A fan club website is a great way to pay homage and respect to a well-known or up-and-coming celebrity, music group, sports club, entertainer, or even an idea. For instance, there’s even a fan club website for the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Whatever your subject, you need a solid web host that can not only assure that your site is up and running at all times, but also provides you with the extras that help a plain website become fun and interactive.
Here are a few important things you should look for when you choose your web host for your fan club.
Online Shopping Cart
One thing that most all fan club sites do is sell merchandise. Be sure your web host is prepared to offer you a choice of shopping cart software. Most web hosts in the industry offer eCommerce solutions like this for free with their accounts. Check whether a web host’s “free” shopping cart is only a limited number of items that you’re able to sell. Also check whether a hosting site will support merchant accounts through PayPal for easy online transactions.
You will likely have pictures that you’ll want to share with your fans. Most reputable and top-rated web hosts will offer clients a photo gallery plugin that makes sharing photos easy.
In many cases a fan site webmaster will want to share multimedia information with fans such as music samples, video clips, or slideshows. Music groups will undoubtedly want to not only share music samples, but offer their music for purchase as MP3 files. Sports groups or other entertainers may want to share a video clip of some great action shots. Be sure your web host supports the most popular multi-media files.
Email Lists and Responders
As with any fan club, you’ll want to keep in touch with your fans so you can send out newsletters, updates, concert or publicity information, etc. On your site you’ll want a way to have visitors leave their email address for your mailing list. A good web host will offer email listing services and even auto-responders as part of their email package.
A great fan club site is one that is interactive. Be sure you have a place where fans can post their comments, photos, and memories with others. Check to be sure that your web host offers a forum plugin for your website. Remember though, this may take someone within your group or a volunteer to monitor and referee to avoid slander and other issues.
24 Hour Support
A fan club site is usually run not by a web designer, but an enthusiast or an individual connected with the fan club subject. When something goes wrong or you have a question about getting help, you need to know that your web host is there 24 hours. A good web host will offer 24 hour customer support via telephone, or at least by email or online ticket submission.