The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

7 Simple Tricks to Increase Engagement on your Association Website Today

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, Oct 20, 2017

Having a great looking, functional website is one thing. (And an important thing). But the true test for an association is finding a way to not only get your members to visit your site, but to keep them engaged once they get there. 

If you haven't considered any of these 7 tricks, you should. 

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Topics: vanguard technology, association websites, engagement, online communities

Vanguard Client Spotlight: Associations in the News

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Tue, Feb 05, 2013

We love what we do at Vanguard Technology.  It’s not just building websites for any company, it’s building websites for associations.  ASAE has highlighted the great work that associations do through their Power of A campaign. But as an association industry partner, where do we fit in? As I tell team members when they start at our company… we don’t change the world. But our clients do.

I was reminded of this while catching up on my reading a few days ago and saw an article on GigaOM titled “Robodocs? Tricorders? How telemedicine will shape the future of health.”  The article points out:

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Topics: vanguard technology, association website design, associations

Using Sitefinity: A First Time User's Perspective

Posted by Chris Bonney on Thu, Sep 13, 2012

This guest post is by Alicia Leonard, Vanguard’s Online Community Specialist, who we recently drafted to migrate a few client websites.  Since this was the first time she had ever used the Sitefinity Content Management System (CMS), we asked her to write about her impressions as a new user and former association manager.

In today’s day and age, you’re nobody without a website.  People can’t find you, don’t know what you do, or why you do it.  Without it, you just don’t rank against competitors with an established, robust internet presence.  Associations and non-profits used to be immune to this phenomenon, but this has begun to apply to them as well.

What to do?  Associations are strapped for cash, time and people.  Websites are expensive.  They take people and man-hours, and both are already spread thin. In my short time using Sitefinity, I see how its simplicity and user-friendliness makes it a perfect solution for associations. This product is so easy to use, it enables an organization to have a first class, dynamic and professional website without specialized, technical staff.

Sure, I know this sounds like a well-practiced sales pitch. But let me assure you, I have seen other website content management solutions out there. It’s not pretty.  In my previous life working in one of those short-staffed, small budget associations, one of my many tasks was to maintain the association website.  Through various stages of the site’s life, I used a few CMS products.  None of them were good.  Those tools are the main reason behind my rapid acquisition of HTML – the user interface was that bad.

My role at Vanguard was at first related to different aspects of the web redesign process and I was using other products and tools to assist our clients with their projects.  But with some looming deadlines, I got thrown into working with the Sitefinity CMS – without much training since everyone else was so busy.  (Don’t worry. We provide great training for our clients.)

And let me tell you, this CMS is definitely a thing of beauty.

The shortage of Sitefinity training proved to be a non-issue.  It is so intuitive, it truly is as easy as breathing.

Want to link to a document right here?  No problem, type the text, click a button, pick your file and bam – you’re done!  Want to have one of those menu items actually go to another website?  Simple.  Just label it a redirecting page.  Next time you click on that item, you’ll be at your new destination.

Getting content into the site is a breeze and styling it even easier!  Yes, I know HTML now, but I almost never need it, that’s how easy to use the interface is.  The styling buttons are so easy to interpret and create very attractive results.

When I first came to Vanguard, I said I was getting to keep all the parts of my association job that I loved like client interaction and working with websites, without any of the stuff that I don’t miss.

I had no idea that I could fall in love with web design all over again.  Thanks Sitefinity.

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Topics: vanguard technology, usability, Uncategorized, sitefinity, CMS, Websites

27 Things I Noticed About Your Website

Posted by Chris Bonney on Mon, May 24, 2010

Yes, this post is for you. It's about your website. You haven't redesigned it in way too many years and it shows. Here's a quick list of things I found.

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Topics: vanguard technology, web 2.0, social media, domain name, website redesign, Google+, Websites

Your CMS Is Broken: 5 Reasons To Invest In A New CMS For Your Association In 2010

Posted by Chris Bonney on Wed, Mar 24, 2010

Is your CMS broken? It might be functional, but by today's standards of technology it could be so out-of-date or difficult to use that it could indeed by deemed "broken."

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Topics: vanguard technology, DreamWeaver, CMS, Websites, associations

The Power Of Twitter Or Why You Should Run Your Association Like A Bakery

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, Feb 19, 2010

Let's start off by dispelling a few lingering myths about Twitter. Twitter can be, but is mostly not:

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Topics: vanguard technology, twitter, web 2.0, social media, foursquare, specialty's, associations

2009 Site Of The Week Recap

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, Jan 08, 2010

We launched this blog in January 2009, so happy birthday to you, blog. One of the many theme post ideas we took on was Site of the Week. The vision was that every Friday we would post a new and helpful (or even bizarre) site that associations would find compelling, if not useful.

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Topics: siteoftheweek, vanguard technology, Site of the Week

Get A Behind-The-Scenes Look At What It Takes To Build A Community Online

Posted by Chris Bonney on Wed, Oct 21, 2009

I'll be part of a webinar put on by Higher Logic tomorrow, Thursday, October 22 at 1pm Central. It will be a case study webinar on the building of a community from the eyes of the association and the vendor. PromaxBDA recently launched a new website, community and custom awards module. Come to this webinar to find out what it really takes to get a Web 2.0 project off the ground. This one promises to be full of useful, real-world insights. Don't miss it.

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Topics: case study, promaxbda, vanguard technology, Communications, web 2.0, higher logic, social media, webinar, Websites

We Don't Try To Win Awards, But...

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, Sep 18, 2009

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Topics: webaward, napnap, vanguard technology

Social Networking for Associations

Posted by Chris Bonney on Fri, May 22, 2009

Are your ears ringing? They should be.

Your association is no longer defined by tradition. It is no longer measured by standard practices. It is slipping in relevance every single day whether you realize it or not. And it is no longer in your control in any way.

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Topics: vanguard technology, web 2.0, social media, blogs, association technology, Websites, associations

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