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Improving Your Web Site
by Webmaster

Improving Your Web Site

Many Horticultural Societies do not have web sites or have ones that are out of date. Much like a weedy, poorly cultivated front lawn begs to be turned into a well tended garden for the enjoyment of the gardener and passers-by, a vacant website is wasted fertile ground.

Many people assume you have to be Bill Gates to put up a society web site. In reality, if you can send an e-mail, you can also build your society web pages using our gardenontario web site. Also, the person who updates your web site does not have to be on your board. Ask your members to see if someone is interested. They may need a little encouragement or help and the OHA web committee can provide that. Also, family members, such as high school students, can help. Students can log volunteer hours while doing some interesting computer work.

This article contains tips to encourage you to improve your Society or District web site. Take advantage of your Society web site to reach your members and the general public. Please read the tips below. Afterward, if you'd like to know more, e-mail the OHA web committee at webmaster@gardenontario.org .


Who Is Your Audience?

  • The general public who are potential members

  • The general public who are interested in supporting society presentations, shows and plant sales.

  • The general public who are looking for information on specific plants or local gardening conditions.

  • Your members who want easy to find information on society events.

  • Your members who may want to know more detailed information about your society such as the names of board members, contact information, the constitution, reports on past activities, pictures and more.

Attracting your audience

    • Contact other organizations and ask them to link to your web site. Talk to Garden Centres, other horticultural organizations, your municipality and even politicians in your area. City councillors and MPPs, for example, maintain web sites with links to organizations in their area.

    • E-mail your members periodically to tell them about updates to your website.

    • Add links from social networking sites like Facebook.

What Are The Goals Of Your Web Site?

  • Attract potential members to join.

  • Inform existing members about the activities of their society

  • Inform the general public about horticulture as per our objective to promote “the circulation of horticultural information through any media;”

  • Make information easier to find for existing members.

  • Save money on printing and postage by delivering information electronically. Reducing paper use helps our environment as well.

Learning and doing

What To Publish?

Society Web Shells

Your Society web shell is divided into pages, each with a theme.


  • Welcome your audience

  • Tell your audience about your Society:

  • The community it serves

  • The roles your Society performs (Community Beautification, educating the public about gardening, maintaining a youth program, etc.)

  • Have a link to, or a list of, your meetings. List where they are held and their start time.

Example: Cloverleaf


  • Describe your Society's current activities.

  • Tell your history.

  • List your Society executive. Go one better and list the names of committee members. This helps your members know who to talk to when they want to get involved. It also recognizes your volunteers.

  • Have links to your constitution or other documents and forms used by your Society.

  • List past presidents and award winners to recognize them.


List details of your meetings. List the meeting location and time. Provide a description of the topic of any presentations to encourage people to attend.

Board of Directors

You can use this subsection to list your board and committees.


You can create a page describing each of the programs your Society offers: presentations, shows, garden tours, youth, publications, community beautification, research, environment, etc.


  • Add stories about your Society projects, milestones and events.

  • Add stories about gardening, specific plants, hints & tips, etc. This is a great place to republish stories from past yearbooks that your members and the public would enjoy reading.

  • Create an event entry in the OHA calendar for each Society presentation and show that is open to the public. Update this information when it changes and review it periodically.

Example: Belle River


Tell your audience how to join your Society. Provide information on dues and an address where to mail in a membership application. Have a statement encouraging the public to join and welcoming them. List your membership benefits.

Example: Nepean


In this section you can provide your supporters on-line recognition. List supporters who advertise with your Society, who make donations or who offer discounts here.

Example: Bolton and District


Provide contact information for your Society by mail, e-mail and if possible, by phone.


So, get cultivating your web site. Have fun with it. Start simple and build from there! Get inspired, review previous winners of the Ted Reed Web Competition here http://www.gardenontario.org/sho/com_res.php or take a look around the gardenontario web site. If you have questions e-mail the OHA web committee at webmaster@gardenontario.org .

The section below relates to District Web Shells only.

District Web Shells

Make your District web shell a hub of information for your local societies.


  • Note where your district is and the area it represents.

  • Do you have a picture of your district banner, logo or district board?

  • Upload your district documents as resources on the OHA web site and place links to forms and documents used in the district (the district constitution, expense forms, agendas for district meetings, competition schedules.)

  • List the winners of district awards such as the district service award.

Example: District 11


  • Add some text to invite visitors to look at the web sites of the societies in the district.

Example: District 15


  • Add all district events to the event calendar so that they are visible to a wider audience.

  • Add a featured District event to give it a higher profile.


  • Some districts list the societies who have hosted district meetings and shows over the years as well as who is planning these events in the next few years.

  • Reports from Society presidents should be included here.

  • Record your district history. List the District directors and Secretaries from over the the years.

Example: District 5


  • Add stories about district projects, district flower shows, ideas or even articles of a general gardening interest.

  • Add the schedules for shows and competitions

Example: District11


  • List the names of the district team with a contact address and e-mail.



> D2 Fall Advisory Council Sat Nov 3 2018

> District 2 Service Award Winners

> Ideas for growing Society membership

> Improving Your Web Site

> Contents of the Director's Binder

Last Updated: 2018-10-20