5 Reasons to Avoid Letting Your Community Management Company Handle Your Website

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:4 mins read

In the digital age, having a robust online presence is crucial for community associations and HOAs to effectively communicate with residents, streamline operations, and enhance community engagement. However, entrusting the creation and management of your HOA website to your community management company might not be the wisest decision. Here are five compelling reasons why:

1. Lack of Expertise in Web Design and Development

Community management companies excel in managing properties and facilitating community interactions, but they often lack the specialized skills required for effective web design and development. Crafting an engaging and functional website demands expertise in areas such as user experience design, coding languages, and responsive design principles. Entrusting this task to professionals who understand the intricacies of web development ensures that your HOA website is visually appealing, user-friendly, and technically sound.

2. Hindered Flexibility in Choosing Management Companies

Opting for a community management company to handle your website ties you to their services, making it challenging to switch to a different provider if you’re dissatisfied with their performance. In the industry they call this “having a sticky product”. By separating your website development and management from your community management services, you retain the flexibility to choose the best-fit management company for your HOA without the constraints of bundled services. In other words: it will be easier to leave your association management company for another one should the need arise.

3. Inability to Create a Comprehensive Association Website

Community management companies may offer basic website solutions, but these often fall short in providing the comprehensive features and functionalities required for HOAs. From online payment portals and event calendars to document libraries and user portals, a full-featured association website demands a diverse range of tools tailored to meet the specific needs of your community. Collaborating with experienced web designers ensures that your website encompasses all essential elements required for efficient association management and resident engagement.

4. Limited Focus on User Experience and Accessibility

Community management companies often prioritize operational efficiency over user experience and accessibility when it comes to website development. A user-centric approach, focusing on intuitive navigation, mobile responsiveness, and accessibility features, is essential for ensuring that residents can easily access information and interact with the HOA website across various devices and abilities. By partnering with dedicated web design professionals, you can ensure that your website is optimized for user experience, thereby enhancing resident satisfaction and engagement within the community.

5. One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Community management companies often adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to website development, offering generic templates and limited customization options. However, a cookie-cutter website fails to capture the unique essence and requirements of your homeowners association. A custom website solution, crafted by experienced web designers, allows for extensive customization and personalization to reflect your HOA’s identity, values, and operational workflows. From branding elements and layout design to feature integrations and content organization, a customized website ensures a seamless and cohesive online experience for residents and board members alike.

Contact a Company Specializing in Association Websites

While community management companies excel in their core services, entrusting them with your HOA website may not yield the desired results. By collaborating with professional web designers and developers, you gain access to specialized expertise, flexibility in choosing management services, comprehensive website functionalities, tailored solutions, and personalized customization options. Investing in a standalone website solution ensures that your HOA’s online presence is not just functional but also reflective of its unique identity and community-centric values.

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Secure your HOA Website

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:4 mins read

When it comes to building a website for a Homeowners Association (HOA), security should be of the utmost importance. After all, an HOA website is not only a source of information for residents but also a hub for important communications and documents. It is crucial that sensitive information, such as personal contact details and financial data, is kept secure to prevent unauthorized access and protect the privacy of residents. Here are a few key security measures that every HOA website should have:

Secure Login System

A secure login system is essential for any website that requires user authentication. It should use strong encryption algorithms, such as SHA-256 or SHA-512, to ensure that login credentials are not intercepted by hackers. Furthermore, residents should be required to use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters for their passwords, in order to make them more difficult to crack.

SSL Encryption

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption is a must-have for any website that handles sensitive information, such as personal details or financial transactions. It ensures that data transmitted between the user’s browser and the server is encrypted, making it impossible for hackers to intercept and read. This can be verified by the presence of a green padlock icon in the browser and “https” in the website’s URL. This website utilizes SSL encryption.


A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It can be used to block unauthorized access to the HOA’s website, protecting it from hackers and other malicious actors. Additionally, many hosting services provide firewall protection by default, which can provide an additional layer of security.

