It’s hard to believe that 4 years have passed since we launched the current version of USTAFlorida.com which built from the “ground up” in 2014. Our goals with that project were to improve on a lot of things and create a website that focused on being inviting to new players, provided services for existing players and providers, and was easily accessible across multiple devices especially mobile. A website that basically provided how to play, where to play, and when to play, always supported our mission . . .to promote and develop tennis for all, and that you could access easily anywhere.
It has truly been a team effort to get where we are 3 years after launching the website we have today. And I’m not just talking about the efforts of USTA Florida staff, but rather the entire Florida tennis community. Over 200 providers and organizers have registered and are contributing events to our online calendar. Our ‘Places to Play’ directory of over 450 locations has been built up manually from information contributed by Local League Coordinators, volunteers, and players throughout Florida.
We’ve learned a lot since our launch a couple of years ago from feedback, questions, analytics, change in the organization and tennis industry, etc; and we wanted to do things a little better as well as offer more. So we are redesigning USTAFlorida.com once again and we invite you to take a look around the new version while we finish up some areas. We’re excited to team up with Afteractive again, a local Orlando-based web design company who are the original designers of the current USTAFlorida.com, to enhance the website and take things to the next level. This new iteration of USTAFlorida.com is not just about a new look either, but rather it’s ramping up our efforts and better fulfilling on those focuses in better ways.
We’ve integrated more video in better ways throughout the site to help support various items such as getting started for adults and juniors, how to play, what do NTRP levels look like on court for league players, diversity and the stories of individuals and organizations, and more. Information has been better organized and consolidated allowing us to reduce the number of pages and make it easier for you to get the information you are looking for. Our ‘Places To Play’ directory has been enhanced with improved mapping that contains clusters of locations for areas, location marker cards that contain detailed location information, address hyperlinks to get directions, and more. An improved news area that better highlights Florida tennis news and happenings with a more robust news landing page and a cleaner in-article reading experience for visitors.
The one improvement that is most exciting in my opinion is our new ‘Local Play’ area. This is a County directory of play opportunities and play information. Simply choose your county and find local Jr. Team Tennis information, local Adult Leagues information, local NJTL and Community Tennis Organizations, local adaptive and wheelchair play opportunities, and who to contact in each area if you have questions or want to grow tennis in an area. This approach allows us not only the ability to get information to visitors that is relevant to them, but also allows us to better support the great tennis organizations and partners operating throughout Florida. We expect this area to be a work-in-progress that will continue to evolve over time.
We invite you to take a look around at a preview of the new version at beta.ustaflorida.com over the next couple of weeks while we finalize some areas and features. This new version is expected to replace our existing website around mid-November. As you look around we hope you’ll take a few minutes to stop by our Feedback form and let us know what you think. Your feedback is important. And we are offering you an opportunity to join us for a Live Q&A with myself on Facebook on 10/24/2018 at 2:00p to learn more about this newest version of our site and get answers to any question you may have about websites for tennis. Feel free to add your questions in the comment area below and we’ll answer those questions plus others that come in during the broadcast.