HOASpace Blog

Informative or Interactive -- HOASpace has you covered!

Every community is unique. Some communities are more active, and some are more relaxed. While all community types can benefit from an online presence, their needs may be different. For example, one community may simply want a centralized repository for their documents and news, while another wants to have discussion boards and allow electronic voting using their community website. And others may be a hybrid of both of these types.

Regardless of your membership demographic or how they'd like to use their community website, HOASpace.com has a plan that fits:

Our "Economy" plan has the essential informational applications that your community needs to keep members informed of community news, as well as providing a single location for their membership directory, contact lists, documentation storage, photo galleries, and even the local weather forecast. It's also our lowest-cost plan at only $15 per month*.

Our "Extended" plan does a great job of providing community information, including all of the features of the Economy plan, while adding our most popular interactive features like discussion boards, clubs, committees, voting and surveys, classified ads, and more. In addition, you'll also have access to our website theme manager so you can customize your website's visual theme, including the page header, fonts, and colors. The Extended plan features are currently available for $25/month.*

Our "Mega" plan is the ultimate HOA website package, including all of the features we offer. In addition to all of the features of the Economy and Extended plans, the Mega plan also adds a custom online fill-in form designer, signup lists, guest registry, amenity reservation calendar, a local services directory (with reviews), website searching and more, all for only $39/month.*

No matter what your community's website needs are, or your residents' level of computer expertise, we have a plan that will work for you at a price every community can afford!

Check out our detailed plan comparison and sign up today for a free 30-day trial website to see what HOASpace can do for your community!

*Paid quarterly, semiannually, or annually.

Backups: They're not just for data!

When you create your free trial HOA website with HOASpace, you become the default administrator. As the webmaster, you have the ability to make changes to the website's configuration as well as its content. It's an important role for keeping your website's content fresh and accurate.

But what happens if something happens to the website administrator? What if the webmaster leaves the community and forgets to hand over the administrator role to a new member? What if they go rogue and decide to use the website as a tool in their disagreements with the board? These things can, and do happen, more frequently than you might expect. Therefore, it's important to protect yourself from these types of issues when setting up roles for members to administer your community website.

While you might routinely perform backups of your home computer, have you ever considered having a backup plan for your homeowner association website? It's an important step you shouldn't overlook when setting up your site. A backup administrator can not only allow another member to assist the primary administrator with maintenance of the site, but also allow you to retain control over your website in situations like those mentioned above.

Creating backup administrators is easy with your HOASpace website. The following support article describes the process and also includes links to video tutorials to walk you through the necessary steps: Adding Additional Administrators

The best time to do this is while you are initially setting up and configuring your community website, since your administrator's absence may not necessarily be expected or planned. Having additional administrators (you can have as many as you want) will make sure you're not caught off guard or experience delays getting back in control of your website.

And while you're at it, if your site uses a registered domain, now is the time to make sure that someone other than the original registrant has the current credentials to log into the registrar where the domain is registered and managed. If the domain registrant leaves the community and your domain expires with no one else able to renew or update it, you may be left with no other recourse than to let the domain go and register a new one for your community website. After all, the domain name should be the property of the community, not just one person. Be sure you are keeping all the information associated with your website's domain name secure and accessible should someone else need to manage it in the future.

A few minutes of time now could save you hours or days of frustration, or even down time in the future!

Contact us today if you have any questions about adding additional administrators to your HOASpace community website.

Do I need to register a domain name for my HOA website?

With HOASpace.com, the short answer is "no." A registered domain name is one that you pay to use on an annual basis, and register or renew through a registrar. A registrar is simply a domain "broker," where you register, renew or manage your domain. However, HOASpace.com provides you with a free URL, called a "subdomain," for your website to allow you to access your site without requiring a registered domain name.

So what's the difference between a registered domain name and a subdomain?

A subdomain is a website address that is part of another registered domain. In our case, a subdomain comes in the format "<something>.hoaspace.com" where <something> is the part that you can customize. For example, if your community name is "Portofino", you might chose the subdomain "portofino.hoaspace.com" for your homeowner association website address.

On the other hand, some customers may want a shorter URL and may choose to register their own domain name. Registered domains come in the format "<something>.com" or "<something>.org" where <something> is the part that you choose. Registered domains can provide a more professional appearance for your website, but they do come with a cost... literally.

We are able to provide a subdomain of your choice under the hoaspace.com domain for free as long as you host your HOA website with us. However, a registered domain name must be purchased and renewed, usually annually, at a cost anywhere from $20 to $100 per year, depending on the domain name you choose and the registrar where you purchase/renew it. Please note that we do not charge any additional fees to use your domain with your HOASpace.com website. Your only additional payment in this case will be to the registrar for the continued use of your domain name.

