Free websites for hockey clubs can be a chance to use features such as membership registration, team management and selling online.

There are lots of routes you can take for your hockey team that vary in price so we’ve put together this guide to save you time.

We’ll explore what to look out for and what features Pitchero offer that might suit your hockey club.

When thinking about the next version of your website, it should give you full control.

That means: it fits exactly what you need, is easy to switch providers and makes your club money.

The last point about income is important - fixtures, your hockey league schedule, statistics and competitions are all common for clubs.

However, your website can bring in revenue too by selling memberships, running fundraising campaigns and offering match fees.

So, where does your hockey club begin?

desktop

Get started with everything you need for a multi-team community hockey clubfrom £30/month

hockey-bg

Hockey club websites: Features

As a starting point, think about what your hockey club needs to do online before you consider moving your website or adding functionality.

A website review will save you problems later and can be approached by considering the roles of a club official, coach, players and parents and the best way to deliver that scope.

Whether you’re a club in a hockey league with a range of junior teams, senior squads and development sides or a smaller outfit looking to do more with your website, this is a useful exercise.

How do you manage team selection for games? Is member registration not as easy as it could be?

Think about the next year and beyond. In an ideal world, what would you like your hockey club’s website to achieve?

What jobs currently take too long, are complicated or involve different software to do? What’s manual, requires paperwork or a process you’d like to ditch?

Whichever website platform you’re currently with has to be the right fit.

Those visiting your club website, whether it’s for upcoming games, buying teamwear or checking future events, have high expectations.

A stylish, secure, attractive site that loads fast, is simple to navigate and delivers what they were expecting.

Which of these features does your hockey club offer online? (It’s possible to do all of them with Pitchero).

  • Sign up members

  • Offer club merchandise

  • Take online bookings

  • Manage hockey teams

  • Send messages

  • Use social sharing

  • Promote event calendar

Technical considerations

Part of a professional website that reflects all that your hockey club does is managing the technology.

For most hockey volunteers, in-depth knowledge of how websites work or fixing technical issues is not high up their list of priorities.

It’s important to factor this into choosing a supplier and judging any measure of success.

Managing a hockey website is not just adding content but the computing behind the scenes and thinking about how easy it is to run during the year.

• Does your website feature on page 1 of Google search results?

• Is it responsive? i.e.) how does your club website look on a phone or tablet?

• Is your website data secure and GDPR-compliant?

• What is the navigation like? How easy is it for visitors to find the information they need?

While you need to think about these, you don’t have to do them manually.

First, you review then you can decide whether to outsource those jobs or they might be included with a website builder package.

Ok, Let’s think about specific areas of your hockey club’s activities that your website can help you with…

Members

Overseeing club membership records online, in a single system, is a smart idea. Make it easy for new players or hockey fans to join and a junior, senior or social member could be at your club for many years.

Using your website, it is possible to improve the online process of new hockey player registrations and the admin of current ones.

Clubs need to view and edit membership data to manage typical hockey activities throughout the year. How about a membership database that ties together everything a member does?

It’s a balance between keeping personal data secure but at the same time, allowing volunteers who have permission at the club to access what they need.

With Pitchero, you can:

  • Build custom registration forms
  • Register players, parents, officials and fans
  • Manage club roles and access

In one place, club officials get a holistic view of all aspects of hockey club management, including membership.

In one place, club officials can understand who’s joined when, as well as what they’ve paid and view availability and selection over time.

A hockey club Treasurer can instantly see when a particular member joined, if they’ve paid their membership yet and if they have any special dietary requirements for the annual dinner.

It creates a picture and allows your hockey club to better serve each member in future.

Revenue

Your club website ought to bring in revenue across each year. It’s a way to offer a convenient online service to members who want to support your club and it will easily offset any website-related fees you pay out.

Hockey clubs will have common income spikes i.e.) when membership renewals are due and pre-season sponsorship packages are sold, while match fees come in over the entire season.

Doing all of this online in a central hub makes it easier to see the overall picture in a member’s Pitchero profile, run reports when you need to and understand what’s working well or not.