Regular Backups

Regularly backing up the website’s data and storing it at a third-party cloud data center can help to protect against data loss in the event of a cyber-attack or other disasters. This can include everything from the website’s code and content to databases and uploaded files. By keeping a recent copy of the website’s data, it can be quickly restored in case of a security breach.

Access Control

It is important to restrict access to sensitive data and areas of the website to only authorized personnel, such as the board members and management staff. This can include adding an additional level of authentication or assigning user roles to limit who can access what.

Antivirus/Malware Protection

It is important to regularly scan the website for malware and other malicious code, which can lead to data breaches or unauthorized access. There are many free or paid software options available that can help to detect and remove malware.

Regular Security Audits

Regular security audits can help to identify and address any vulnerabilities in the website. They can include testing for SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other common attacks. The audit should also include a review of the website’s source code to ensure that it is up-to-date and free of any known vulnerabilities.

In addition to these technical measures, it is important for the HOA’s board members and management staff to be aware of the importance of security and be educated on best practices for website security. By doing this, they can take steps to ensure that their website remains secure and that any issues are addressed promptly.

In conclusion, security is crucial for any website, particularly for a Homeowners Association website that deals with sensitive information and financial transactions. By implementing the above-mentioned security measures, the HOA can protect its residents’ personal information and financial data, as well as maintain the integrity of the website.

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Top 10 Features Every HOA Website Should Have

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:5 mins read

When it comes to creating a website for your Homeowners Association (HOA), there are certain features that are essential for an effective online presence. These features not only provide residents with important information and resources but also help to foster communication and engagement within the community.

Below are the top 10 features that every HOA website should have:

Membership Portal

A membership portal allows residents to access exclusive content, view important documents, and stay informed of upcoming events and meetings. Additionally, a member login system can also include a messaging area that allows residents to contact the board and other members directly.

Events Calendar

An events calendar can be used to display upcoming meetings, social events, and other important dates for the community. With the ability to view events online, residents can easily keep track of their schedule and make sure they don’t miss anything important. Community managers should be able to add events to the calendar themselves in order to make last-minute changes and updates.

Discussion Groups

Having online community groups allows residents to share information, ask questions, and offer suggestions in an open and transparent manner. Groups can also be used to create sub-groups for specific topics, such as a gardening group or a social committee.

Newsletters and Email Alerts

Email alerts and newsletters allow the board to keep residents informed of important announcements, changes to community rules, and other information. By having the ability to sign up for email alerts, residents can choose how frequently they want to receive updates, making it more convenient for them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A FAQ section of a HOA website can provide quick answers to those commonly asked questions. This can save time for both residents and community managers.

Responsive Design

Having a website that is easy to navigate and responsive is a must-have feature. This will allow residents to access the website from any device, whether it be their computer, tablet or smartphone.

Photo Galleries

Online photo galleries can be used to showcase the community’s events, facilities, and amenities. They are also a great way to keep residents informed of the latest happenings in the community.

Community Directory

Incorporating an online community directory into your HOA website is a very useful tool for members to have access to. Listing contact information for other residents can help members keep in touch and communicate with each other.

Document Library

Having a library of important documents such as bylaws, covenants, and meeting minutes available for residents to view online can be a great way to increase transparency and accessibility. It is also a legal requirement in some states.

Contact Forms

Utilizing various contact forms throughout a community website is helpful in directing requests to the correct departments. For example, a billing inquiry could be routed directly to the community Treasurer thus saving all parties time.

An HOA website can be a powerful tool for facilitating communication and engagement within the community. By incorporating the above-mentioned features, the board can create an online platform that effectively connects residents and allows for seamless communication. It can also help to improve transparency, collaboration, and overall satisfaction among the members. With the right website in place, the HOA can foster a strong and cohesive community, which will lead to a more harmonious and successful neighborhood.

To get started building your own community website please contact us.

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New Year, New Website!

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Happy New Year! As the calendar flips over to a new year, it’s a perfect time to think about building a website for your association.

