5 important points when building a festival website - Dauphin's Countryfest
Our country is filled with festivals and large events on a daily basis. From film festivals to motorcycles, art to music and everything is between. This past year we were given the opportunity to rebuild one of our countries favorite festival websites, Dauphin's Countryfest (https://countryfest.ca/). We wanted to share with you, not only the website, but also a couple things you need to keep in mind when working on your own festival or event website.
1. Keep it simple
One of the first tasks that we had when moving from their previous platform was that they had a ton of information. All of the information was good, however, it was very overwhelming and hard to digest. When you arrive on a page you need to be able to figure out where you are and what you need to do next very quickly. So we set to work, trimming out the menu items and extras that cause your eye to wander. This left us with a clean festival website allowing for quick navigation and most importantly, ticket buying.
2. Keep it easy for staff
One thing that developers often overlook is features/cool factor with non programming usability. One thing we strongly focus on is keeping out programming clean in the end so the most non techie staff can access and navigate the admin section of the website with ease. The more that you allow your staff to do the better equipped they will be to quickly make changes to the website without needing programmer level support. This means happier more satisfied staff and a website that is up to date.
3. Keep it professional
Very often in the development world we see a site as something that we have to develop from scratch. However, sometimes it is better to team up with other people to get a much better product in the end. Using offsite mailings and ticket handling, for example, have allowed us to spread out of server usage and development time. In the case of mailings, this has allowed us to send out 20,000 emails in seconds where before this would not be possible with the server restrictions. Looking outside the box and teaming up with other companies to get the best result should be everyones goal.
4. Keep it responsive
We watch the stats. 80% of our visitors are arriving on websites on mobile devices. You simply have to have a well thought out mobile first website. Allowing for your visitors to easily navigate on their phone, find what they need and check out is a must. The other point is that not all mobile websites are created the same. If you don't understand navigation and how people go through the website with their fingers vs a keyboard you may find yourself making decisions that impact the performance of your website.
5. Keep it fast
The biggest step in all of this was improving the speed of the website. We needed this complex engine to come across as a single file and load very fast for the visitors. This is one of the biggest steps that you can take to improve the usability of your site. If you have a fast website, with limited waiting, not only do you improve server usage, you also improve visitor satisfaction which is your ultimate goal.
Festival websites are always changing. Tell us about your festival in the comments below. What are you learning? What are your needs?
Also if you do need help in improving your festivals website, please make sure to contact us.