Creating Great Orchestra Websites

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Creating Powerful Websites that Engage Audiences Michael Slater, CEO [email protected] 888.670.6793

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  • Creating Powerful Websites that Engage Audiences

    Michael Slater, [email protected]


  • Aspects of Website Creation

    Visual design Interaction design Content structure Ticket purchasing Donations Social media Search engine optimization


  • Technology and User Expectations Have Changed In the past few years, the web has become much

    more sophisticated Visitors expect easy-to-use, engaging sites They expect them to work on phones and tablets Most 5-year-old designs look dated

    Underlying technology has changed Flash no longer recommended, primarily due to iPad New opportunities with the latest web technology


  • Visual and Interaction Design

    Visual design How it looks Adapting to changing, diverse content

    Interaction design Navigation and browsing interfaces Photo and video galleries and slideshows Hiding and showing content (tabs, accordions, etc.) Ticket purchasing and donations Social media and commenting


  • Content Structure

    Information architecture How you structure and organize your content How users find what they want (nav, browse, search)

    Design the structure of your content independently of the pages you will present it on


    Performances Events Performers Blog Posts

  • Building Simple Websites

    Create each page using a web authoring tool Software you install, such as dreamweaver Hosted service with browser-based tools, such as

    SquareSpace or Weebly Problems with this approach

    Time-consuming to add pages Doesnt provide features like blog, calendar, database Hard to maintain consistency and preserve design



  • A Better Way: DB-Driven

    A single performance page can serve for all performances

    The database stores all the details about each performance Your staff enters the information into a form No need for technical skills No concern for page layout or styling when entering

    information Layout and styling determined by the single template page

    Painless consistency


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  • Many Ways to Connect With Your Audience

    Database of performancesAdmin


    Mobile Site

    Mobile App

    Social Media


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    Photos Easy to include throughout site Display as banners, slideshows, galleries Associate with artists, performances, facilities

    Videos Host on YouTube or Vimeo Embed on your site Organize using the database

    Audio Can be hosted on your site, with embedded player

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  • Ticket Purchasing

    Use a service focused on this function AudienceView, Veritix provide features needed for

    reserved seating, etc. Brown Paper Tickets, EventBrite for low cost

    A link to purchase tickets is stored in the sites database and turned into a button on your site

    Ticketing service will style its pages (more or less) to look like your website


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  • Taking Donations

    May be handled by ticket purchasing system Can easily accept donations via PayPal

    One-time Monthly (subscription)

    Consider how you are going to do follow-ups to donors Customer relationship management (CRM) system Ticketing special offers


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    Integrating Social Media

    Link to your Facebook and Twitter pages

    Make it easy for people to share your pages with share buttons

    Include Facebook Like widget to make it easy for them to like you on Facebook

    Blog posts can be automatically posted to Facebook and Twitter

  • Search Engine Optimization

    You want to show up prominently in search results The art and science of getting there is called SEO

    On-page optimization Build the site using best-practice technology, coding, writing

    Off-page optimization (link building and social media) Get lots of links from well-ranked sites covering related topics

    Achieving a great SEO position takes an investment and some time (commit to a 6-12 month plan) Once you get there, your site gets lots of free traffic


  • Choosing a Content Management System Lots of choices, so focus on type first

    Software you maintain, on a server you rent space on Open Source, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal Commercial, such as ExpressionEngine

    Hosted services provide CMS as a managed service Provider handles all the software maintenance, server admin, backups, etc. Fewer hassles and lower cost in the long run Simple sites:, SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix, LightCMS Sophisticated sites: Webvanta, Agility, Limelight, Vae Platform


  • Project Management

    The heart of a website project is the content Be sure you have the resources to collect, manage, and

    maintain it all Consider outsourcing the writing and collecting of

    images, videos, etc. Make sure staff is trained in how to add and change

    website content


  • Dont Neglect Mobile!

    Web access from smartphones is exploding Restaurants seeing 30% mobile traffic

    Tipping points are close, within 1-2 years: More than half of all phones sold in U.S. will be

    smartphones More than half of web traffic for entertainment and

    hospitality sites will come from mobile devices Requires modest additional investment


  • Tablets Are Semi-Mobile

    Tablets use mobile browsers and touch-based interfaces But are more often used at home

    10 tablets have desktop-like screen size Minor adjustments to desktop site

    7 tablets are small for desktop site May do better with mobile site


  • Do You Need a Mobile App?

    Your own mobile app is a great way to connect with your most dedicated fans

    Provides a semi-permanent place on users phone Can use the same content as the website Multiple platforms to consider supporting

    iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Mobile Phones and tablets


  • Getting Your Site Built

    Two major services: design and development May come from the same or different suppliers A quality site is a team effort Overall project management is also critical

    Freelancers are least expensive and can be great if you find the right person

    Web agencies bring a team, and typically a higher level of sophistication and experience


  • Getting Started

    Unless you have an expert as part of your team, find a consultant to work with you to define needs

    Once you have a document that clearly describes what you need, get proposals

    Be sure you are getting the level of strategy, technology, and project management you need, in addition to design


  • Wed Be Glad to Help!

    Webvanta offers strategy, specification, and site-building services

    Weve partnered with Athena Web Design to provide visual and interaction design for performing arts sites

    Call Justin at 888.670.6793 ext. 4 Or email [email protected]