A website is an essential tool for any modern HOA, COA or association. It’s a central hub for communication, information sharing, and online interactions. A well-designed website can make the lives of both HOA board members and homeowners easier, as well as help build a sense of community within the association.

If you’re considering building a website for your HOA, you should consider hiring HOA Web to do the job. Here’s why:

  1. We specialize in HOA websites. Building a website for an HOA is different from building a website for a small business or personal blog. HOA websites have specific needs and features, such as membership directories, event calendars, and document libraries. At HOA Web, we have years of experience building websites for associations, so we know how to create a website that meets the unique needs of your community.
  2. We offer fully managed solutions. Building a website is just the beginning. You’ll also need to worry about hosting, security, updates, and backups. With HOA Web, you don’t have to worry about any of that. We offer fully managed solutions, which means we handle all the technical details for you. This frees up your time to focus on running your HOA and serving your community.
  3. We build custom websites. Every HOA is different, and your website should reflect that. At HOA Web, we don’t use pre-made templates or cookie-cutter designs. Instead, we work with you to create a custom website that meets your specific needs and reflects the character of your community.

In short, if you’re looking to build a website for your association, HOA Web is a perfect choice. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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States that Require Association Websites

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:2 mins read

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of states that require homeowner’s associations (HOAs) to have a website. These websites serve as a valuable resource for homeowners, providing important information about the association and the community it serves.

One of the first states to require HOAs to have a website was California. In 2011, California passed Assembly Bill 548, which mandated that HOAs with more than 50 units must maintain a website. This law went into effect in January 2012 and has been successful in providing homeowners with easy access to important information about their association.

Other states have followed California’s lead and now require HOAs to have websites as well. These states include Nevada, Colorado, Texas, and Florida. In Nevada, HOAs with more than 50 units are required to maintain a website, while in Colorado, the threshold is 150 units. Texas requires HOAs with more than 10 units to have a website, while in Florida, all HOAs are required to have a website, regardless of the number of units.

Having a website is not only a requirement in some states, but it is also a valuable tool for HOAs. A website can provide important information about the association, such as contact information, meeting dates and times, community rules and regulations, and more. It can also serve as a platform for communication between the association and homeowners, allowing homeowners to easily stay informed about what is happening in their community.

In addition to providing important information, a website can also be a valuable tool for HOAs to manage their operations. Many HOA management software programs offer the ability to integrate with a website, allowing the association to easily post important documents, such as meeting minutes and financial reports, for homeowners to access. This can save the association time and money by reducing the need to print and distribute documents.

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Why Doesn’t My HOA Website Get Very Much Traffic?

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:4 mins read

So you have launched your HOA website and it has been live for some time but you are starting to notice that you only get a handful of visitors each month. It is almost like people in your HOA community are not visiting the website. So what gives?

This isn’t the “Field of Dreams”. Websites do not operate under the “if you build it, they will come” premise. If they did, we would all be rich. In order to get visitors to your HOA website you need to take the following steps:

  • Make your community members aware there is a website for them to visit
  • Utilize tools like mailing lists and social media to notify community members when there is new content on your website
  • Create content that will make people want to visit your website such as news and an events calendar.
  • Make sure your website is accessible via mobile devices

Make Members Aware of your Website

This seems pretty obvious but many HOA managers don’t even let their community members know they have a website at their disposal. When you launch a new HOA website you need to make sure that you let your community know it exists.

If you have a newsletter you send out, inform your members through that. Make them aware at monthly meetings, through social media, etc.

A good strategy to “force” members to visit your website is to store important forms on your site. For example, you could keep your architectural review form on the website. This would force your community members to visit the site to download the form.

Notify HOA Members of New Content

When you post new updates to your site you need a way of letting your community members know. A good example of this would be letting them know through a Facebook page. A better example would be keeping them informed through an email list such as Constant Contact or Mailchimp.

You put in hard work to keep your HOA website updated and you want members to view those updates. What’s more, many of your updates are important and you want as many community members as possible to see them.

Using a platform like an email list is a great way to let your members know there is new content on your site.

