The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

Should You Tell Your Website Vendor Your Budget?

Posted by Chris Bonney on Tue, Sep 29, 2015


As a technology provider for associations for over 15 years, we've seen quite a few RFPs in our day. Some written well, some not so much. Some with a very clearly articulated purpose, some rambling with little sense of what they are really asking for. And to be honest, these things are not deal-breakers by any stretch. 

What is a huge help, however, in the RFP process is to know what your budget is for the website redesign project you're requesting. 

Ha! You're saying. Of course, you want the budget so that you can bid right up to the penny and squeeze every dollar out of our organization for the least amount of work. Okay....maybe you're not saying that exactly, but you may still feel it's prudent and a best practice to get the best price from all vendors before sharing your budget. Or maybe even still not sharing the budget at that point. 

And we totally understand your reasoning. But...

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Topics: RFP, association website design, budget

5 Easy Content Hacks For Your Association Website

Posted by Chris Bonney on Wed, Jul 15, 2015

Content is king on your association website. We just established that last month

So, then if that's true, how do we keep content churning online for your organization?

How do we make sure search engines find you relevant and your members find you indispensable?

If you're a large organization with a content team, you may have a handle on this, but if you're a strapping smaller staffed organization who wants some ideas on how to publish great content fast, check out this list of 5 great ways to creatively re-purpose existing content and/or re-think where your content can come from.

The effect? Dazzle your members instantly!

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Topics: content strategy, association websites

Content is King! Make it Regal with 3 Questions for Your Association Website.

Posted by Chris Bonney on Tue, Jun 16, 2015

While some say that content is King (and we agree), there are questions your content needs to answer before it can wear the crown.

Don’t be confused by thinking just any ol’ content can be considered King - or even Prince. Convert pauper content to instant royalty by applying these 3 questions to every word, image, feed or video on your association website today.

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Topics: web governance, content strategy, association websites

How To Work With Your Website Vendor For A Winning Association Website

Posted by Chris Bonney on Wed, May 20, 2015

Websites, email marketing, membership software, and online event registration are the bricks that pave the road to Internet success for most associations. Members expect to be served online, and your staff relies on being connected to headquarters from virtually anywhere.

Of course, as your technology needs grow, so does the reliance on your technology vendor. And if your technology vendor isn't responsive or isn't speaking your language, that road to success can go from smooth to bumpy in a hurry.

If you've found your organization struggling to sync up with your technology supplier, fear not: There is good news. Below are five key success factors to help you build or renew a positive relationship with your technology vendor.

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Topics: Vendor Relations, association technology, association websites

7 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Association Website

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Tue, Apr 21, 2015

Spring is in the air! It’s time to open the windows, dust every inch of our homes, clean the drapes, exhaust the stale winter indoors drudgery and usher in a fresh, clean spring experience.

With all this cleaning going on, we asked our team for some suggestions on how to freshen up the spaces where we spend all our time — association websites.  Here are their top tips... 

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Implementing Website Governance for Associations

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Wed, Apr 08, 2015

Today’s guest post is by Shane Diffily. Shane has over 15 years' experience in Web Governance & online operations. As author of the first practical guide to Web Governance ("The Website Manager's Handbook"), Shane has also been published by A List Apart, Smartinsights & Forrester Research. For free Web Governance downloads and resources, visit


Web Governance is a discipline that describes how to manage an online presence in a controlled and orderly way.  Put simply, web governance describes:

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Topics: web governance, best practices

Content Strategy Lessons from Lego: Everything is Awesome. Especially your content.

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

Everything is awesome
Everything is cool when you're part of a team
Everything is awesome when we're living our dream

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The Homepage Is Dead. Make Every Website Page a Homepage.

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Wed, Mar 11, 2015

One of my favorite Google Analytics stats is the “Landing Pages” report which shows what pages visitors see first when they come to your site. It’s tucked in there under Behavior>Site Content. Go ahead and take a look.

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Topics: best practices, association websites

3 Ways To Improve Your Association Website's Site Search Today

Posted by Chris Bonney on Tue, Feb 10, 2015

We're a Google-ized world.

Our years of interviewing association members has lead us to many interesting anecdotal revelations about how association can build more meaningful websites. The most revealing truth is that most association members don't turn to their association's website when they want industry information. 

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New Years Resolutions for Association Websites

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Mon, Jan 05, 2015

The new year's fresh start gives us an opportunity to regroup, refresh and recommit. Many create personal resolutions such as being healthy or making time for family. But what about professional resolutions?

For web managers, the new year is also a chance to take a fresh look at their website and make resolutions to better their organization’s most visible asset. So with an eye on the future, here are our top resolutions for every staffer managing or working with their association’s website.

Commit to Steady, Incremental Content Improvements

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Topics: web governance, web operations, association websites

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