Your website could have been hijacked in several ways.  Here are some examples we've come across.

You're using Wordpress and it's not been properly configured

In one particular site audit we did, Google had indexed over 3000 pages of the club website.  "That's superb!" we thought until we looked a bit deeper.  Then we discovered that some 3000 or those pages were advertisements for Louis Vitton handbags. Because Wordpress' roots are as a blogging tool, somebody was able to add advertising spam as if they were comments, unbeknown to the club

You're using FaceBook and allowing advertisements

One of the clubs we came across had just a Facebook page.  Sitting on screen, beside stories about projects, presidents messages and citing Rotary values, there were advertisements for singles dating clubs and other strange services.

The club brand had been hijacked by advertisers.

You've built the website yourself using free open source services

All too often such website platforms rely on you downloading other free "plug-ins" that are, unknown to you, malicious and allow a hacker free access to your website or email services.  Your website could be used as the source of spam without you knowing it.

You won't necessarily be hacked that way, but the risk is considerably higher with free open source "services".

Your website is tied to somebody else's domain name

This is a common characteristic of free or basic website building services.  If your domain name is something like www.businessrunner.ca/myrotaryclub, or even worse, http://portal.businessrunner.ca/2043, then all your efforts go into promoting the website provider, not your own club. 

Your club website is effectively hijacked because no matter what you say about Rotary and your club, all Google knows about is the service provider.

You're using a "Build your own website for Free" service

Free websites, such as Wix, are worth almost as much as what you pay for them.  You can make them look good - sort of - but you never appear in Google no matter what you do.

Their technology effectively hijacks your ability to appear meaningfully in search engines.  It's no good if you have the prettiest website ever that nobody can find.

Your website's been hijacked by technology

All too often the technology of managing a website forces you to use an IT person to maintain it.  Or the intense learning process of finding your way around one of those free website building services means that you lose sight of the marketing, PR and potential member attraction roles of the website.

If you need a computer expert to maintain your website, you're almost certainly using the wrong system.

Another way your website can be hijacked by technology is where the platform it's built on is no longer capable of delivering what modern users, modern browsers and Google expect. A mobile friendly website is an excellent illustration of this.

Your original website builder has moved on and can't be reached

All too often clubs ask a member or a member's friend to volunteer to "build the website".  Only one person knows what's going on - and that's the person who built it in the first place.

It might be that the member has resigned.  It might be that the volunteer is no longer available.  It might be as simple as the original domain name being improperly registered and now cannot be renewed.

Whatever the reason, your website is stranded in the past and cannot be repaired, replaced or updated.

StreamScape can help your club

A StreamScape club website delivers unparalleled online marketing, member recruitment and PR opportunities for your club.