Quick Takeaways

  • Modern website design can increase member engagement
  • Optimize the member experience
  • Create effective calls to action

Source: Attract and Engage Members with a Modern Website Design (Your Membership, Apr. 3, 2020)

Find out the Core Standards technology requirements in the compliance guide and Core Standards FAQs.

Discover the top association websites for 2020 and get ideas for your website design.

Make your association website inclusive. Provide photos of diverse members to expand your welcome to all potential members. Modern website design in important for attracting readers. The mobile user experience is important and your members should be able to access your website on the fly. Also, your website should be ADA compliant.

Web redesign can be complex, so have a plan. Focus on what is mort important to your members and what problems they want to have solved. Expand your mobile experience and speed up loading time to satisfy impatient members.

Learn how to write great content for your Association website. Match your content to provide to real-life questions to your website. Readers have a short attention span, so deliver relevant information in short chunks.

See References for more information.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Core Stan​dards

Local, state, and territorial associations of REALTORS®, as a condition of membership in the National Association of REALTORS®, must meet NAR’s Organizational Alignment Core Standards, a section of which relates to technology.

REALTOR® Association Core Standards Technology Compliance Guide (National Association of REALTORS®, Jun. 2014)

Every association must have an interactive website that has active links to: professional standards information, professional standards enforcement resources and websites of other levels of the association.

NAR Organizational Alignment -Core Standards FAQs (National Association of REALTORS®, Jan. 14, 2020)

Section 9 discusses Technology.

Association Websites

Set Your Sites to Compliant (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 23, 2020)

Don’t wait to address this issue! Website accessibility lawsuits continue to arise, and real estate professionals need to take steps to create and maintain accessible websites. Conduct an audit to assess your website’s accessibility and create a plan to update your site, if necessary, based on the results. Keep in mind that you can implement the plan gradually, but try to implement the changes that will have the greatest impact first.

How to Ensure Your Website is Inclusive and Welcoming (ASAE, May 6, 2020)

When people come to your website, what do they see? Is it a welcoming, inviting space? How do you greet your audience? What are you signaling with your visuals? Visual imagery can reinforce perceptions of who is and isn't welcome to a group. Images of people without care taken in racial and gender representation, or with standards of dress and/or monetary status that signal exclusivity to an audience, can create an impression of a walled community, versus an open one.

Attract and Engage Members with a Modern Website Design (Your Membership, Apr. 3, 2020)

Your members now expect the same type of experience from your association – with a mobile-responsive site that give them access anytime, anywhere. If you aren’t thinking about your members’ mobile experience, you could lose their attention almost as quickly as you get it.

The 10 Best Association Websites of 2020 (Gulo Solutions, 2020)

What’s key to every association? Its members. The American Marketing Association (AMA) Chicago chapter ditched stock photography to feature the members of the organization.
The website also highlights upcoming events, which are a draw for new and existing members. Events are listed first for this reason.

Does Your Association Need a New Website? (Associations Online)

Make sure you reevaluate your site every couple of years or so and match it to the goals you have for your organization. If you’re trying to grow a more diverse membership, for instance, your website may not be helping you achieve that. Conversely, you should also reevaluate your website to make sure it’s staying true to your original mission since over time it can be easy to get away from the very reason you first formed.

Website Redesign

Tips for a Low-Cost, Award-Winning Website Redesign (ASAE, Aug. 23, 2021)

Unlike its predecessor, we developed the new site with an eye toward mobile compatibility to make sure the user experience would be strong on both computers and mobile devices. With fresh evaluation of keywords and values, ABC defined core keywords for SEO to help improve placement in Google searches. The website was also converted from “http” to “https” to further optimize SEO and security.

Three Questions to Ask When Planning a Website Redesign (Associations Now, Sep. 22, 2020)

Narrowing down your goals and objectives will help inform your design decisions. Are you redesigning for easier navigation? Is the site too slow and in need of a performance boost? Does the redesign reflect a larger change of direction within the organization?

Essential UX Statistics—Everything You Need to Know (Small Biz Genius, Aug. 18, 2020)

This doesn’t sound like much, but its UX impact on revenue can be extremely high. Each extra second it takes for a site to load results in a higher percentage of conversions lost. Users are impatient. If a site doesn’t display for them correctly right away, it’s reasonable for them to assume it’s not worth their time.

Website Revamp: How to Redesign Your Website (Mark Brinker, Jun. 25, 2020)

Your visitors have shorter attention spans than ever and they all basically have 2 questions, “Can you help me?” and “Do you have the info I’m looking for?” That’s it. So do your best to present your content as succinctly as possible. If you have a long page with a lot of copy, that’s totally fine as long as everything is relevant.

Writing for the Web

How to Write Web Content That Engages Members (Brightfind, Jun. 25, 2021)

Break up your content into digestible "chunks“ of information and clearly defined areas that achieve the objective of the page but also allow the reader to quickly decide where to focus and what to ignore.

Stop Writing Web Copy That Over Explains Everything (Mightybytes, May 19, 2021)

Stick to writing copy that satisfies the reason they’re visiting your page by talking about what you’re there to talk about: your product or service.

Content Writing Tips for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide (Content Powered, Feb. 4, 2021)

I often start with some keyword research to develop a topic idea, write a killer title for that topic, and then create my outline for the article based on those search phrases and that topic. It’s worked well enough for me so far – writing articles that match real searches and catering to those searches is a great roadmap to getting your articles found.

Easy Ways to Write Bold Business Copy for Your Website (Entrepreneur, Sep. 8, 2020)

5 factors that define the success of your copy: your ability to portray your products and services, matching your customers' preferred tone, attention-grabbing headlines, be persuasive with your copy, and use of simple language, short paragraphs, and conversational tone.

How to Write Content for a Website (Business 2 Community, Mar. 17, 2020)

Internet users generally have short attention spans. If possible, make it possible for your article to be skim read. Or, invert the pyramid and stack all your most important information at the top of the article.

7 Powerful Tips for Effective Content Writing Without Plagiarism (Copyleaks, Feb. 27, 2020)

Your content needs to cover the crucial aspects of your main point. It needs to be helpful to your audience from the first word to the last. This is why you need to research extensively to ensure your content covers the necessary information.

Writing for the Web

The Nielsen Norman Group’s collection of studies on how people read webpages and how you can write most effectively. Includes outside sources and suggestions for further reading.

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Creating Web Pages For Dummies® (eBook)

101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site (eBook)

Building a Web Site for Dummies® (eBook)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Website (eBook)

How to Say It® Marketing with New Media (eBook)

Maintaining and Evolving Successful Commercial Web Sites (eBook)

Nonprofit Internet Strategies (eBook)

Put Your Business Online (eBook)

The Roadmap to Building a Successful Website—What You Should Know Before Doing-it-Yourself Or Before Hiring a Web Designer (eBook)

Web Copy that Sells (eBook)

Web Design: A Beginner's Guide (eBook)

WordPress for Dummies® (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Web Designer's Idea Book, Volume 2 (Cincinnati, OH: HOW Books, 2010) TK5105.888 .M42 2010

Principles of Web Design (Australia: Course Technology, Cengage Learning, 2009) HF 5548.5 S55

The Non-Designer's Web Book: An Easy Guide to Creating, Designing, and Posting Your Own Web Site (Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press, 2006) HF 5548.5 W55

Web Design in a Nutshell: [A Desktop Quick Reference] (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2006) HF 5548.5 R63w

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2006) HF 5548.5 K78

Web Site Fundamentals: an ASAE Background Kit  (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2003) HF 5548 Am3ws

Executive's Guide to Internet Law (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2001) HF 294 M61

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