New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Revamping a Co-op or Condo's Website: How to Kick It Up to 2.0

New York City

Nov. 6, 2014

Upgrading a website is no small feat. A good place to start is by collecting feedback from the people who try to use it. Do they have complaints about navigation? Do they feel like it takes too many clicks to complete an action? Do they feel that information they need is buried and difficult to access? Turn that negative feedback into a roadmap to a sleeker site.

Look at Other Websites

Check out other co-op board sites and see what they've done. This is helpful even if the sites you find are as dated as yours. Navigate your way around them, taking note of what you'd do differently. Depending on the type of information you want to share on your site, you might consider a clean, minimalist design with clearly identified tabs, so that you don't cram everything on the homepage and give users a case of information overload.

What's Out There

Check out Google Cloud Computing, GoDaddy, Yahoo Small Business and WordPress for web hosting services. Review what each option offers and how much it costs so you can see which of them suits your needs best — and which is within the scope of your budget.

What to share. The information you put on the website depends on what the board feels comfortable sharing. Typically a website might include the house rules, shareholder responsibilities, floor plans, service notices, sublet policy, alteration agreements, and move in/move out regulations, laundry room hours and the monthly newsletter.

Know your audience: shareholders, residents and people looking to buy. You may not want to include too much information, such as the e-mail addresses of board members. Many boards prefer a "less is more" approach, preferring not to post online the co-op's financial statements.

A Bit of Pizzazz

Consider including a list of apartments available for sale, along with photographs and sales prices. Consider also including a bit of color: the building's history, any past notable residents, links to local news media, information about the surrounding neighborhood and a neighborhood events calendar.

Although a website serves as an excellent hub of information that keeps everyone — shareholders and renters alike — up to speed with the building's goings-on, don't forget that not everyone is necessarily tech savvy. Make sure everyone still receives hard copies of the newsletter and any important notices that may affect people directly: repairs, construction, open houses, parties, events, changes in policies and so on. You don't want to inadvertently make anyone feel out of the loop.


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