Melbourne Community Website Design and Development

Client: Ringwood Soccer Club

“WOW!!!!!
Thank you so much for all the amazing work you’ve done so far. I’ve no doubt its not over yet, but you’ve made this whole process smooth and a great learning experience for me.”

Kylie – Ringwood City Soccer Club
Ringwoodcity Soccer Responsive Design Works across multiple devices such as mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktops,
Responsive Design works well across multiple devices

Project Overview

Web development and redesign for a nonprofit soccer club based in Ringwood in Melbourne. Ringwood Soccer Club website is a Community Portal to manage Teams, Officials, Competitions, Policies, Docs, FAQs and News.

Ringwood City Football Club is an Australian soccer club from Ringwood, a suburb of Melbourne. With over 550 players from grassroots to Seniors and hundreds of visitor teams flocking to Jubilee Park every weekend during the season, Ringwood City Soccer Club (RCSC) has a long and proud history and a strong membership and culture.

As is with most of my other projects, I was approached via word-of-mouth in 2017. We used my standard 5 step web design workflow.

Website Goals

  • To provide a platform for all members to find timely, useful and accurate information about RCSC
  • To minimize the times members need to make direct contact with Board Members seeking basic information.
  • To ensure members are fully informed
  • To answer questions
  • To ensure members have accurate and timely access to information

In brief, my goal was to modernise the look and feel as well as increase community stakeholder engagement.

Analyse the needs

The existing/old site was powered by WordPress but was loaded with too many plugins and coded poorly. It was loading very slowly (>12 seconds) and therefore was not being used at all. As a result, the board and registrar were spending insane amounts of time answering queries from visitors and members.

In brief, my goal was to have the website load fast, organise the content, modernise the look and feel as well as increase community stakeholder engagement.

User Journeys

To achieve their goals, it was important to understand what Ringwood City Soccer Club website users need from their website. Understanding the user journey is a way for us to work out the patterns or flow of use that any given RCSC member (prospective, new or current) would follow. It allows us to anticipate which information is critical and how easily accessible that information needs to be.

We analysed, identified and grouped website users into 4 groups based on their needs:

  • Prospective member – visitor who has never been in touch before
  • New member – has been in contact with the club and wants to become a member.
  • Playing member – registered with RCSC but needs specific information
  • Non-playing member – Board Members, Team Managers, Coaches, Volunteers, Sponsors

Different members need different information and different level of access on the website.

  • Prospective members needs access to information – FAQs
  • New members needs access to Policies and Booking Forms
  • Existing playing members needed access to a members only area – Policies, Guides, Fixtures
  • Non-playing members like team managers needed secure access to register team members

Design

The website needed to be mobile-first and responsive to work on all devices.

We started the design process and based the colours and typography on existing club logo. I also had club photos to work with which I used to create page and post banners. I also custom created icons to fit with the website design.

Ringwood SC Style Guide showing colours and typography used.
Ringwood SC Style Guide showing colours and typography used.

Develop

I custom coded a WordPress theme from scratch and used minimal plugins and latest tech standards to ensure that the WordPress site loads fast.

As illustrated below, WordPress allows us to create and manage content of many types such as Pages, Posts, Docs, Venues and FAQs for Ringwoodcity Soccer Club with ease. I used custom PHP code to create these new custom post types. The site also made extensive use of multiple multi-step forms to register new members as well as onboard entire teams.

WordPress Content Types

Implementation

Training

After extensive testing, I trained the registrar (Kylie) who then added the content and was up and running in no time. To help Kylie, I created a handy step-by-step guide built into the WordPress site back-end. I also tweaked the custom post types and theme as needed.

Project Management

Through out the whole process we kept in touch regularly and used Trello board, lists, and cards to organize and prioritise the project.

Ringwood City Soccer Club Trello Board

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

As part of the theme development, I included the right tags to ensure that search engines like Google had no difficulty in ranking the site. The addition of good content ensures that the site ranks organically in search engines.

Ringwood soccer - Number 1 in Google Search Results
Ringwood is number 1 in Google Search Results

The launch

We were able to go live very quickly (couple of months to create the site, train the writers and add tons of content). I provided post launch support for the next three months making changes and tracking issues as needed.

Training

I started engaging with the writers early on in the project and incorporated training on how to manage the site from the early stages of development. Having learnt how to add and manage pages in WordPress, the writers were able to self-learn how to add and manage content of many types: Posts, FAQs, Polices, Procedures, Venues, Comments and Forms.

Community engagement

Since the site loaded fast and was easy to use, the club/community was able to make great use of the site – increased engagement. The FAQs, Policies, Guides and Procedures were well organised and easily accessible. Well designed contact forms (for visitors, volunteers, members, team mangers, coaches) ensured the the queries were directed to the appropriate volunteers – reducing time spent answering queries.

Feedback

This is what the club registrar said at the end of the project…

“WOW!!!!!
Thank you so much for all the amazing work you’ve done so far. I’ve no doubt its not over yet, but you’ve made this whole process smooth and a great learning experience for me.”

Kylie – Ringwood City Soccer Club

If you’re a community or sports club like Ringwood Soccer Club and need a custom WordPress website to run your club or communicate your community’s values, get in touch.

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