Build your own website! The task at hand can seem overwhelming for many people. When I was tasked with creating a website – I panicked. After all, website design is something that people spend years in school for, so how could I be expected to create something that is worth sharing on the Web, without any prior experience? However, once the initial fear settled, I realized that it is actually doable to create a website that will be successful, you just need to do your homework first. The post by Social Driver lists 41 best nonprofit websites. After reviewing them carefully, I learned that they all have the following concepts in common:
The purpose of your website needs to be clear from the home page. For instance, every last drop is a website that specifically focuses on water conservation in the UK. Sure, other topics on water, like the current CA water shortage or ocean pollution, may be interesting to the viewers, but too much information can easily distract your visitor, and thus the whole point of your website will be lost. A good tip that I came across, is to write your mission in the shortest simplest form before building your site. Then, as you add graphics and other text, make sure to always circle back to the original purpose, to ensure that you are not digressing and including too much.
Too much text can be a bad thing
Again, simplicity is key. I found this website on a list of “worst websites” and as soon as I clicked on it, I could tell why. Way too much text, everything is compressed together, and it is very unclear what the point of the website is. As Shakespeare once said “brevity is the soul of wit”; therefore, keep your text short and to the point.
Know your audience
According to Tony Callahan, an internet promotions consultant, one of the 10 tips to a successful website says that knowing your audience is key to a successful website. For instance, if a nonprofit wants to target children from immigrant families, it is important to ensure that your website can be easily viewed in several different languages. Or if you are trying to target an older population, make sure you use bigger font, so that the text is easier to read.
Make it easy
We live in a society where people expect to get things instantaneously. Nobody wants to click on several tabs, just to get to the key information. So make sure your content is easily accessible! Reduce the number of tabs to the bare minimum and organize them in a logical, easy to follow order.
Make it fun and creative
There are millions of websites our there, make sure yours stands out! Use interesting pictures, make it interactive, create catch phrases and etc. Anything to separate your website from “just another website” to “the best site out there!”. Use original photography, or work with your local community artists to create a logo. Use your imagination – your visitors will appreciate it!