Sin Number 1: A web page that looks like it was designed in 1998. Mysterious resolution changes between the home page and the rest of the webpages show up at the Pittsburgh Ice Castle along with a host of other formatting issues. At least they don't use <blink>,
Sin Number 2: Pages that run on, and on, and on. People don't scroll down to find your latest update, or older up date. The Ice Castle was bad, but I think Prince William Ice is even worse. Major items of importance such as the schedule and the map are at the bottom of the home page.
Sin Number 3: Rink information that is written for the 'entre nous' group. I give as my primary example, the Robert C. Crown Center, Evanston, IL. The new customer will type in the name of the rink or 'chicago ice rinks' into Google, and for this (apparently) huge facility, get a single web page with a few PDFs linked to it. There doesn't even appear to be any online Learn to Skate registration. This must be the few rinks in the US without online registration. There may be a better webpage for the rink with better information, but the one that comes up at the top of the Google list is the one new people will go to. Way to go Evanston!
Sin Number 4: Limited coaching information. Voila! The Desert Ice Castle. This rink has Frank Carroll, the premier singles coach in the US and 4 other coaches. They all seem pretty high level coaches. Are they manning the learn to skate program, or teaching adults? Probably not. So how does a skater find out about coaches that might be more appropriate for 'the rest of us' who aren't headed to the Olympics? Some other rinks don't have any coach information AT ALL! How are less famous coaches supposed to get customers if they can't have a bio posted?
Sin Number 5: Mysterious, poorly explained Learn to Skate programs. I hate to hit up one rink twice, but The Desert Ice Castle wins again! Here's a link to their LTS program. I like the total description of the skating school levels, "Levels 1-5". WTFO? It's using both ISI and USFSA. What does that mean? Even more reason to have more detail on the LTS program. Here there's not even any exhortation on how to dress a child for skating, or even any information about whether you get passes for publics or if the registration pays for skates. No online registration. And here's the kicker. The cost of the class is on the skating class form, but not on the registration form. Way to go Desert Ice! Making it difficult for your customer to spend their money at your establishment.
Sin Number 6: No mobile compatible website. Rink Management -- get over it--people use their phones. Get a mobile compatible website up.
Best Rink Website I've Found: Ice Chalet, Knoxville, TN. Home page is a little long, but the important stuff is at the top. Group lessons and the ISI skating program is detailed so it's clear to the parent. For private lessons, there's both an outline of the program and a list of coaches, with bios. Lot's to admire about this website. No wonder the rink looks like a fabulous place to go!
|I want to skate THERE!|