Association Management System [AMS], an event calendar, a Customer Relationship Management [CRM] tool or other platform), our goals are consistent and simple:

  • We want to offer a simple and seamless user experience; one in which users don’t need to hunt down content or enter their login credentials more than once.
  • Members must be able to access their account or profile pages and have the ability to make updates, payments, and register themselves for events, all through an easy-to-use interface.

It takes careful planning, a lot of testing and a cooperative relationship to successfully integrate third-party systems with a CMS. It takes a partner with a wealth of experience and a history of success. It’s Hodgson’s goal to present to clients a site so well integrated that it’s not apparent where one system ends and the other begins.

If your integration needs haven’t been met, or you’re getting feedback that your website isn’t as user friendly as you’d like, contact us. We’ll take a look and see if we can smooth some of the rough edges for you!

Chapter Websites

If you’re an organization with many chapters, you may be wondering how to consolidate your online presence while allowing your chapters to have some autonomy and their own unique identities. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In servicing association clients, we’re often asked to create a “home” website and then multiple chapter websites. These are often used to showcase chapter events, communicate with members and provide easily accessible, centralized information. In producing chapter sites, we focus on consistent design for branding success, and flexibility so that chapters can have individualized identities. Best practices dictate that site features include:

  • Easy-to-use tools
  • Professional design
  • Custom content for each chapter (this can follow consistent categories, such as contact information, event plugins, full event page, calendar functionality, mission statement)
  • Photo galleries, if required
  • Customizable headers for local chapter photos 

When developed properly, chapter websites contribute to your branding efforts and expand your reach on the web. Don’t overlook the power of these chapter micro sites to help build your organization!

Closeted Nerds, Rejoice!

Oh, OmniUpdate, we love you. Thanks for giving all of us Clark Kents a reason to indulge our nerdy side. The Third Annual 2016 OmniUpdate Gadget Challenge is on, and we’re chomping at the bit to design a new gadget. Haven’t heard of this fun contest? Just come up with an idea for a gadget that would simplify, improve or expedite your web content management tasks. In other words, think about what drives you crazy, and how you’d fix it if you had a team of developers at your service.  Submit your idea in April and then head back to the site to vote in May – the winning gadget will be announced in June!