Event Site Guidance
Some brief and useful information to follow when one want's to put up a quick site for an event or cause.
- WordPress is your friend. A basic install is pretty easy to setup, there are a ton of plugins and themes, and the content editing is flexible enough for a site that isn't going to have a complicated information hierarchy.
- Themes - It's important to decide on a theme and colors early. Simple, responsive themes tend to work best. So far, we've had success with:
- Epic - Two tone theme with nice social media buttons and a nice sidebar.
- Ward - Theme with a Jumbo Headline and four image/text blocks on the front page. Sidebar isn't quick as useful, and the footer needs a bit of editing.
- Setup Google Analytics - At the very least create a new site, if not a new property, in your account. If you don't have an account, create one.
- Create a MailChimp list and campaign for the site. You can drive a campaign via RSS, which quickly creates a list users can subscribe to to be emailed about new posts from the site. You can also integrate a MailChimp campaign with Google Analytics.
- A few plugins that are useful for helping to promote the site:
- Google XML Sitemaps - A sitemap generator; helps search engines discover content on your site.
- WP Open Graph - A simple plugin for defining the tags that Facebook/Twitter/Other Social Media use to find pictures and content associated with the pages on your site when they are shared on these platforms. You can define default values for these tags for the whole site, and post/page specific ones.
- MailChimp for WP - The free version makes it pretty easy to create simple signup forms for the MailChimp campaign you setup above. The free version is a bit limited in what it can do (no Ajax, no fancy datatypes), but those aren't big problems.
- Submit the sitemap.xml that the above plugin is generating to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home.
- Other useful plugins:
- Eventbrite is the standard go to for this, and pretty good.
- Make sure to add Google Analytics integration
The free version of IdeaScale works pretty well. It doesn't let you customize too much about the platform, but just enough to brand it. Paid versions are available, but they're pricey.