Very often people start immediately editing their meditation website and ‘lose the forest for the trees’. Even an hour of planning can save you hours or days of work.
- Figure out what you want
- List the important pages you want, and how they will connect to each other.
- Then you can start making your site
What do we want?
We always tell people not to worry too much about search engines etc – just make your site the best you can possibly make it, and people WILL come. Have a look at some other meditation sites and try to make yours better yet – in volume of pages, user experience, sincerity in our offerings, etc.
Here are a few things you should aim for:
1. Feeling of humility, simplicity, sincerity (these are things that Sri Chinmoy asked from our Vasudeva Server project)
- It is important that people feel something of our path, something that is different than all the other sites they might visit. Try to proceed from an inner feeling, rather than an outer need to please. It is very helpful to meditate before starting.
- Not cluttered (dont try to cram everything on the page)
- The basic information is easy to get; and it is easy to get in touch with us from any page on the site.
- In a world that has so many online resources on meditation, mindfulness etc, it is good to focus on our unique strengths. You might find it helpful to avoid any commercial language (relaxation, stress management) and focus on the things that we know we have, and that many sincere seekers are looking for.
- You will feel happy when seekers call you and say that they visited many sites but choose yours because they felt something special.
2. The visitor experience
- How do people get from one part of your site to the next? is navigation clear? Have you tested the site with non technical users?
- Pictures & video can often make a more immediate connection, especially on pages that are viewed initially, like the front page
3. What we have to offer – feeling of fullness and dynamism
- Classes, related events, Our other manifestations, News?
- Always new content: try to have a feeling of sadhana towards your site, look at it as another door to your centre which requires regular maintenance – a broken or outdated site says a lot about a Centre!
4. People should feel that we know and practise what we are talking about
- How to meditate articles, stories of personal experiences, embed music from Radio (a huge and underused asset!!!!)
5. Visitors get a feeling for us as people
- Stories, faces, videos
6. Be focused
- For our meditation sites, our goal is generally to make people aware of our meditation classes. Try and be focused on that, especially if you want to talk about all the other areas of spiritual life.
- Decide what is really important. Pick 2 or 3 important things, everything else can go further down the page or on other pages
- If you organise frequent big events, it is good to have some kind of idea of how to advertise them without cluttering the rest of your site.
- What kind of people do you want to come to your classes? Is your site bringing those kind of people in touch with you? What kind of changes can you make to attract the kind of people you want?
hugleidsla.org (English version) – https://www.hugleidsla.org/en/
- The backbone of the site is 2 pages – Classes and About.
- Classes is the first page we would like people to see. It is the first thing people see on the home page, and the page all our advertising gets directed to. It contains information about classes, and then a form to get in touch. We try to make sure the initial information is as concise and well written as possible. Below the form, there is more information and a link to the About page
- Ideally, the About page is the second page. It is situated directly below the Classes banner on the home page. Here we have divided into 4 sections – an introduction, classgivers, what we do, and information about Sri Chinmoy.
- All of the other articles on the site contain a prominent button link to the classes page.
- The advantage of this approach is that all the crucial information is contained in 2 pages, so navigation becomes much easier. The disadvantage is that there is a lot in each page , and you have to really make sure it is comprehensible to people who know absolutely nothing about us.