Eastercon Wiki

Eastercon Website Checklist[]

What needs to be on the website[]

An Eastercon, or any convention, needs to have a way of communicating with existing members, prospective members and anyone else who might be interested (the Press, fannish websites, travel organisations and so on). In general, the best way of providing this information is through a website since anyone can access it (as opposed to, say, Facebook, where access may be restricted depending on whether or not you have a Facebook login). That's not to say you can't also have a Facebook group, Tumblr page, Twatter etc., but you do need the basic minimum which is a website.

On your website, you need to provide certain information in a form that anyone, using any kind of device, can read. This information needs to be accessible to search engines, you have to be able to link directly to it, and it should be in plain text so that someone who doesn't speak your language can copy it into a translation service and so that someone with sight problems can read it using a text-to-speech converter.

The basic information should include:[]

  • The name of the convention
  • The dates of the convention (including the year)
  • The location of the convention
    • What country are you in?
    • What city are you in?
    • The name of your hotel/conference centre
    • The postcode or address of your hotel
  • Contact details for the convention
    • An email address
    • A postal address
    • Other ways of contacting you
  • The names of your guests
  • How much it costs to become a member and how to join (preferably a direct link to a site that lets you buy a membership online)

Additional information that is often useful and generally appreciated:[]

  • How someone reading the website can:
    • Become a dealer
    • Display art in the art show
    • Get on the programme
    • Organise an event such as a book launch
    • Volunteer to help either in a specific area or just generally
    • Arrange child care during the convention
    • Support the convention in selling memberships
    • Ask a question about the convention
    • Tell the convention that they have made a mistake, or have left essential information off the website
  • Any significant dates such as:
    • When hotel rooms become available
    • Deadlines for changes in membership costs/availability
  • What the convention has been doing recently - this reassures people that you are still active and haven't just folded. Should also include news about the hotel, guests etc.
  • A request for volunteers including one or more email addresses for people to contact particular areas of the convention
  • How to connect with the convention on social media, including the convention's Twatter handle, Facebook account, hashtag or any other ways you may be publishing information
  • A description of what sort of event it is going to be
    • If you are the Eastercon, then mention the fact
    • Say you are a science fiction convention
    • Describe what you are trying to achieve, so that someone who has not been to a convention before can decide whether or not they want to go
  • What is going to be on your programme (just highlights, not in detail). Also, any requests for experts in particular areas
  • How to help the convention by e.g. buying T-shirts
  • Links to the Guests of Honour's websites, social media handles and online examples of their work
  • Information about disabled access:
    • Who to contact
    • How to get around the hotel
    • How to make the convention aware of your needs if you think they may be unusual
  • Information on your Code of Conduct or other convention policies that affect your members' behaviour
  • Frequently asked questions about any other topics

Other information that some people might be interested in:[]

  • Who is on the committee and what sort of experience they have
  • A complete membership list - lets people see if they have already joined, but there are privacy implications so you may not want to publish the whole list
  • PDF copies of paper publications such as Progress Reports and advertising fliers
  • Floor plans of the hotel
  • Information about the city/town you are located in:
    • Interesting sights
    • Places to eat during the convention
    • Other events that may be happening at the same time as the convention
    • Advice on transport
  • Providing a RSS feed or similar can be useful

You may also want to include some small graphics, links etc. Please don't fill the top of the screen with a large graphic unless you are sure it won't interfere with someone trying to read the website on a phone or tablet.

Testing the website[]

  • Get someone who is not on the committee to read through the website, looking for omissions, spelling mistakes and unintended insults
  • Try it on:
    • PC, Mac, Linux etc.
    • Several different browsers
      • Check what happens if you disable scripting
    • Mobile phone and/or Tablet
    • Any other device you think people may want to read the website on
  • Check all the links go where you expect them to go
  • Check the DNS settings have propagated. You can use a tool like https://dnschecker.org/. DNS changes can sometimes take up a day to propagate, even within the UK, so try to have it set up at least a couple of days before announcing your website.
  • A few days after publishing, check your site is being indexed in search engines. Google for "site:<url>". If nothing comes up, follow the instructions on Google's support page. Once it is showing up in Google, it is likely to also be showing up in other search engines.
  • Check the OpenGraph data. This is how you control what shows up in link previews on Facebook, Twitter, Discord etc. You can use https://www.opengraph.xyz/ and https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/ to see how things will appear. You either want no OpenGraph data, or if you do have some, you want it to be correct.

Points to note[]

  • Pick your convention name early and stick with it - changing the name will mess up your website
  • If there is the slightest chance you'll change years, or run more than one convention, don't put the year in your website name