7 Steps to HOA Website Success: The Onboarding Process

7 Steps to HOA Website Success: The Onboarding Process

When you sign up for a homeowners association website with us at HOAStart, we don’t just hand you the keys and expect you to figure out how to “drive the car” on your own. We immediately enroll you in our 7 Step Onboarding Process so you can start with the basics and move forward toward more advanced aspects of site creation, all with guidance from our in-house Onboarding Team. From their initial greeting to you when your sales representative transfers you to Onboarding through the individual input documents you complete and return to help you get your site set up, we’re here to make your website creation experience a success. Here’s how our process works.

Step 0: Login verification

Before we send you your very first step form to complete, we get in touch with you to verify that you can log in to your Admin Dashboard. If not, we send you a password reset with a link that’s valid for 72 hours. When you follow that link, you can reset your password and gain access behind the scenes.

Step 1: Theme and domain

To get started, you need to confirm that you either like the professionally designed theme that we set up for your initial trial website, or that you would prefer a different theme instead. We also need to know what you want to use as the final online destination for your website. If you already own a domain registration, would you like to maintain that registration yourself or transfer it to us so we can renew and maintain it for you? If you don’t already own a domain registration, we’ll ask you what you’d like to register or have us register for you.

Step 2: Basic pages

We always give you the freedom to configure your website the way you want it, but as a starting point, we ask you which basic page types you’d like to include in your site, and whether you want these pages to be public or private. Public pages are accessible to any website visitor, member or not, logged in or not. Private pages and content are invisible to anyone who does not sign up for website membership and log in to your site.

Step 3: Website content and help resources

If you’re like most of our homeowners association website administrator clients, you’re a volunteer who lives in the community you represent, not a professional web designer. You may have a good idea of the types of content you want your site to include, but let’s face it, you may need a little help to find your way around our Admin Dashboard and our site-creation software. We check in with you to find out which topics you want to learn more about so we can send you resources you can use to access our help system. In fact, we offer you three types of online help: an extensive conventional system that walks you through step-by-step coverage of every software feature, a suite of illustrated quick response guides that explain specific features about which customers often ask, and a set of support videos that provide detailed support for how to use individual features.

Step 4: Member registration and management

We offer you three ways to enroll your residents as website members. You can allow residents to sign up for site membership directly on your website itself. You can add members manually, one at a time through an online form. You also can enter member data into a structured template document and upload all your member data in one step, creating multiple memberships simultaneously. But until we explain these options to you and tell you that they all exist, you may not have thought about which you would want to use.

Step 5: Online payments and Households

Our homeowners association website software includes built-in support for online payments. No need to research and sign up with a payment processor: We build that functionality directly into our software. We also include a feature called Households, which enables you to restrict invoices (and votes on polls and surveys) to one per address. This feature has many other capabilities, but unless we explain your options and help you explore them, you may not know exactly what approach you want to choose.

Step 6: Documents

One of the most important ways that the right homeowners association website software can make your life as a community administrator easier is by providing an online destination to which you can upload documents that residents frequently request or that you are required by law to provide. To ensure that your use of our Document Repository feature is successful, we use this step to help you decide whether and how to use it.

Step 7: Custom Forms and site audit

We integrate custom forms into numerous aspects of our HOA website software, and we spend some time during this final step to help you maximize the benefits of these features. You can use these forms to solicit community opinions on topics that you want to survey, to conduct an architectural modification and renovation review process, to obtain additional information from residents who register for events, and so on. As with all aspects of our software, we want to ensure that you’re ready to make full use of this powerful but easy-to-use set of tools.

Our second focus during Step 7 lies on performing a site audit to look for hiccups in online data, missing information, and anything about which we need to ask you questions to ensure that you’re fully set up and ready to go. At or by this point, we also provide you with the information you need to set up a domain that you’ve registered so it will work with your website.

Thorough, logical, and detailed

We’ve designed our 7 Step Onboarding Process to help you work through all of the decisions and processes involved in successful website setup. You can tackle these tasks at your own speed, and ask for as much or as little of our assistance as you require. We love answering questions and helping you succeed. We want to help you prepare a site that showcases your community, accomplishes your online objectives, and makes your administrative life easier.