Every PTA has the same challenge: How can I make my website an effective portal for my members? PTAs need a strong website presence for members and other visitors to enhance our brand as the premier source for relevant information for children, their families and schools.
Your PTA website should generally look and feel like the audience you desire to attract. If you do not have the budget to pay a web design firm to create your site, you can use one of the three top free site-building applications:
- Drupal: More advanced level, web developer friendly
- Joomla: Intermediate level, not as user-friendly
- WordPress: Easy to use, good for blogging
We also recommend that you use our National PTA Visual Identity Standards to help extend our brand to your PTA website. This demonstrates a continuity of information and message. Incorporate your PTA colors and branding as well. Also consider your strategy. As a general practice, use images and settings that show diversity and inclusion.
Even if you do not have a professional website, an organized website will give your visitors a positive user experience. Your members want easy access to the information they need. If visitors cannot find that important information, they will leave your site without accessing your resources or knowing what events and benefits your PTA offers. Organize your website so there are clear sections and consistency throughout the site. The best ways to accomplish this are to:
- Establish a solid site map - or content outline - of your website. Start by creating approximately six key topic areas, which will be the main sections of your website. Whenever you need to add new content or new sections to your website, you will be able to take the existing hierarchy into consideration by glancing at your site map.
- We recommend the following six main sections for your website:
- News & Events. Include your events, news releases and media coverage, as well as National PTA news and events.
- Advocacy. Share information on your PTA’s advocacy efforts and include National PTA resources.
- Programs. List various local and National PTA programs and resources.
- Members. Information for members only, including resources and tools to manage and grow a PTA.
- Parents. Provide tips and resources for families to use for their child and encourage participation in their local PTA.
- Schools. Offer partnership opportunities and resources for teachers and schools in educating children and encouraging family engagement.
- Create a global navigation bar, so wherever your members/visitors go on your site, they can easily navigate content.
- Make sure your search engine works and is easy to find. All content should be searchable from a common area, such as at the top right of each webpage.
Make sure your links are up-to-date and that you remove past events and dated information quickly. This diligence will give you credibility. Plus, your members will be interested in what you have to offer and will most likely share it with others. Here are some tips on how to keep your web content current:
- Check the National PTA website, where you can access these helpful resources:
- Conferences & Events
- Local Leader Resources
- Popular Content on PTA.org
- Press Center
- State Leader Resources
- Keep track of all of your events and when they end.
- Make sure your materials are as small and compressed as possible to allow users to download your content as quickly as possible.
- Integrate your site with social media.