Australia’s national pistol shooting organization, Pistol Australia, has just unveiled its new custom-built website developed by Technowand. Pistol Australia has over 14,000 members nationwide, with eight state/territory associations and a head office in Deakin, Canberra. Each sub-association has its own website independent of Pistol Australia’s. Sport administrator Shawn McEachin says that with a large member base and events held all over the country, Pistol Australia needed to streamline its online communications. Its old website’s limited functionality made communicating with members more complex than necessary. “Our old site was difficult to edit and update. It didn’t talk to child sites, and it had no social media integration. We needed to change how we communicated among ourselves, with members and the general public,” Shawn says. He says Pistol Australia wanted a solution that would make it easy to communicate and share information, without isolating older members.
“Our sport isn’t like a lot of major sports. The demographic is a little bit older than what you get in say, netball or football,” Shawn explained. “Many of our members don’t use the internet on a regular basis, so we were conscious of not intimidating those members when we updated the site. We were looking for a solution that was easy to navigate, with large images and text, and that meant we needed a bespoke solution.” Pistol Australia approached several other large web development providers in Sydney and Melbourne before engaging Canberra-based Technowand. Shawn says Pistol Australia chose Technowand for its technical expertise and demonstrated ability to deliver custom solutions. Pistol Australia also had an existing working relationship with Technowand, which provides the organisation’s IT support.
“We spoke to a lot of other providers before we engaged Technowand. But those providers either weren’t interested in developing a custom platform, or they couldn’t do what we needed.” “It was also important for us to work with a local company that could provide in-person assistance when we needed it. It makes a difference to have face-to-face contact,” Shawn says. Technowand developed and deployed the first phase of Pistol Australia’s custom-built website solution in three months. The end result is a website that is easy to navigate and doesn’t require specialist IT support to edit. Members can now view athlete profiles, share information on social media, find a club or learn more about Pistol Australia using the FAQ guide. And since the solution doesn’t rely on other software or tools, it can scale as Pistol Australia grows. Shawn says initial feedback has been positive. “We only went live very recently, but the general aesthetic has been well received.”
Technowand is now working with Pistol Australia to expand the site’s functionality. This means adding an ecommerce module for selling Pistol Australia merchandise online, as well as integrating with state/territory association websites. “We’d like to expand the site to include member states and clubs, and give them an opportunity to update their sites or get online with a new site. If we can do that, we’ll build a Pistol Australia community where we can share our stories, events and calendars,” Shawn says. “The point that we’re working towards is that when Pistol Australia adds a Queensland event to its calendar, then that event will automatically appear on the Queensland website too.”
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