Create Informative Content

If your members visit your HOA website and don’t find any up to date content or anything useful they are going to stop using it as a resource. It is important to make sure that what you post on your site is relevant and useful.

Posting things like news and documents are helpful but you can go even further by maintaining a community calendar. A calendar of events will be helpful to HOA members and keep your site content relevant and up to date.

Is your HOA website Mobile Friendly?

The reality is that many of your HOA members will visit your website on their mobile device. This means that it is incredibly important to make sure your site will work on a mobile platform.

If your HOA site doesn’t work on a mobile phone contact us and we can help.

How to you get visitors to your HOA website?

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

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HOA Domain Names

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:5 mins read

HOA Domain names are one of the most important things you will buy for your homeowner’s association website.  The domain name represents how members will find your HOA’s website and is most likely uniform to the actual name of your association.  For example, your HOA may be called “Silver Hills Estates” and your domain could be “silverhillsestats.com”.  On the surface, domain names seem pretty straightforward – however – when you actually have to manage one you may find they can be quite confusing.  Here are some tips to help better understand all that comes with a domain name.

First though, a few definitions:

Registry: The Organization that manages domains, creates extensions, sets rules, and oversees and gives accreditation to registrars.  Verisign, for example, is a domain registry.
Registrar:  The domain registrar is the company that manages the registration of your domain.  GoDaddy, for example, is a well-known registrar.
Registrant:  The person or entity that registers a domain name.  If you bought a domain name to use for your HOA that means you are the registrant.
WHOIS: A record of a domain name containing important information like expiration date, registrant information, etc.

Choosing an HAO Domain Registrar

There are many domain name registrars to choose from and most web hosting companies also provide domain name registration.  It is important you choose a reputable domain registrar as many of these companies can go out of business without warning leaving you in the dark and creating a huge hassle to regain control of your domain.  So a small, local, mom and pop shop is NOT a good place to register your domain.  It is also a good idea to register your domain at a different location than where you host your website.  You can modify your nameservers to point to your hosting account – they do not have to be the same company.  Some good places to register a domain name are Gandi, GoDaddy or Namecheap.  We prefer Gandi.

HOA Domain Expiration

All domain names come with an expiration date and that date is usually one year from the date of registration.  Most domain name registrars will allow you to register your domain for more than a year.  If you have the money and know your HOA will be around for some time, it is a good idea to register your domain for more than one year.  This way you do not have to worry about renewing the domain every year.

Another good idea is to make sure your HOA’s domain name has an active credit card on file and set your registration to auto-renew.  That means that if you forget to renew the domain it will be automatically done on your behalf.

HOA Domain Name Contact Information

This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of registering your domain name as it legally ties the domain name to you or your HOA.  If you get this information wrong you can have difficulty accessing the domain or at worst you could lose it.  There are three types of domain contacts: Registrant, Administrative, and Technical.  You can use different contacts for each one if you like – for example, if you have an IT company helping you they could be the Technical contact.  Make sure your address, phone number, and email address are correct.

The most important contact field is your email address as this is where any domain notifications and transfer authorizations will be sent.  It is also VERY important to make sure your contact email address does NOT have the same extension as your domain name.  For example, if your domain name is “silverhillsestats.com” you do NOT want to use a contact email address of ji*@sl****************.com.  Instead, use a personal email like ji******@gm***.com as your contact email.

Checking your HOA Domain Name

Not sure who registered your HOA’s domain name? Want to check the contact information on your domain? You can do this for free by visiting https://whois.icann.org/en/lookup?name= and entering your domain name into the field. This will give you all the important information you need to make sure your domain is properly registered.

Have questions about your Homeowner’s Association domain name or need help with something domain related? Contact us and we can help. 

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5 Homeowners Association WordPress Plugins

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:7 mins read

If you are managing your HOAs website and using WordPress to do so you most likely already know there are alot of options out there to make your site shine.  Wordpress is a great tool to use on a Homeowners Association website because of all the different plugins you can use on it.  Below we are going to highlight some free plugins that can help you grow your HOA and improve the overall functionality of your website.

