A union local web makeover: first steps

A reference page of ideas for your local’s new website.

First step ideas for a union local web makeover

If your local is plan­ning a web upgrade, there are many things to con­sider.

Who is (or you hope will be) using your site and how they will interact with your site?  From there it What on your current site should stay and what should go?  What are your needs for your new site?  How will it support your goals and strategic efforts?

Click here for this one-page fact sheet with a few questions and ideas to get you started!



[This fact sheet is adapted from an earlier blog post. I’ve also placed this ideas sheet in the resources section of the site where I will be housing various fact sheets and web ideas for union locals and others.  Please download, use, and distribute any of them as they appear!]

5 sim­ple ideas for union local web communication


A one-page web com­mu­ni­ca­tion guide for your local.

image Fact sheet 5 ideas for web communication

There are so many pos­si­bil­i­ties for building your web communication and presence nowa­days, that it is easy to become over­whelmed by considerations of ‘best web practices’ and, conversely, figuring out what should be avoided.

Following these 5 simple steps should do wonders for your web traffic and level of quality (and continued) interaction with your site.

Specifically, you should: (1) Keep your site up-to-date; (2) Keep it simple; (3) Focus on return traffic; (4) Use social media for conversation; (5) Set goals for your site.  How to do all this is expanded upon on the 1-page guide.

I’ve also placed this ideas sheet in the resources section of the site where I will be housing various fact sheets and web ideas for union locals and others.  Please download, use, and distribute any of them as they appear!

Reasons to use WordPress for your union local’s website.

Wordpress logo

I do all of my web production & content management using WordPress. I love it. Your union local should consider it too.


1. Ease of use/training

When I set up a new site for an organization, The WordPress dashboard interface is what administrators of the site look at every time they go to update their site (have a look at the WordPress dashboard interface).  Once they get used to all the functions (which may feel a bit overwhelming at first), they invariably find the dashboard to be very user-friendly.

On a day-to-day basis you can mostly concentrate on 3 areas – posts, media, and pages – even non-computer savvy users generally find this very easy to manage. And because of the simple set up, if a volunteer admin moves on it won’t be a big problem for the next person to take over.

2. Cost savings 

WordPress is open source, meaning it is downloadable for free.  Costs are accrued in the initial development, but on-going costs are quite low for simple websites.  Basically, WordPress’ ease of use means that the day-to-day workings of the site can be done in-house, while you save only the really heavy lifting (eg. programming, updated design, etc… for consultants.

3. Community support

WordPress.org is filled with tutorials, forums, guides if you have a problem with WordPress, there is likely a solution that someone has worked on elsewhere.

4. Extends with ease

WordPress acts as the central nervous system that focuses on ease of use, simple design and doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you.  But it is the ability to easily add-on to the WordPress core that brings uniqueness to your site.  You do this through plug-ins and widgets which you add as needed.

5. Cutting edge

Here is one example – much of the WordPress effort is focused on ensuring compatibility on multiple browsers and on smart phones, iPads, etc…  It is currently on the cutting edge of ‘responsive design’. which works to ‘respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.’  Mobil platforms are the future of web use (and, in many ways, the present). WordPress’ responsive design has it covered.

6. Beautiful

WordPress sites are clean, organized and well designed.


  • 14.7% of websites use WP as their Content Management System (CMS).
  • 22 of every 100 new sites are using WordPress.
  • Many major, innovative websites are based on WordPress such as CNN, Loolapalooza, the New York Times blogs, Jay-Z’s site.  WordPress has come a long way from the days that it was mostly used for personal blogging.

This represents significant growth from a number of years ago.

For me,  WordPress hits all the right notes.  WordPress enables union members to simply and easily run a website with blog posts, forums, news updates, polls…anything.  It doesn’t take much to get a presentable WordPress site up that you can easily update. Gone are the days of needing to talk to an expensive consultant every time you need to update your site.

Your union could quickly and cheaply get up-to-date with the latest in web functionality by making WordPress your content management system of choice.