With websites being one of the most effective ways to keep HOA residents informed, it’s important to make website design a priority. A well-designed website makes it easier for residents to find the community on search engines and quickly find the information they need. In this article, you’ll learn about why it’s important to have a good website design & 9 elements every HOA website needs.
Benefits of Good HOA Website Design
Bring more prospective buyers/renters to the community
As residents are considering buying a home in an HOA, your website needs to be listed on search engines so they can learn more about the community. A mobile-friendly website design, coupled with fresh content, can give a boost to your website’s search engine rankings (SEO).
Increase resident satisfaction & reduce inbound calls to the office
It’s important that your HOA website be flexible enough so you can continue updating it with new information. When residents are able to find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to return to the site for the community’s latest updates.
9 HOA Website Design Elements
Now that you have an understanding of how web design elements impact how your website performs and how your residents perceive the community, let’s dive into the exact elements you need!
- Mobile Responsive Design
- Page Layout
- Advanced Customization
1) Mobile Responsive Design
Websites with mobile-responsive design adjust text, pictures, and videos so that it fits the size of the device it’s being viewed on. A responsive web design is a must today because it improves the user experience based on the device they’re using and it is Google-approved. In 2015, Google started to take into account the mobile-friendliness of a website in its search rankings. This means that if your HOA website isn’t mobile-friendly, residents will not be able to find the website in Google search. Pilera’s HOA website solution provides several mobile-responsive templates so that communities can easily be found online. Take a look at some of Pilera’s mobile-responsive design templates!
Every HOA website needs to incorporate the community’s branding in its design. The community’s branding should reflect its culture, how residents perceive it, and what makes it different from other communities. You can successfully convey your community’s culture by implementing these three branding elements:
A banner image stretches horizontally across the top of your website. It’s important that the banner for your community presents a positive and professional outlook of the community. The banner should give a warm feeling to your residents when they visit your website and first see the banner. Your banner should also be authentic. Many communities use an actual image of their community. Your residents are more likely to connect with an image that is real and authentic than a stock image.
Your community logo is an image with text and images that reflect what your community is all about. Having a logo for your community is important because it establishes a positive connection with your residents and makes it memorable in their minds. A good community logo is simple, memorable, and identifiable.
A color scheme is a combination of colors used for a website’s primary and secondary backgrounds, as well as text. Having a color scheme for your community website is important because it improves brand recognition and conveys feelings about a website. Different colors can produce different emotions or feelings in individuals. Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow depict optimism, excitement, and happiness. Cooler colors such as blue and green depict serenity and peace.
Navigation or menu is one of the most important elements of your website. Good navigation or menu makes it easy for residents to find what they are looking for whereas a poorly designed navigation can frustrate users. The navigation should be structured with residents in mind. How would they browse for information on a website? Where would a resident expect to find information about community activities? Where would a board member expect to find information on community budgets? Be sure to clearly title each navigation item.
Examples of navigation items that are common among many HOA websites include Community, Owners, Board Members, and Contact Us. If you have a lot of information to convey to your community, you may consider creating secondary navigation. In the below example, the primary navigations are Home, About Us, Owners, Community Resources, and Contact Us. The pages that the community directs residents to in the secondary navigation are Documents, Events, Marketplace, and Community Clubhouse. In Pilera, you can create a primary and secondary navigation to organize how your residents find each crucial page.
4) Page Layout/Formatting
The web page’s layout refers to how you structure your web pages and format your content within them. Overall, a good page layout will enable residents to find information quickly, thus building trust with them. When residents find information quickly, they will keep coming back to the website as they now consider it a reliable source for the latest community information. However, a poorly designed layout will frustrate residents and turn them away.
Each page on your website can have a unique layout to make it easy to find information. Examples of layouts include one column, two-column, or three-column. For example, if your home page consists of a two-column layout, the center can include an introductory message and the sidebar can include local weather, upcoming events, or quick links. When you create a page in Pilera, you can choose how many columns to display your content in.
Having relevant and fresh content on your HOA website helps to ensure that residents can find pertinent information when they are looking for it. When writing content, it’s important to take into consideration who your audience is and how they’re most likely to understand information. Consider these tips:
- What are residents contacting you about? Group their questions into topics and create a page for each topic on your HOA website.
- Keep information short and to the point.
- Avoid using industry jargon where possible and use vocabulary that is easy to understand.
- Keep the tone consistent in your writing.
- Make sure to continue updating the content on your website. Search engines rank websites that update their content regularly higher than those that do not.
As we alluded to earlier, authentic and real images help to establish a connection with your residents. To showcase what your community has to offer to your residents, you can create photo galleries for events, amenities, and the common areas that residents can enjoy.
Videos are another great way to showcase your community’s culture to current and future prospective residents. Be creative in the videos you create. Here are some ideas you can implement:
- Talk about the community’s goals and how board members and residents are working to achieve those goals together.
- What residents like the most about the community.
- Tutorial videos on how to navigate through the website or community portal.
- How-to videos to keep residents engaged on topics such as home maintenance, gardening, tips to improve the value of their home, etc.
8) Calls-To-Action (a.k.a. CTA’s)
Call-To-Actions refer to important actions that you want residents to take on your website. In general, each page should have one clear call-to-action to drive a certain action. That action could be submitting a contact us form, a work order request form, signing into the resident portal, or making a payment. Your call to actions should:
- Be clearly labeled – Your residents should know what to expect when they click on the CTA.
- Be clickable. Your CTA can either be a button or a link. If it’s a button, make sure the text is visible. If the CTA is a text link, make sure to bold and underline the text. People will not know to click on the link if it is not underlined.
9) Customizability (Advanced)
A significant part of web design is the ability to customize how it looks and feels. Every HOA community is different, so it should be no surprise that when creating a website, you should be able to design it in a way that reflects the community’s values. That’s where advanced customization comes in. If you have advanced HTML or CSS knowledge, you can customize background and text colors, header text and colors, button colors, and more. In Pilera’s Easysites, website administrators can customize the look and feel of the website with custom HTML and CSS.
Good HOA website design ensures that that the site is easily findable on search engines and that your residents will have a positive experience in finding information. When you incorporate these design elements together, the website is easy to use and will be one that your residents become proud of! Pilera’s Easysite website makes it easy for non-technical staff to build a beautiful community website. With drag and drop elements, customizable content, and integration with Pilera features, your community will improve operations & resident satisfaction. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or book a personalized 1:1 demo!