I have used many websites for my day-to-day practice as a pharmacist, a diabetes educator, and a public health student practitioner. Due to my area of interest, I visit diabetes-related websites the most. Among all of the diabetes websites, I use the site created by American Diabetes Association the most. As a result, I would like to use this website as an example to show and tell the best website design practices for nonprofits.
Heather Mansfield recommends some website design strategies/best practices in her book A How-To Guide for Nonprofits Social Media for Social Good.
- Have a simple, visually powerful web home page design: The key is to have large, powerful images with minimal text.
- Have a consistent design throughout all secondary navigation and content pages: Layout and color scheme should be consistent in all content pages.
- Format text for easy reading: Keep bullet point content short and avoid long pages.
- Set two-column layout as the limit: One column will take 2/3 of the page layout for content stories, and the other 1/3 is for secondary navigation and graphics for campaigns.
- Use page titles that would increase search engine optimization: Every page of the website should have a unique title.
- Include subscribe to e-newsletter and group text messaging functionality: These functionalities should be featured on every page.
- Include social media icons or graphics: Social media fans and followers will come directly from clicks on social media icons placed on the website along with “Follow Us” pitches.
- Have a “Donate Now” button on every page: This button should be in close proximity to social media icons and “Subscribe” buttons.
Of course, there are many paths leading to an attractive website that will retain your audience. When in doubt, it might be a good idea to consider the tips provided by Heather Mansfield to enhance your website in order to reach out to your target population.