Setting up a Community Website for Kilcock

(on a wee budget)

We’ve been sitting on this one for a little while because we wanted to watch it grow a little more before we blogged about it. I got the idea for creating the website back in 2008 – I really like my little village of Kilcock and think we have some great parts and real character but usually only found out about stuff happening driving past on the way into Dublin or reading about it two weeks later on the notice board at the bakers. So after much thought I decided to set something up that promoted the area of Kilcock and it’s local news, events and organisations.

Kilcock News & Events Website

Kilcock News & Events Website

The only thing I could really invest in the project was time. And with a business in it’s first year and an infant in her’s I couldn’t invest too much of that either! But it went ahead and it looks great if we do say so ourselves and it’s gaining momentum and page views!  I needed to make the setup of the website quick and easy and on a very low budget – so here was our approach:

We used WordPress of course – which is open source, free and has plenty of support options.

We themed our website with The Morning After WordPress template – it’s also free, looks tres stylish and with only a couple of custom modifications the website was up and running and looking great.

And then We Plugged away… is there anything WordPress can’t do? Well probably but make sure you check the plugin directory first.  On the site we’ve plugins for the gallery, rotating ads, thumbnail generation and seo.

We promoted the website with a Facebook Fanpage. We created a Fanpage for Our Kilcock and with a few weeks had over 350 fans that could keep abreast of Kilcock news and events without having to leave Facebook.

And finally… Build it and they will come?? Well actually no. Build it and then promote it – online and offline. And in this case offline promotion was very important – the approach was old-school but effective: phonecalls, advertising in the community noticeboards (butchers, bakery, local cafe etc), word of mouth, local networking groups etc. Online promo was through Facebook and a couple of other related websites. We’ve still got a lot more to do… It’s very much a work in progress but we’ve got steadily growing visitors and a couple of contributers who approached us in the early days with offers of content (we have our very own local chef who contributes fortnightly recipes featuring local produce) and photographs of Kilcock. These contributions are so valuable to the website – it keeps the content fresh and varied and relieves some of the pressure in delivering regular content. Several of the local businesses have also approached us to advertise on the website.

Check out the website for our local community –