4 tips to set up a baseball website for the 2018 season
By Nick RattermannJan 4, 2018
Getting ready for baseball season now is critical if you’re a volunteer. If you’re scrambling to get ready your to-do list might seem endless.
Collecting payments, managing a schedule, and getting the word out to parents and community members can be a lot of work. But, with a few simple steps you can set up a website that will make managing your club or league much easier.
Where do you start? Follow these tips to set up a baseball website in 2018…
Tip #1 to set up your baseball website – start collecting payments now
Setting up online payments and collecting player information (like birthdates, jersey size, division) has become quick and easy online. Even if you have no familiarity or experience collecting credit card payments or setting online forms, it just takes a couple minutes to get started.
Starting registration in January gives you plenty of time to get the word out about your organization, get a good feel for how many players you’ll have in each age group, and increase overall participation.
Tip #2 – Make sure it’s easy to use, for you and for website visitors
Baseball volunteers often look at building and maintaining the website as a burden. But that shouldn’t be the case – the website should be helping save time for volunteers, coaches, and parents. Make sure the website is making your life easier, not adding work to your plate.
Nowadays, many websites are simple to manage and just take up a few minutes per week. If you’re comfortable sending an email for work, or logging into Facebook, you should be capable of setting up and maintaining a simple website (you can try it on Jersey Watch in just a couple minutes).
It’s also critical to make sure that your website visitors have a smooth, user-friendly experience when they land on your page. About 50% (maybe more) of your website visitors will be trying to register, view schedules, and find information from their phone. If your website isn’t made to work well on phones, you’ll frustrate parents, coaches and participants.
Tip #3 – Recognize your sponsors (and make them pay)
You might already have plenty of sponsors supporting your program with signs at your field, logos on jerseys, and more. But don’t forget about the website when you’re soliciting new sponsors.
Throughout the preseason and during the season, you’ll have thousands of visits to your website from parents, coaches, and community members. That makes your website valuable real estate for businesses and other organizations in your community. Listing the logos, names, and linking to the websites of your sponsors is an extra incentive for local businesses to sponsor your program, and will allow you to charge higher fees to be a sponsor.
A dedicated sponsors page on your website can add value for your sponsors, and get your organization some extra cash for the season.
Tip #4 – Use the website as your hub for communication
Communicating quickly with participants, parents, and coaches is difficult. Parents and coaches often prefer different forms of communication (some live on Facebook, some prefer email, some just don’t check anything).
How are you communicating registration changes, schedule changes, and game cancellations? Your website can become you communication hub, and send out notifications to parents and coaches with just a few clicks.
Find a simple system to send messages and keep your personal or work contact information private. Parents will enjoy getting a few updates per week during your season, and you can avoid the strain of trying to communicate with each person individually, or having coaches play phone tag with parents.
You can even send out emails to parents thanking your sponsors and encouraging them to support your sponsors during the season (see tip #3).
Most websites will also allow you to embed social media feeds directly on your page, so that any time you post to Facebook or Twitter the message will also be displayed on the website.
Setting up a website for baseball season doesn’t have to difficult – the website should be time well spent that reduces your workload as a volunteer or coach. First, make sure you get registration started online soon to give parents an easy way to register players. During the season, spend a few minutes each week making sure the website is up-to-date and consider using your website as a central hub for all communication by sending texts and emails with important updates.