A daunting task for any rugby club is building or updating your rugby clubs website. A website is essential as a focal point for all current and potential rugby club members who will use the website. However, uneasiness about cost and functionality can cause rugby clubs to not take any action, in an ideal world a club would have a free website.
If a rugby club is a member of the RFU then through the Game Management System (‘GMS’) a rugby club can install a free website template. The rugby club would only need to populate the template with their information and can use the GMS system to manage memberships, results and payments.
A website can cost between £200 to £10,000 per year according to Expert Market. A rugby club will be at the £200 end of the website, which will cost domain, hosting and ongoing costs. Rugby clubs are near the lower end of the costs, due to tighter finances and a do it yourself attitude. Due to a GMS website being free, it is very attractive for a rugby club to use. There are many benefits to having a GMS website other than the fact it is free to setup.
What is Included within a GMS Rugby Website?
The benefit of having a GMS rugby website is that the system is supported by the RFU, which obviously has rugby at the heart of manifesto and wants to see every club prosper. A majority of the data collated into the GMS system, can be transposed on to the website which means updates only need to be completed in one place.
A GMS website can list the teams that you have within you club and shows the players, coaches, first aiders etc of those teams. Therefore, each team can have a page with their players and staff’s names, positions and pictures which have all been uploaded on the system. This is great if you need to pull together names and pictures for a program without having to go to each player to get a picture. Additionally, the team roles such as coach and manager are listed on the site and this makes it easy for the opposition to contact the club if there is a problem fulfilling the fixture.
The fixtures of each team can be included within the team profiles of the website. As results are electronically entered into the GMS, the results can instantly be reflected on to the rugby clubs website and a league table would auto populate. This is a positive step for any club as it removes the administration burden of keeping a website up to date as you are only required to input the information once.
A membership page can be included within the website whereby your clubs memberships can be posted. There is a purchase button in the top right of the web page which directs members and perspective members to the GMS payment gateway whereby memberships can be bought or renewed. Another benefit of the GMS rugby website is being able to list events involving the rugby club, with the GMS website, individuals can purchase tickets for events via the events web page.
The GMS Rugby website also offers a contact information page whereby there is an area for a telephone, email, club address and a map of the location. On the same page is a list of all the committee members within their club and contact details. This is most helpful for members, opposition teams and anyone trying to make contact with the club.
Additionally, a rugby club may choose to add ancillary pages to their website such as a picture gallery, how to sponsor the club, important documents and a club shop. The list is endless on what can be included on the website and as a free resource, the GMS Rugby Website is worth its weight in gold for clubs trying to reduce administration and their expenses.
What can I put on a GMS Rugby Website?
The GMS Rugby website may be a template website however, there a multitude of items which can be uploaded to the website in order to make your website unique. For instance, images which you have crafted can be uploaded to the website as a background or image on a page. This also means you have the ability to upload sponsors images which can be displayed as part of a sponsorship package.
An integral part of any website is the latest news of and coming events and also the match reports from the weekend before. A well written match report, can be a reason as to why people regularly return to a website on a weekly basis to find out how their team has faired. There is also the ability for social media feeds to be put upon a website and therefore, your posts from facebook, twitter and Instagram can be shared on your website automatically.
How to login into GMS and create a rugby club website?
To login into the RFU’s Game Management System go to the following web address https://gms.rfu.com/GMS/Account/Login and use your details to login. To set up a club website with the following steps:
- Go to the finance section of the GMS system;
- Click Bank Details;
- Then click website setup;
- Accept Terms and Conditions;
- Click create website;
- The website will take a number of minutes to be created;
- You can use your own URL or you can use an rfu url;
If you need help with any part of your website then you will need to contact the third party who manages the software which is email@example.com .
What are the other website options other than GMS?
A rugby club may feel that the GMS website supplied by the RFU is not appropriate for their rugby club. If this is the case, then one of the following options may appeal to your rugby club in order to produce a website:
WordPress is one of the most used platforms for producing websites on the internet. With the WordPress you will need to choose a theme which is the layout of your website. There are a large number of sports themes which a rugby club may like or a club may opt for a theme which is a drag drop builder so that a club can make their own unique website.
WordPress also have plugins, which are add-ons to your website. Plugins vary from a team a list, to shop software, to a newsletter sign-up. There are a thousands of plugins and using WordPress means there is no limitations to your website. Through using WordPress a rugby club can work on its search engine optimisation in order to obtain more memberships.
WIX OR SQUARESPACE
Wix and Sqaurespace are online website builders where a theme is laid over the website and an individual can update pictures and text. There are limitations to what a user can do however, the templates look very professional and a rugby club may prefer a quick and easy solution. Although Wix and Squarespace are labelled as free websites, if you want to use your own URL you will need to pay a fee in order to do so and to host the website.