For small museums, a good website can be their best marketing resource.
In 2015, the first point of contact between an organisation and the public is often their website. Some people will look you up on-line with specific questions e.g.. to find out your opening hours, if you’re accessible to wheelchairs, what activities you have for children and whether or not you have a cafe. Others will be looking to see if you are the sort of venue they want to visit.
For these reasons, it’s really important to have an attractive and easy-to-use website. Potential visitors should look at it and see a welcoming museum, get a good idea of your subject matter and be able to find the information they need.
It’s really important to review your website regularly. Is all the information on there up-to-date? Can people find what they’re looking for? Is the design attractive and modern (website design can date quite easily. What looked great in 2005, looks clunky and awkward today)? You can ask friends, or even visitors, to do this for you. What is their honest opinion of your site?
Now, you may think that this is easy enough for big museums with dedicated website teams, or with budgets to pay designers to build their website for them. However, there are free tools on-line to help anyone create a professional site. Working with Signals Media Arts Centre, I am running two FREE one-day courses on building an easy to use website. This is aimed at Essex museums that either don’t have a website and those who want to replace an existing one. The training will use the free online tool “WordPress” which will help you build and host your site. For a small fee, you can keep your existing site address.
WordPress is easy to use and means your staff or volunteers can update information, images and design without relying on professional designers.
The training is 10am till 4pm on Friday 20th March at Signals Media Arts Centre, Colchester OR Tuesday 24th March at Harlow Museum. More details, including how to book are available here.