With Pitchero, you can:

  • Sell membership, match fees, events and more!
  • Run a fundraising campaign
  • Sell sponsorship and advertising packages
  • Offer online bookings and hire out your facilities all year

Your Pitchero website and apps are a compelling offer to potential sponsors or existing partners thinking about another deal.

Your hockey club is open 24/7 online which gives constant exposure to website sponsors; it doesn’t rely on someone seeing an advertising board at a match (though you can sell both!)

Pitchero has all kinds of useful functionality that show your hockey club to be professional in its approach.

Clubs can easily attach sponsor logos or imagery to email communication (like an email signature) which amplifies how often that brand is viewed.

In a few clicks, you can also create a custom section with its own menu to showcase sponsors in detail, alongside any news articles or homepage links.

Admin-busting solutions for hockey clubs

If you’re a volunteer involved with a hockey club then you’ll know all about the hundreds of hours required to make everything happen.

It’s not just all the information that flows through your club, teams, leagues, fixtures and the like. What about insurance, facilities upgrades, coaching courses, holiday camps, funding….

The entire season alone can feel long enough (great when it swings back round though) but getting things done is a 365-day focus for some.

Spoiler alert.

Opting to move much of that admin online under one roof won’t banish it forever. Wouldn’t that be something?

BUT, and it’s a significant one, Pitchero’s suite of website tools and expertise can definitely save time and reduce processes that can get a bit overwhelming at times.

Though some sports clubs have a sole Webmaster who looks after their website, allowing volunteers to share the workload (with flexible access) to tick off those admin jobs can be really helpful.

It could be reviewing contact information, working out which members have paid or selling tickets to an event via the website.

With Pitchero, you can:

  • Use a hosted control panel to access everything about your club from one place
  • Import league fixtures, results and tables automatically
  • Send reminders with a link to pay instantly
  • View live financial figures and run reports
img
Control Panel 03

How do I create a hockey club website?

If you’re looking to start a new club website - or transfer an existing website from another provider - then you have two clear choices.

i) A website builder - Pitchero
ii) Content Management System (CMS) - Wordpress
iii) Build it all yourself/pay a website designer.

We’ll explore each of these now but the key decisions are around budget and available time for someone at the club to be involved.

1. Website Builder

Your club could use a hockey website builder - like Pitchero - that is a complete package with everything you need.

15

It will usually come with templates or themes to style your website, hosting, domain registration, SSL certificate, plus access to support - with paid monthly plans to spread the cost.

15

Your club could use a sports website builder - like Pitchero - that is a complete package with everything you need.

img3

The best examples are cesigned to set up and running quickly. There is some customisation but you're not normally able to amend the code or functionality of the website all the time.

15

Your club could use a sports website builder - like Pitchero - that is a complete package with everything you need.

img4

This is perfect if you like to have certain things locked down so you can't accidentally break something or even knock your club website offline.

15

How do you choose the right option for your club? Put together a shortlist based on your hockey Club's needs,the functionality offered and cost/ease to transfer.

15
  • Easy to use
  • Some limitations
15

2. Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system (CMS) like Wordpress.org or Drupal is very flexible compared to a website builder. Anything can be altered, re-designed or customised - for those who want ultimate control.

b7

It means if your hockey club suddenly needs to change the colour scheme, fonts, or appearance of your homepage overnight, there will be a plugin or some code snippet to achieve that.

b7

The downside is that someone (usually a club volunteer) will have to research, test and implement it correctly. More personalisation potential means more responsibility for the club.

b7

Technology moves fast and so bolt-on additions (as with a Wordpress plugin to include a contact form) will need checking and updating manually.

b7

Keeping track of this regular website maintenance, including hosting and domain renewals, will fall to a club official or else you'll have to pay a professional.

b7
  • Ultimate control
  • Responsibility for downtime and upgrades
b7

Designing your own website

Alternatively, a hockey club might decide to hire a web designer to build their perfect website to an agreed specification, using a CMS as the framework.

15

This type of project means you will get exactly what want, down to the smallest detail, yet it needs longer-term planning and much higher cost up-front (thousands of pounds is common).

15

Paying for a web developer or agency allows full control over the specifications but costs can escalate. 

Group1

While a website builder still needs someone to write the content (whether it’s junior hockey camps or introducing new coaches) a club can create an account and get started immediately.

