Karate Club Website ContentThe website that you set up for your martial arts club is used for multiple purposes and so the content must be created to reflect this. The website is a 24/7 advert for your club, it is a showcase for you and your students achievements, it is a hub of information for new and existing students on the art, it provides details of events, maps of venues and contact details for the school. It can be used for all of these things and more. Below I outline some of the pages and content for those pages that can be included on a successful martial arts club website.
Home Page – This is the header page for your whole website and generally the first page that site visitors will come to. This should include you club name prominently displayed along with your logo and a short introduction about the club. An example of some introductory text would be
“Welcome to the website for . We offer martial arts training in the traditional art of . We are a family run club who aim to train in a friendly atmosphere to give children and adults alike the many benefits that come from learning a martial art”
It is also a good idea to put a contact number and email address on the home page so the visitor does not need to go searching for your details should they want to get in touch. You should make things as easy as possible for the visitor so they don’t become frustrated and leave your site before deciding to contact you. You must also make the website visually pleasing with a complimentary colour scheme that does not hurt the eyes and with suitable fonts etc.
You may want to include some pictures to break up the page. A good idea might be to include a photograph of your students looking happy.
This page should also contain a navigation bar, that includes buttons to access each of the other pages on the site or at the very least should include a list of hyperlink text to link to other pages.
If you are on Facebook, Twitter etc. you may want to include buttons to link to those sites too.
Instructor Details – This is the page where you tell the world all about you. This is no time to be too humble. You need to sell yourself to prospective students so that they have a reason to want to come and train with you. Include your rank and years of experience. Mention any competition successes you have achieved and any specialist training with well-known martial artists or masters/grandmasters. Don’t lie about anything or make things up, if you are caught out you could be humiliated, just make sure anything you have achieved is written about in such a way to make it sound great. As the instructor you are the major selling point of the club so sell yourself.
Include a photograph of yourself. You decide if you want to look friendly or scary. You will know whether you are attracting families and children or if you are catering for cage fighters etc. The image you choose should reflect your clubs demographic. The photo could be of you in action, performing a kicking or hand technique, or it could be from a press cutting from one of your successes or it could be a traditional pose. Decide what will work best.
This is also the place to mention that you are fully insured, hold a first aid certificate and that you are DBS checked (formerly known as CRB).

 


Information on the art – Most martial arts have a rich history going back to their origins. On this page you need to give a brief history of the art including the date it was founded, in which countries it was practised, the founder of the modern form of the art and details of the association that your club is a part of. Describe what is involved in the art, whether it relies heavily on kicking or throws or locks, for example. Mention any weapons used in the art. Include details of any famous practitioners of the art and statistics such as how many people practice the art worldwide. Include pictures, to break up the text. The pictures can be of the founder, students performing moves, historic pictures etc.
Master Details – If you are affiliated to an association then this page would include details of the grandmaster and senior master of your association. Include photographs and details of their rank, experience and successes. This will be similar to your instructor page but at a higher level.
Class Details – This is one of the most important pages on the site as without any class details how will anybody find you?
This page should include the days and times when your class is held as well as the type of class at those times. So, for example, if you have classes for under 10’s on a Monday evening and for adults only on a Tuesday then make this clear on this page. Include details of the venue such as the address, transport links, disability access and whether there is parking available. If possible also include a photograph so that they can easily find it. You can get widgets from Google to add Google Maps to web pages so add a clickable map to your page with your venue highlighted.
News and Events – This page is where you can write about any latest news with the club. It can also be used as a noticeboard for upcoming events and to impart messages to your students. You might use this to give details of forthcoming testings or competitions or maybe to advise on any class time changes or cancellations. Any success that the club has had should be highlighted on this page too. Again, this is an opportunity for you to show off what is good about the club.
Student Information – This page can be used to display information that the student may need to learn as part of attending the class. It could include codes or tenets of the art they are studying, terminology in the origin countries language, rules on etiquette etc.
Galleries – This page includes photographs of students and instructors. These can be general photos of students in class or can be from competitions, testing or other special events. My website also includes a gallery of scanned press cuttings about the club. The galleries page will be a big hit with your students who want to see pictures of themselves performing techniques etc. but it will also be proof to prospective students visiting the site that you have a thriving club. Seeing your students having so much fun in the pictures and reading press cuttings about the clubs success will make then eager to join.
Links – On this page you can add links to other websites. You may link to other clubs in your area or to your official Association website. You may also want to link to the website for your venue. Also add buttons to link to your Facebook page, twitter and Pinterest accounts. You may also link to the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of your association and of other clubs. If you are adding links to clubs then ensure that you ask the webmaster of those clubs to add your website link to their site too as this could improve the SEO of your site.
Contact details – You will have already included some contact details on your home page but it is worth having a dedicated page for all of the contact details. This page could include:

  •  Your contact telephone numbers; both mobile and landline.
  •  Email address
  •  Postal Address
  •  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest buttons

This is by no means an exhaustive list and there may be more content that is relevant to your club or art that you can include. You don’t have to include everything above or present it in the same order. This post was just to give you some ideas of what your site could have on it. Ultimately the site is there to promote your club and to give a sense of community to your existing students so create content with that in mind.

