A Probus club is a local association of retired and semi-retired professional and business people, meeting regularly for fellowship and an extension of their interests. Each Probus club is autonomous – there is no central organisation and each club sets its own rules – which means that clubs wanting to provide a website have to do so themselves. Given the rate of change in online facilities, this is a challenge for any organisation, and design methods that worked even five years ago are often inadequate to meet current expectations.
Although a website is not essential for clubs it does provide a very useful means of attracting new members as well as keeping existing members informed. And the importance of mobile devices should not be overlooked, with around 40% in the 65-74 age group using a smartphone or tablet for internet access (Ofcom 2017 report).
This service provides a website facility for Probus Clubs in the UK, enabling individual clubs to present an up-to-date profile on the web which is both easy to maintain and affordable.
All club sites have a common ‘family’ look and provide all the essential information for that club. Clubs can email that information to us and we will update their site annually when a new programme of events is arranged and a committee elected. The events programme can be provided as a simple Excel spreadsheet or CSV file, which is presented as a table on the website, so there is no need for any specialist knowledge or software.
Each club site is completely self-contained and for those clubs that would like to display more information, we can provide a login to their own site so they can update or customise it themselves, adding as many extra pages as they like such as news, stories and photo galleries. This is all done using a web browser with no need for web design software, nor any specialist knowledge. Importantly, it will be possible for clubs to opt in or out of this at any time, depending on whether they have someone willing and able to update their site or not.
In either case we look after the technical maintenance of the site, ensuring that the WordPress software is kept up to date, that the site meets current web standards and that the look doesn’t become ‘stale’ over time. We also provide any technical support needed.
- A clean, modern look to websites.
- Mobile- and tablet-friendly.
- Simplicity for clubs that do not wish to maintain their own site, and flexibility for those who want it, with the ability to change that option at any point.
- Secure access using https:// which is becoming increasingly important as web browsers start to issue warnings about insecure sites. This is not too much of a problem yet, but will become so over the next year or so.
- Consistent look and feel to all participating club sites.
- Consistent and simple URLs for participating clubs.
- Web hosting and domain name maintenance taken care of.
- Email addresses encoded automatically to reduce spam.
- Automatic inclusion on our UK map of clubs.
- No advertising or sponsorship on your website.
- Technical support (by email) included.
The sites for these fictional clubs illustrate how the websites can be used.
Causton and Midsomer is a clean but simple site, giving an introduction to the club, directions to the venue, the year’s programme and a person to contact. Once set up, all you need to do is supply an updated progamme each year and any changes required to the other details.
Ambridge shows an example of a site with the same overall appearance, but where a club member updates it regularly with news reports and photo galleries. This site has an additional page detailing the history of the local club, a page with photographs of the club officers and a news page. The news page shows a chronological listing of recent events and you can view the full report by clicking on the heading in the listing page. Most of these contain photos and one, the farm visit, has a gallery of photos showing how high quality images can be displayed.
The cost for the first year is £60 which includes the initial setup of your site and entering the information about your club on its home page. All you need to provide is the basic information outlined here and we do the rest. The cost for subsequent years is £40/year which covers the ongoing cost of providing the site maintenance, hosting and domain name, and also (optionally) to update your site annually using information you provide.
Free entry on our register of clubs
As well as offering a full website service, we also keep a register of UK Probus clubs, which are displayed as a UK map and listing.
Clubs using our website service will be added automatically, but other clubs can also register for free. Although this doesn’t provide full details, it does show your location and contact details to visitors and prospective new members to help them find you.
To find out more about this service contact Simon at Skirrid Systems