Group1

Elite or Ultimate packages with Pitchero:

Club Website

Mobile Apps

Domain & Emails

Team Management

Venue Management

Membership Database

Online Payments

No Third-Party Ads

Priority Support

Elite

Everthing you need for a multi-team sports club.

£30/mo

Club Website

1.8%

blue

Mobile Apps

1.8%

blue

Domain & Emails

1.8%

blue

Team Management

1.8%

blue

Venue Management

1.8%

blue

Membership Database

1.8%

blue

Online Payments

1.9%

blue

No Third Party Ads

1.8%

cross

Prioirty Support

1.8%

cross
Free for 30 Days!

Ultimate

No ads, reduced transaction fees and priority support.

£90/mo

Club Website

1.8%

blue

Mobile Apps

1.8%

blue

Domain & Emails

1.8%

blue

Team Management

1.8%

blue

Venue Management

1.8%

blue

Membership Database

1.8%

blue

Online Payments

0.9%

blue

No Third Party Ads

1.8%

blue

Prioirty Support

1.8%

blue
Free for 30 Days!

Cost vs Ease

This equation will be unique for every hockey club, depending on your other commitments, in-house expertise and financial situation.

The chief decision is whether you want to pay a monthly fee with everything included or use a CMS that can be free (or a paid option) and buy add-ons for certain functionality or situations.

A new website has to be a cost that your club can comfortably afford - but think about the next 5 years and what you’d like your website to be able to do.

Free websites for hockey clubs will always be appealing. It’s free, so what’s the problem?

However, if a free option falls short of what you’d like to achieve in future then maybe there’s a better path.

Finding a website sponsor to cover any monthly fee could be a better longer-term strategy. It’s a powerful argument to a potential sponsor too; they know exactly what the money is going towards.

Some free plans are less restrictive than others but ultimately, there won’t be all of the bells-and-whistles than premium, paid-for alternatives.

Don’t forget about things like space for storing images and video, as well the size of your website and any restrictions a free plan might impose.

Is your hockey club website provider approved by your governing body?

Pitchero is an England Hockey-approved club and league website provider. It’s a partnership that allows many hockey clubs and leagues to start their own professional website, while helping volunteers to make ongoing management of teams much easier with the Club App and Manager App.

When choosing a hockey website, it stands to reason that those few suppliers endorsed by national governing bodies have a stamp of approval and should be your natural shortlist.

Live Hockey Competition Database

Thanks to an official integration, England Hockey fixtures, results and league tables show on Pitchero hockey websites. It’s a massive time-saver.

15

It can be difficult weighing up your options, whether it’s a free football club website you’re after or a website builder with paid-for features. So, where do you start?

pitcher

Nobody wants to manually input data for hours and hours, copying across the same information across systems.

15

With Pitchero, you don’t have to.

b7

We have a live competition database that all hockey clubs use. It has many hockey leagues across the UK including:

b7

National Men and Women's Hockey Leagues
East Area Hockey League
London Area Hockey League
Midlands Area Hockey League
North West Area Hockey League
Scottish Area Hockey League
South Central Area Hockey League
South East Area Hockey League
West Area Hockey League

b7

Compare Pitchero club website features

Hiring a reputable website designer or a web design company will be much more expensive, as an upfront cost, than a website builder or a CMS.

A website build is likely to be a fixed fee contract based on the number of hours or a pre-agreed price.

However, be aware of ongoing website maintenance costs, particularly hosting, domain name and any support queries that crop up. Factor this in when deciding the true cost of a hockey club website and see who bundles this into the price.

Your hockey club website is so important: it’s your alternative headquarters.

It has to do everything a forward-thinking club with a professional outlook needs - but don’t forget the ‘ease factor’ whichever route you go for.

Your hockey volunteers are priceless and, likely as not, already juggle a day job, family commitments and the club website (and many other things) in their spare time.

Paying for support and features that make it easier for those doing those roles is not cheating or an unnecessary expense.

Looking for a free website builder?

15

Pitchero offers a free website builder for single hockey teams that has most standard features, including membership, team management, online payments and apps. 

15

If you’re a larger hockey club then the Elite or Ultimate (paid-for) packages will give you a premium template, unlimited teams, plus lower transaction fees and fewer or no third-party ads.

