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10 Examples of Professional Association Websites and What You Can Learn From Them

Author: Sayana Izmailova
February 10, 2021
🕑 7 min read

Professional associations exist in nearly every industry. Apart from ensuring that members adhere to a set of standards and follow policies related to their work, these associations provide a vast number of benefits to those who join.

They allow professionals to come together and learn, network, collaborate and advance their careers, as well as contribute to how well their respective industry serves the public.

If you run or are thinking of running a professional association, one of the first things you need to think about is your website. This is the home of your association and the place where your members will discover, connect and engage with you and with each other.

That’s why your association website has to be functional, user friendly and visually appealing.

To help inspire you, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite professional association websites, including some things they do particularly well, so you can incorporate them into your own website.

8 Must-Have Professional Association Website Features

Before we dive in, I’d like to note some important features that all of these websites have in common:

  1. Mobile-friendly design: it’s likely that the majority of your visitors will be viewing your website on a mobile device, so it’s important to make sure that it loads quickly on mobile and everything is displayed properly.
  2. A well-organized menu: You likely have a lot of information to share, so organize it in a hierarchy that makes sense. This will help your site visitors have a better user experience and quickly find everything they’re looking for.
  3. An “About us” page: When someone who’s not familiar with your association visits your website, this is the first place they will go to read about your work, benefits and how they can join.
  4. Events: With WildApricot’s website builder, you can showcase your upcoming events in a list or calendar view, promote them in a widget on your homepage and have people register for the event right on your website. You can also keep an archive and highlight photos from your past events.
  5. Membership application form: If someone is interested in joining your association, they can complete the process quickly and easily through WildApricot’s membership application form. You can set up different levels and price points, decide which information you’d like to ask for and process their payment right on your site.
  6. Member-only login area: If you offer exclusive information to your members or simply need a place to communicate important information that’s not applicable to public site visitors, you can take advantage of a member-only login area. It’s simply a password protected area of your site where members can login for more exclusive content and to view or update their own member information.
  7. Social buttons: Are you active on social media? Invite your visitors to continue the conversation and stay up-to-date on your activities by following your social media accounts. People are unlikely to visit your website on a regular basis, but if they follow you, they’ll be able to see your updates in their newsfeed as soon as you post them.
  8. Search bar: Your website likely has a lot of useful information. When someone is looking for something specific, it can be time-consuming to skim through a lot of text in hopes of finding it. Instead, make it easy for your site visitors with a simple search bar embedded in your header or footer. Visitors will be able to search for key terms and find pages and sections of your website that contain them.

Now, let’s look at some great professional association websites built by real-life WildApricot customers and see what you can learn from them.

(And by the way, if you’d like to try building your own professional association website in WildApricot, you can start a free 60-day trial right now and start exploring the website builder within seconds!)

Click through to claim your 60-day trial of WildApricot to create effective QR codes that will speed up event check-in.

10 Examples of Professional Association Websites Built in WildApricot

1. Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago

Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago

What we like:

  • Their homepage is full of useful information, including links to their latest news articles, so visitors can easily stay up to date on their activities.
  • At the bottom of their homepage, visitors are invited to sign up to receive their newsletter straight to their email inbox — an additional way to build a connection with them. 
  • On the side of the homepage, there are two social buttons with links to their Twitter and LinkedIn pages. These buttons are sticky, so they stay in place as site visitors scroll down through the page.

2. Motion Picture Sound Editors

Motion Picture Sound Editors

What we like:

  • They’ve placed links to their social media accounts in the header of their website, so they’re always easily accessible.
  • They include advertisements on their homepage, either as an additional source of revenue or simply to keep their site visitors up to date on new releases in their industry.
  • They have an online store where members and the public can purchase merchandise and show their support. Plus, it’s an extra source of revenue!

3. Virginia School Counselor Association

Virginia School Counselor Association

What we like:

  • Their homepage features a rotating carousel of event photos, giving site visitors a sense of what they can expect if they decide to join.
  • Member benefits are listed right on the home page, so prospective members don’t have to search around for them, making them more likely to join.
  • The homepage also includes a list of COVID-19 resources — a timely and valuable source of information for existing and prospective members.

4. Florida Association for Bilingual Education

Florida Association for Bilingual Education

What we like:

  • Their homepage features an event calendar, so site visitors can get a quick visual representation of what events are happening in any given month.
  • They have a member forum where members can communicate with each other and share opinions, tips and resources. There’s also a widget on the homepage that displays the latest forum topics and links to read them in full.
  • They have a section for important announcements. Some announcements have a supporting PDF document, which is stored right on the website and can be opened in browser or downloaded.

5. National Association of Professional Mortgage Women

National Association of Professional Mortgage Women

What we like:

  • Their homepage is engaging and visually appealing, featuring colored blocks and information laid out in a way that’s easy to digest.
  • They accept donations and invite site visitors to donate right on their homepage — making it more likely that they will!
  • They invite site visitors to check whether there’s a local chapter they can join and provide all the necessary information about these chapters.

6. Northern Colorado Writers

Northern Colorado Writers

What we like:

  • They have an Author Q&A series, giving existing and prospective members insight into the careers of successful writers — a valuable resource for their audience.
  • Their leadership team is featured right on the homepage, helping site visitors get acquainted with the people who run the association. Visitors can click to read more or even email each leadership team member.
  • They have a Facebook widget on their homepage, which automatically updates with the latest posts from their Facebook page. This gives site visitors a glimpse into what they can expect to see on the platform and encourages them to follow the association.

7. Halton-Peel Dental Association

Halton-Peel Dental Association

What we like:

  • They have a section on their website that highlights charities they support. They also encourage site visitors to get to know these charities and make donations of their own.
  • They also have a section about their outreach and advocacy activities, highlighting their efforts to improve oral health in the community.
  • They publish a newsletter on their website, as opposed to just sending it in an email. This way, site visitors have access to past news articles and announcements.

8. ICF San Antonio

ICF San Antonio

What we like:

  • Their homepage has an embedded YouTube video — it serves as an introduction to what professionals in their industry do and why it’s important.
  • The header of their website is sticky, meaning it stays in place as visitors scroll through the page and is always visible and accessible.
  • Their website has a section for volunteer opportunities where visitors can learn about how they can get involved.

9. Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology

Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology

What we like:

  • Their website has a member directory where site visitors can search for and learn about professionals in their area.
  • Their contact page has an embedded Google Map, so visitors can get a visual representation of where the association is located and determine if it’s convenient for them to attend meetings.
  • Their website has a collapsible sidebar with upcoming events and a Facebook widget so visitors can see updates at a glance.

10. California Women in Energy

California Women in Energy

What we like:

  • Their homepage is captivating and informative — it spotlights the association’s mission alongside high-quality photos of the women they serve.
  • Their corporate members are listed on their homepage in a rotating carousel of logos — a great member perk to offer!
  • Their website has a section where they list their board of directors and their biographies, giving prospective members a chance to get to know the association’s leadership.

Start Building Your Own Website in WildApricot

These features (and many others!) are all available with the WildApricot website builder. To get started with creating your own website, start your free 60-day trial now.

What features and sections will you be including in your professional association website? Let us know in the comments!

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