5 Things to Ask Before Building Nonprofit Websites
There are thousands of dreadful websites on the Internet. If your website development is not user-friendly and reputable, how do you expect donors to actually give you money? Whether you’re looking to build a simple website or a more complex and customized website for your organization, we can conclude that all non profit organizations, large or small, need a website. But there are elements you must take into account because your non profit online presence begins with your website, and sustains with your social media marketing. There are some things you should ask yourself before you start designing and building your non profit website. If you can’t answer one of these questions, consider doing some research about the topic or find out from an expert.
- What is my budget? Creating a website costs more than you really think it does. Not only is there a cost to build it, there are recurring costs such as web hosting, domain registration, software licensing, maintenance services, etc. A custom website can cost you well over $3,000.
- What do I need my site to do? Of course the answer to this is to make your organization visible. The design in your website plays a huge role on the engagement time of your pages. Keep your website user-friendly, don’t cluster it with information or insert distracting bells and whistles that can slow down the page-load time. Just a one second delay in your page-load can cause loss in conversion.
- What will I put on my website? You’ll want to have sufficient information on your website as well as call to actions. Be sure to not pollute your pages with too much information, but also don’t provide too little information. You must have, at least, the following pages on your site:
- Home page
- About us
- Contact us
- Third-party validations: testimonials, reviews, etc.
- Site map
- How will people find me? Search engines consistently archives websites so that people can find them easily. This is why it is important to keep your website optimized properly with SEO. Keep your on-page information optimized in the content and title headings.
- Are there security risks? One of the best things to do to protect your website from hackers is to make sure the platforms and scripts you’ve installed are up-to-date, install security plugins, and lock down your file permissions. Your website will most likely have some sort of online payment for donations or sponsorship; you’ll need to reassure your donors that your site offers protection. If your website is involved in e-commerce, you’ll need a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate in order to protect your consumer’s personal and financial data. Otherwise, no one will make a donation to your site if they don’t feel their information is secure.
In addition to these 5 considerations, keep these 3 main goals in mind while you’re creating a website for your company: accessibility, quality visuals, and mobile ability. Quality visuals attract your customers in, accessibility draws your customers to learn more, and mobile ability provides expansive access for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.