Once you have registered a domain, you will need to configure it to point to your website so people entering the domain into their browser will be taken to your community website. These configuration changes will be made at the registrar where the domain was registered. If you choose to use a free subdomain of hoaspace.com, we will automatically configure it for you to point to your community site at the time it is created.

While a domain name can provide a more professional appearance for your site, it does come with additional costs and configuration requirements that you will be responsible for. If this is something that you would prefer to avoid, you can always use the free subdomain address provided by HOASpace.com.

Contact us today if you have any questions about using a domain or subdomain name with an HOASpace community website.

Pros and Cons of a Website Discussion Board

Including a discussion board on your community website is a great way to create a community and foster discussion around shared interests. It can be used by communities to allow residents to connect with one another on various community-related topics. At the same time, offering a discussion forum on your community website can have both positive and negative effects:

Pros of a discussion board:

Increased engagement: A discussion board can help to increase engagement with your community. By providing a space for people to share their thoughts and ideas, you can create a more connected and interactive community.

Collected feedback: A discussion board can also be used to collect feedback from your community. This feedback can be used to make decisions about your community or quickly gauge interest in different ideas.

Convenience: A discussion board can allow residents and board members to discuss topics immediately, without waiting for a physical meeting. It also allows these discussions to occur "virtually", without requiring residents to take time from their schedule or leave home to attend a meeting. Members can weigh in whenever it's convenient for them.

Cons of a discussion board:

Moderation: A discussion board often requires moderation to ensure that it remains a safe and positive space for everyone. An administrator may need to update the board from time to time to remove unused topic areas or add new ones in order to keep conversations organized.

Abuse: A discussion board can be abused by people who post spam, offensive content, or personal attacks. You will need to have a system in place to deal with these issues.

Overall, adding a discussion board to your community website can be a great way to foster discussion around a shared interest. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if a discussion board is right for your community's website.

Here are some tips for managing a successful discussion board on your community website:

Set clear rules and guidelines. Make sure that all members of your community are aware of the rules and guidelines for posting on the discussion board. Make it clear that violators will be banned from future participation.

Announce your discussion board. Let members know about your discussion board through your website, email announcements, and other channels.

Moderate your discussion board regularly. Monitor the discussion board for any inappropriate or offensive content. Members will only continue to use the forums if they are enjoyable and offer a welcoming and helpful experience.

Respond to feedback. Respond to questions and issues raised by your community members in a timely and helpful manner. Residents will be more likely to use the discussion board if they feel their requests are being acknowledged by the HOA.

By following these tips, you can create a successful discussion board that will benefit your community and continue to make your community website an enjoyable and useful tool for your residents.

Contact us today to see how you can have your own community discussion board by creating an HOASpace website today!

Why an HOA Website is Important

In today's digital age, a website is essential for any organization, including homeowners associations (HOAs). A professional, well-maintained homeowner association website can provide a number of benefits for both the HOA and its members, including:

Improved communication: An HOA website can be a great way to communicate with members. The website can be used to post important announcements, news, and information, as well as to provide a forum for members to ask questions and share ideas. This can help to keep members informed about what is happening in the community and to foster a sense of community spirit.

Increased transparency: An HOA website can also help to increase transparency by making important documents and information available to members online. This can help to build trust between the HOA board and members and to ensure that members are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Efficient management: An HOA website can also help to make HOA management more efficient. The website can be used to handle amenity reservations, manage resident requests, and provide other services to members. This can free up the HOA board and management to focus on other important tasks.

Marketing tool: An HOA website can also be used as a marketing tool to attract new residents to the community. The website can be used to showcase the community's features and amenities, as well as to provide information about the HOA's rules and regulations. This can help to make the community more attractive to potential buyers.

Overall, a homeowner association website is a valuable tool that can provide a number of benefits for both the HOA and its members. If your HOA does not have a website, you should seriously consider creating one. HOASpace.com can help make this task simple and cost-effective. It is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Here are some additional tips for creating a successful HOA website:

• Make sure the website is easy to use and navigate.

• Keep the website up-to-date with the latest news and information.

• Use clear and concise language.

• Include a variety of features such as a library of important documents, a calendar with community events, a forum for members to discuss important issues, and a contact form.

• Design the website to be mobile-friendly.

By following these tips, you can create an homeowner association website that is informative, engaging, and useful for your members.

Contact us today to see how affordable and helpful an HOASpace community website can be!