Every business — and non profit — needs a really well done website. Today, this can be done quickly and easily using one of the many free or low-cost web design vendors and tools available on the internet. According to Heather Mansfield, author of Social Media for Social Good, there are five primary considerations when launching a website for your non-profit:
1. Easy to use web designing platform
It is important to use a content management system that enables your non profit to affordably develop a website and maintain it without having to pay a professional web builder. This is particularly important for new non profits that may not have the resources to hire much outside help. There are many good web design platforms that make designing a website easy — even for those of us who have little (or no) background in website creation. Wordpress.org and Wix are two sites to check out for finding a host and design platform.
2. Good Writing
Once you have your website host selected and you have started the process of creating, you need to ensure that you have high quality writing. Mansfield suggests limiting each paragraph to one idea in fewer than 100 words. Writing should be clear and succinct. Proofread for typos and spelling errors; Nothing screams “unprofessional” more than a string of misspelled words and poor use of language. Use active voice as much as possible (“The dog jumped over the log” NOT “The log was jumped over by the dog”).
3. Quality Images and Graphics
Make sure your website has quality photos and solid graphics. There are many sources of free, un-copyrighted images on the web, but it might be worthwhile to purchase some stock photos as well. These are often higher quality and look better than some free photos do. You can also purchase a good camera at a reasonable price and take your own images of the work your organization is up to.
4. Simple Consistent Navigation
Make sure your website has simple and consistent navigation across all the pages. Check that your links take you to the right place each time. No one wants to waste their time trying to figure out how to find things and move about your website.
5. Use a .org
A non-profit should have a .org website. You can purchase a .org for a small price. It makes your website appear more legitimate.
Use these tips to set up a professional, useful site for your nonprofit and you will be glad you did.