Websites for Big Local areas and groups
Tips and ideas for managing a website
We have produced this guidance for Big Local areas that are thinking about getting a website for Big Local in their area or already have a website and would like to make it even better.
The information we share here has mostly come from the experience of people in Big Local areas who have told us about what has worked, what hasn’t worked so well, and what they would do differently next time.
Do you need a website?
Decide as a group with everyone who’s interested – do you need a website? Some Big Local areas have websites, and some share information in other ways such as on Facebook, Twitter, though printed newsletters or in articles in the local paper. There is no right or wrong answer as to whether your Big Local area should have a website; it depends on what is appropriate for your Big Local area and the people you are trying to share information with.
Sharing the same information in more than one place is demanding
Think about where you share your information and if you are going to share the same information in more than one place. There is nothing wrong with sharing some information in several places. For example, if you want to promote an event or small grants, you may want to share that on your website, Facebook and posters in the area. However, if for example, you want to share galleries of all your photos, is a website the best place for this? If you already upload your photos to Facebook or Flickr, you may want to continue doing this and just add a selection of photos to the website or let people know where they can see more.
Content – what’s going on it?
In your group, think about what content you want to share or what functions you want the website to have. You might have quite a long list so divide this list into what’s a priority and what’s not.
Keep it simple
It’s better for the website to do just one or two things and do them well, than try and do lots of things and not really manage any them.
How much time do you have?
Think about the amount of time that the people who are going to manage it have available for the website. If there isn’t enough time to manage all the things that everyone wants the website to do, then the website will just have to do less.
Who’s going to build it?
Having a website built can be expensive. However, it’s important to think about what you get for your money. Although you want your website to be value for money, make sure that it’s going to be a website that people involved in Big Local can use easily to add new content to and edit information. This is called a web content management system.
Who’s going to manage it?
Ideally, it will be Big Local residents or people on the partnership who manage the content on the website. You may want to think about some training on how to use it. People may want to learn some new skills and get some experience or work alongside somebody else. Remember, a web content management system means that people with little or no programming knowledge can use administrator tools to add and edit content.
Share the work
People in Big Local areas have told us many times that communications and social media is a job to be shared. Sharing the work means that it doesn’t become too much for one or two people and it also doesn’t just become the views of one person. Some Big Local areas have sub groups to share the work and make sure that a number of people can feed in and share their ideas.
Sharing important information
Make sure that more than one person has the log in / administrator details so that you don’t get locked out of your website or lose the information if that person goes away.
Branding and logos
Big Local areas are required to acknowledge Big Lottery Fund by using their logo on publicity materials, including websites. This is so that people who take part in Big Local activities know that the funding for them is from Big Lottery Fund. Big Lottery Fund’s logo, and guidelines for using it, can be downloaded from http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/index/grant-uk/logo/logo_download.htm
We also encourage local areas to use the joint Local Trust | Big Local logo on all publicity materials including websites. They are available in three colours and can be downloaded from the media section of our website.