Scary Sites: 3 Reasons Members Fear Your Website

Do your association’s members find your website helpful or horrifying? Despite their best intentions, quite a few association websites leave a lot to be desired in terms of easy navigation and mobility.

In addition, if you’re engaging in any of the following practices, your members may in fact be horrified at thought of logging onto your organization’s website.

  1. You’re not accessible. According to Matt Wolf who wrote a guest post for Income Diary, one of the reasons that your membership website isn’t as good as it could be is lack of accessibility. “By creating a membership site and then backing yourself out completely from communicating with the members, you are removing one of the biggest factors that could keep your members around for a very long time,” he writes. Instead Wolf advises being active online in your association’s community forums, for example. Also when members click on “contact us,” they should get a reply from someone and sooner rather than later.
  2. Your video or other media starts to automatically play when the page loads. “Do you realize there are people who don’t have their speakers turned on all the time?” writes Karen Zapp on her nonprofit blog. According to her by enabling auto play, you are “shoving content into [members’] minds in a rude fashion. They’ve landed on your site. They’re concentrating on quickly finding the info they want and you slap them in the face with an interruption—a noisy video that likely isn’t what they came to find at that moment.”
  3. Your site takes too long to load. According Tom Wentworth’s post on Mashable, 40 percent of visitors will leave your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. “You've heard it a hundred times before: we're living in a society of instant gratification. So when users click on a link, they want it to load —fast,” he writes. Wentworth advises consistently checking your site’s load time and having resources on hand to evaluate and fix whatever slows the page down.

Don’t scare your members away by having a website that offers more tricks than treats!