A getting started guide for choosing the right platform for your coworking space website.
The coworking world is complicated. Among the community, facilities, sales, and operations, you need to deal with software challenges too. Building your web presence (and mobile) should be and probably is your number one priority when it comes to software.
We talk to a lot of coworking spaces, and we observe a lot of great websites and some that are not so great. Here are our observations and recommendations for setting up your Website and how you can integrate it with your coworking management software of choice.
The first and most important part of your web presence is building a beautiful marketing website. The purpose of the Marketing website is to convince new members that your space is great and it will solve their office problems. It has to improve your sales results by “converting” more of the people that noticed you to prospects that are knocking on your door for a tour.
You need great content and visuals that are laid out well in a logical way that conveys the benefits of joining your space. Easier said than done.
Here are the key objectives you may consider when building your marketing website:
Based on these, there are several important points which you may consider when you choose a web platform for your website:
See the comparison table for more information:
Clearly, the best option for building a marketing website for a coworking space is to either choose a website builder such as Wix (if you don’t have basic technical knowledge) or choose a standard CMS system such as WordPress (if you have the technical knowledge to implement it).
The second most important part of your web presence is the internal, members facing web application a.k.a. members web portal.
The key objectives of the members portal are:
You can think of your members portal as an important part of your offering, your complete solution.
If you take a close look at the most modern tech companies, you’ll notice a pattern in how their web presence is structured:
The main/marketing website is located at the home domain – officernd.com, stripe.com, intercom.com, gocardless.com, or any other tech company. The marketing website is always built using a standard CMS. It is owned and maintained by the marketing team and the emphasis is on Design, Content, SEO and the ability to extend it and change it frequently.
The members portal, being your web product, is best to live under a subdomain. For the tech companies, that’s usually app.officernd.com, dashboard.stripe.com, app.intercom.com, manage.gocardless.com, etc. Some of the most important reasons for doing this is the so-called ‘Separation of concerns’, as known in the tech world. The product (it’s also called web application and not a website) has its own life. It has its own user interface and its own user experience. It serves a different purpose and it’s owned by a different team – the product team. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where your marketing website is down because the product team is deploying a new version. Or even worse, you need to deploy the product, because the marketing team needs to update a piece of content. There are a million reasons to keep these separate and the most important one is that they serve different purposes.
Of course, these two worlds need to be connected and speak to each other. Few points that usually connect them in the Coworking world are:
Here’s a diagram that illustrates the connections described above:
Building the web presence of your coworking space is not an easy task. But if you do it right and manage to connect all the moving parts, you’ll have the foundation that will allow you to focus on building a successful coworking community and growing your business.
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