2005 was a pretty rough year. We had Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and eleven Asian countries were just starting to recover from the Tsunami. There were some bright spots though. Gwen Stefani had the number two song of the year with Hollaback Girl, Green Day hit with Wake Me Up When September Ends and your new website was spectacular… Amazing even.
Fast forward 11 years and here we are. And there is your website. It is looking a little wrinkly, a little old, and it kinda is smelling like moth balls.
Wanna make matters worse? On January 11, 2017, Google confirmed that they were rolling out the mobile intrusive interstitials penalty. In short, your awesome 2005 website is going to start hurting your search results which will start hurting your bottom line. That technological marvel is no longer marvelous and now your association or conference is going to take a financial hit because no one knows what to do. Relax there sparky, all hope is not lost. You can actually recover from this without breaking your annual operating budget.
Part one of the answer is WordPress and the second part is a responsive design.
WordPress has come a long way in the past few years and is now the CMS (Content Management System) of choice for many conferences and associations around the world. In fact, it powers almost 30% of the websites on the globe and it runs 98% of the conference and association sites that we create (all but one). Our little WordPress is all growed up and is no longer just a builder for bloggers and weirdos with tinfoil hats.
WordPress is so easy to use now, that anyone can do it. You have the power to update your site at will. Change the look and feel. No more waiting for your web designer to get back from the Bahamas. You want it done, you can do it.
But what is this responsive thing-a-ma-jiggy that we speak of? Responsive Design is the art of making a website resize itself for whatever device it is running on. Copy the link to this post… Open it on your phone or on your PC, or MAC, or Tablet… It is like freaking magic. It just works and your website can work the same way and luckily, WordPress is built to be responsive right out of the wrapper.
But what does it do for you? Well, anyone involved in association marketing or conference planning should know that next to email, the web is the most effective way to communicate with your attendees and members. Yes, social media plays a part, but the goal of social is to drive people to your website and when they get there, members and attendees want a rich experience across all of their devices whether it is a PC, a Mac, a Tablet, a Hybrid, or a Phone. They want to click a link and get where they are going as fast as possible.
To help you on your way, here is a checklist on responsive design from our Friends over at CyberChimps.