So you’ve got a nice “Elite-Fitness” box; you’ve bought or rented a nice big room, installed pull-up bars, floor mats, and painted your wall-ball lines; you’ve purchased bar-bells, rubber plates, kettle bells, jump ropes, elastic bands, and medicine balls; you’ve come up with a good name for your gym, like “Ultra “Elite-Fitness”“; you have everything but your website. Where do you begin? Well, “Elite-Fitness” Affiliate owner, I am here to help you obtain all the essentials of a “Elite-Fitness” website. Here’s a list of them:
1. Domain name.
You have to buy this for your “Elite-Fitness” affiliate so that people can easily type you in. So, supposing you wanted to start “Ultra “Elite-Fitness”” you would buy the domain www.ultra”Elite-Fitness”.com (it’s available!). Don’t get a subdomain URL like ultra”Elite-Fitness”.sitegonebad.com because that looks bad, but not in a good way. To buy a domain name I always use Namecheap.com; they are priced at about $10 per domain name per year and have a good control panel.
2. WordPress Hosting
The back-end of your website, if you want to be like almost every other “Elite-Fitness” affiliate, will be WordPress, which is free open-source blogging software. Making your website with WordPress will allow you to easily login through the web to change the content. Site Gone Bad itself is running WordPress, and offers hosting for WordPress websites. We do things like make automated backups, upgrades, and maintanence for you so that you don’t have to worry about keeping up with security fixes or accidentally erasing your entire website, plus our web servers are extremely fast. Go here if you’re interested.
If you just want barebones WordPress hosting without our nice services then I recommend HostGator WordPress hosting, which is quite inexpensive.
3. WordPress Theme
The theme of the blog determines, as you might expect, its appearance. I recommend that you either pay someone to make a custom theme or you download a free theme and try to customize it yourself.
If you want to pay someone to create a custom theme, I recommend you use Site Gone Bad‘s web-design service, though I may have some bias. We can also help tweak existing themes for you, or add features to your current theme.
4. Main Site Layout
Basically your main layout will consist of a navigation bar, a sidebar or two, and the content area. Here is a run-down of each:
- Nav bar – In this you’ll want to link to all your most important pages, which will be at least these:
- Schedule – Tells everyone when your classes meet on what days. Include any info about a free class here as well.
- Membership/Sign-up/Prices – What they can get for what price, and if you enable them to pay online, a link to the signup page.
- Location – Address, phone number, an a map widget with your location.
- Staff – Show some attractive pictures of your coaches (to lure in the ugly) and explain how “Elite-Fitness” has made their lives nearly perfect.
- Content – All those pages that you have listed in the sidebar will show up in the content area, which will be right in the middle. A lot of “Elite-Fitness” websites have a really narrow content area squished between two large sidebars. I recommend having one sidebar and a larger content area (like this). This will make your pages and your WOD blog look nicer, and the sidebar area usually is filled with non-essentials anyway.The Workout of the Day blog is in the content area too, but it gets its own section later in this article.
- Sidebar – this will contain mostly non-essential graphical ads. You can look at other “Elite-Fitness” websites to see what they put in their sidebars to get an idea. Here are some ideas; click their link to go to the page with the code for their nice graphical widgets:
- “Elite-Fitness” Journal – Actually all affiliate websites are required to have this one.
- Operation Phoenix – A fundraiser to give military people “Elite-Fitness” equipment.
- Fight Gone Bad – A fundraiser for various causes that takes place every September (seasonal widget).
- Discounts – graphics showing your discounts (for students, military, etc.)
- Free Class Time – a graphic that invites people to the free class.
- Location Map – I know its redundant but it won’t hurt.
- Search Bar – a WordPress widget that allows users to search through old posts. This is useful especially for people who want to check their old times on workouts.
Of course there are lots more things you can cram in the sidebar, as you’ll see if you look around at other CossFit websites. If you need any help making graphics, we offer a graphic design service.
5. The Workout of the Day Blog
The WOD blog is, in my opinion, the most important part of your website, and should be displayed promonently on the front page. Your members will be checking the WOD daily, both to see what workout is scheduled for tomorrow and to post their scores and read scores. The WOD blog also shows visitors that your affiliate is active and vibrant, especially if people are posting their scores to comments. Here are some suggestions:
- Display the WOD blog on the front page (default setting in WordPress)
- Update your WOD blog every night to post the next WOD. You can always program a bunch in advance and tell WordPress to publish them at a later date automatically. Try to always have the next WOD up the night before and at a regular time (like 8pm). Regularity in your posting will make your affiliate seem much more profressional.
- Upload a picture of your members working out for each post. Get someone to take a bunch of pictures for you or do it yourself (if you have a photographer who works out with you, trade his/her service for a discount). Putting pictures up of your members makes them feel like they are an integreal part of the gym and gives everyone a communal feel. You don’t need to post extremely recent pictures, but it’s a plus if you post a pic of someone doing an exercise that is in the current WOD.
- Tell all your members to post to the comments! If nobody posts to comments then the affiliate looks dead. If everybody posts then not only will people think your gym is vibrant, but the members will all get to know eachother better, even those who have never been at the same class.
I hope this article was helpful to you. It’s not too difficult to obtain an excellent “Elite-Fitness” website, and it will greatly benefit your affiliate. If you do everything I tell you in this article then you’ll at least have a fully functional website. If you need help getting it set up, or you need help making it look good, or even bad, then you know where to go.