15

Security & GDPR

b7

For all sports clubs working online, there are risks relating to data security and complying with GDPR that need thinking about.

b7

Ideally, you get to focus on your sport and don’t worry about backing up the club website all the time or responding to threats from hackers.

b7

Looking after member data securely and sensitively and complying with GDPR are continual requirements.

b7

Using Pitchero makes this easier and stress-free:

  • Pitchero is always online (no downtime)
  • Data security uses Amazon Web Services data centres
  • GDPR toolkit for gaining consent from users of your website
b7

What software do sports teams use?

Hockey teams all do a mountain of different admin tasks. Their website can be a central hub for this but each may use lots of different computer programmes or apps.

A few examples could include Google for email/events calendar, Excel for spreadsheets, Xero for accounting, Facebook and Twitter for social media and Justgiving for creating a fundraising page.

The issue with this is having to learn each system or software, how they connect to each other (if possible), then there are many logins and passwords to remember and store.

However you choose to run your website, combining processes definitely has its advantages.

Pitchero offers:

  • Club Website
  • Mobile apps
  • Unlimited hosting
  • Domains & emails
  • Team management
  • Membership database
  • Online payments
  • Venue management

What can your club use it for?

  • Membership
  • Availability + selection
  • Competitions + fixtures
  • Venue bookings online
  • Match reports
  • Photos + videos
  • Match statistics
  • Match fees

Features

  • Club logo & colours
  • Registration forms
  • Data import & export
  • Sell products
  • Collecting donations
  • Direct debit & credit cards
  • Tracking & reporting

Specialists in Grassroots Sport

There is plenty of choice for building a hockey club website out there - but few who really understand grassroots sport and its unique demands.

Pitchero has been building award-winning technology in the UK to help sports teams for over a decade.

10,000+ clubs choose Pitchero for their website, mobile apps and members

1.5m+ members (players, parents, clubs, leagues and supporters) use Pitchero

Incredible mobile apps for your hockey club

Every club on the Pitchero platform also gets its own free iOS and Android mobile apps.

Club Master Icon

Club news, manage availability/selection, messaging

MGR Master Icon-v2

Prompt availability, select and notify teams

These apps are packed with valuable features, including the ability for coaches and team managers to do team selection and collect match fees.

Players and supporters can check out match scores, reports, photos, videos and stats from games played on their phone.

Between Pitchero’s apps and club website, volunteers at hockey clubs have all they need to showcase what they do in the best possible way.

TEst-3

City of York Hockey Club

"In all honesty, I don’t think we would have been able to play hockey without it."

icon1 (2)

Leeds & Broomfield Cricket Club

"Pitchero gives us a simple-to-use platform for all aspects of the club, but particularly for collecting subs and organising matches.

Simple to pick teams and message different groups of players. It saves hours of paperwork and means you always have up-to-date information."

Test-2

Brentwood Rugby Club

"Brentwood RFC has used the payments feature to increase membership income by almost 100%!"

Test-1

Canterbury Pilgrims Netball Club

“Our old website did the job but it looked like it was made in 1990! This looks so much more modern. I’m not amazing at technology and I find it very easy. My advice to other clubs who haven’t used Pitchero would be that it almost does the work for you!”

How do you start a hockey club website?

So, you’ve discussed what you’d like your new club website to do. Know what the costs are and the functionality required?

Ok, you’re ready to get started...

Pitchero offers a free demo to show you features and you can ask any questions.

There is also the benefit of a 30-day free trial to explore Pitchero and be happy that it’s the right fit for your club.

Choosing a new website is an exciting step and a move you preferably want to do just once. The good news is that help is at hand and every club, regardless of size, can improve its online presence.

Get started with everything you need for a multi-team community hockey club from £30/month

Start Free Trial

Click below to see a range of Pitchero resources on all aspects of running a hockey club:

Our Clubhouse is packed with articles and FAQs from getting set up to using all of the features.

Head to our Help Centre for very specific, step-by-step instructions on using the Pitchero Club website, apps and user accounts.

You might also like to click around the top-ranking hockey websites on Pitchero to see successful examples.

BG2