20 Apr 2012

How to launch your community-driven website ?

Building a community website takes a lot of dedication and patience. As a network take time to build, a daily care will make your community grows and member share information in ways previously unavailable.

  • Choose the right domain name. You need to have keywords and a unique name easy to remember when picking it.
 Example : community.brandname.com, brandnameforums.com

Test your site on popular browser (Cross browser checks): Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera. You need to test each functionalities provided to the end users. Check all details and be sure to provide the best experience possible when arriving at your site.

Schedule the launching at the right time. Launch your website at the beginning for the week on Tuesday.
  • Communicate clearly about the main purpose of your website. Make it concise, and introduce you and your team.
  • Have a contact page, and make you available and easy to reach. Your initial visitor may give you critical feedback to help you to find what may be wrong with your site.
  • Stimulate the community and help them to start. Be always friendly, then your community will give it you back. 
  • Have an help section
  • Make it easy for your user to participate and get involved on the every day basis.
  • Get social media integrated to your website
  • Technically, have a scalable server resources. A website launch can generate a high traffic. Don't risk to get your website crash on the launching day.
  • Have content ready before launching your website. It will help you focus on over tasks during this busy time.
  • Build anticipation, contact your community before the launch and give some hints about the work going on. You can also comment and spread the word on community website from the same niche.
  • Show your roadmap, and upcoming features coming. keep a changelog or a version history to show the community the improvements and the given answers to their suggestion.

About the author

Consultant, Web strategist, and Drupal enthusiast, I use open source software to build application that connects people and spread ideas. I believe that internet can lead to powerful changes for progressive organizations, and for our future.

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