Board of Directors Plugin

Want to create a section on your website that will showcase your Board of Directors?  You can do that by using the free Team Members plugin.  This plugin will allow you to add individual members to your board of directors and include first and last name, social links and a bio for your member.

For a premium option to manage your team members consider the Team Showcase plugin.


Frequently Asked Questions Plugin

You run a Homeowners Association website so naturally there are going to be alot of frequently asked questions.  You make this section of your website easy to handle with the free Acronix FAQ plugin.  This FAQ plugin is easy to use and allows you to create a list of questions and answers and neatly display them on the page you choose by simply inserting the shortcode.

For a premium FAQ plugin with many more options consider Ultimate FAQs.


Homeowners Association Community Gallery Plugin

Want to showcase your community in a beautiful gallery on your HOA website? This is a great way to keep your community members active on your website and show off what kind of neighborhood you live in.  The Photo Gallery by WD plugin is a free plugin that will allow you to create and manage eye catching photo galleries on your website.  Simply install, activate and start adding photos.

Check out our favorite premium image gallery plugin called Justified Image Grid.


HOA Calendar Plugin

Do you have an active community that you manage your HOA website for?  Are you looking for a way to share events with the community members on your website? If so, this THE plugin for you.  The Events Calendar plugin by Modern Tribe is one of the most feature rich calendar plugins you can find.  It is packed full of features but also very intuitive to use which is why it is so popular.

For a premium version of The Events Calendar you can upgrade to The Events Calendar Pro.


Surveys Plugin

Surveys are a great way to get feedback from your community members.  You can easily add a survey to your HOA website by using the Quiz and Survey Master plugin.  Ask questions, post polls, and gain insight on your community members.  This free plugin is easy to use and you will have surveys on your homeowners association website in no time.

Want a premium survey plugin? Check out Modal Survey

With so many great plugins available for WordPress it is easy to make your Homeowners Association website shine.  

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5 Critical Elements of HOA Websites

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:3 mins read

When building a website for your association there are some important things to consider before getting started.  If you start doing some searching you will notice how many terrible HOA websites there are out there.  Not just bad design – but poor functionality on top of it.  When building an HOA website you want to be sure that it is going to serve your community in an effective way.  We have put together a list of elements you will want to be sure to include in your HOA website.

Responsive Design

You will want your HOA website to be built on a responsive platform – meaning the site will view well on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone.  Your community members will be visiting your HOA website on all sorts of different devices and you want them to have a good experience no matter what they are using.  Before choosing an HOA website make sure you ask if the end product will be responsive.  This is an absolute must nowadays.

Document Management

Homeowners Associations tend to have lots of different documents that need to be shared with their community.  Whether it be board meeting minutes, rules and regulations or financial statements, you need an easy way to share these with your members.  Before you commit to an HOA website solution be sure to find out how they handle document management.  You want it to be easy for you to manage and just as easy for your community to access.

News & Community Updates

How does your community get its news and information? A website is a great place to share the happenings of your HOA.  Your website should utilize a blog or news section to post the latest events, updates, and information.  This should be easy to access for your members and easy for you to manage.  In order to keep your community website fresh and up to date consider posting updates at least once a month or more.  Pro Tip: Don’t overthink your updates.

Photo Gallery

It seems trivial and not essential but having a photo gallery for your community website can increase member involvement and viewership significantly.  Keeping an up to date photo gallery encourages members to visit your website and can show potential home buyers what it is like to live within your community.  Having a summer BBQ? Bring a camera and share the photos on your photo gallery.

Community Calendar

Does your HOA website have a community calendar? How does your association know what events are happening that may pertain to them?  Keeping a calendar with updated events is essential to running a successful HOA.  Not only should you be letting members know of upcoming HOA meetings but you should let people know of other events within the community.  Something as simple as a well-managed calendar can help your members see more value in their HOA.

There are many elements that go into running a successful HOA website and these are just a few to consider.  If you are looking for assistance with managing your HOA website please contact us for details on how we can help.

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