The site has recently been moved to a new hosting company and completely redone from top to bottom. With this move and update we will be able to build a more in depth site adding some of the following:
- SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Protection – This allows encrypted connections that will allow us to safely accept payments for races, dues, membership fees and more all online should we choose to do so in the future.
- Dedicated Server –We are now on a server that only hosts our website. This allows us free reign for building ideas into the site such as automatic race submission from the event, complex photo management (our own flicker/shutterfly/etc system) and more.
- Improved CMS – I’ve begun using a much better content management system instead of the slightly poor system I had built from scratch. We now have easy user registration, user roles which make it easier to delegate tasks on the site (adding races, results, posting pictures or news articles).
- Races that are posted to the site now save pertinent information such as venue/location, organizers such as ourselves or ARE and saves it for later use. This way when a race is repeated the next year it is as simple as selecting the venue/location, organizer and the date.
- Google integration – Google Maps are now incorporated for events/races/etc and events can be added to Google Calendar right from the event page. I have little experience with iOS/Apple devices so maybe some further work is to be done here.
Site To-Do List
I have a lot of things I would like to do still to the site to make any kind of information entering easier and get more people involved with using the site.
- Simple submission of race results – I will have to look much closer at our race software or a possible Email-to-Post method for emailing race results to the website and having them automatically published.
- Member involvement – I would like to get more people involved and registered. Adding races you know about or just posting that you are going on a run can be added to a training event
- Community integration – Posting any and all race results (or even links to said results) for races we are not involved in. Just following up with results for a race we advertised is a great way to keep traffic flowing to the site. See search results section for a bit more explanation.
- Twitter – The site posts content to Twitter automatically under the ScaryLegRunners account. Maybe we can utilize the Twitter medium more in the future on signs, flyers, etc? Just a thought.
This is a slightly filtered graph showing the average user traffic for the site over the last 30 days. We do on average about 2000 hits a day but it is mostly Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines crawling to update their systems. We had a pretty good spike the weeks before Thanksgiving and as you can see below the Turkey Trots and other Thanksgiving races were regularly searched for on our site.
Search Results and Referrals
Search engines were sending traffic our way for searches like “altamont run off that turkey turkey trot” and “run off that turkey results 2015.” One of the things I have noticed is we are also getting traffic for race results for races we are not even involved in. This is what I was mentioning in our To-Do list section. We advertised a race and then we also post the results which keep people on our site. For right now this will be something I will keep up on however I would like to see in the future a few people adding races and results.
A lot of work has gone into the new site and I would like to show everyone how easy it is to use at one of the meetings. I think with a handful of people adding content this could become a pretty valuable resource in our area and community.