 

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Martial arts club website designIn an earlier article I wrote about the absolute necessity of having a website for your Martial Arts club. Now I want to talk about how to create that website, how it should look and what information and content you need to put on there.

Where to Start

The prospect of creating a website can feel daunting to a beginner; after all you are a martial artist and not necessarily an IT expert. However with a bit of thought and creativity you could have a great website out there promoting your club 24/7 and you may even have fun building it.

Methods for creating websites

The easiest option for getting your website out there would be to pay a web design company to produce the site for you. There are thousands and thousands of companies out there that offer this service. Prices and quality will vary so compare a number of companies before making your choice. You can expect to pay anything between £100 to £1000’s for a website. By doing this you could end up with a very professional looking website and won’t require so much work from you. However there is the added cost for this convenience and remember that you may have to pay more every time you want to update the site, which could be quite frequently.

If you have a bit of coding/web design experience you could try and create yourself a website from scratch. It is not too difficult to teach yourself basic html skills and you can always follow online tutorials or buy some books to help with this. There will be a learning curve and you can’t expect your efforts to look as good as a professional web designer at first but if you have the time and inclination to learn then this could be a good way to create your site and it puts you in complete control of how and when you update the site. Common languages to create websites are listed below, note that lots of websites use a combination of languages to take advantage of different features;

  • HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language
  • Java Script
  • JSP – Java Server Pages
  • AJAX – Asynchronous JavaScript and XML
  • PHP Hypertext Preprocessor

Other than coding, another way to build a website from scratch is to purchase a WYSIWYG editor (What you see is what you get) such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Xara Web Designer. I use the latter for my clubs websites and I am pleased with how easy it is to use while giving great looking results.


Dreamweaver on the other hand is slightly more expensive but is feature rich and is used widely by web designers to create great websites. These editors allow you to drag and drop content and lay the website out using drop down menus and simple interfaces that act like word processors or desk top publishing packages. Most people should find these fairly intuitive to use.

Another option is to use an online website builder site such as Wix or WordPress. These are easy to use and offer templates that can be customised to fit your needs. I have used both for creating my websites and in fact this site is built using a simple theme in WordPress.

Technical Details

Domains

Once you have decided on how you are going to build your martial arts club website you need to start thinking about some more technical details. You need to select a domain name for your site.  This is the name of your site and will be what visitors will type in and see in search engine results when searching for you. Try to make it easy to remember, easy to spell and not too long so that you can be easily found. It should contain your club name if possible e.g. www.CoventryShotokan.com. See my article on picking a name for more details discussing this. You also need to think about your domain extension, see some examples below:

.com

.co.uk

.co

.info

.net

.org

I would recommend trying to get the .com and .co.uk versions of the domain at the very least but you may want to get the other extensions too to prevent others from registering the same domain with a different extension that would contain information that you cannot control. There are lots of places where you can buy domain names. I use GoDaddy.com to buy mine but there are many places that offer this service for various different deals. Shop around to find the best deal for you.

Hosting

Once you have built your site you need to make it accessible via the World Wide Web. The way to do this is to add you website files to a web hosting service. The hosting service provides space on a server that allows internet connectivity and can store web pages, images, videos etc. Again there are many, many different hosting companies that offer varying amounts of storage, reliability, connectivity etc., shop around and compare to find the best one for your martial arts club. My websites are hosted on GoDaddy.com and I find these reliable for a decent price. I found it convenient to have my domain registration and hosting with the same company but this is not necessary.

Email

When setting up your hosting for your martial arts club website you should be able to take an extra option of a customised email address. GoDaddy.com definitely offer this and this then allows you to set up an email address related to your domain name which gives you a professional look. I have an email address like enquiries@mydomain.com which I put on all of my posters, business cards and website which looks far better than Joe.Bloggs@hotmail.com in my opinion.

Hopefully this gives some basic information on how to start building your Martial Arts club website. In the next article I will discuss what kind of content you need to include on your website.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net