Many questions that arise when building a non-profit website revolve around WordPress and WordPress hosting. As a non-profit organization, many limiting factors come into play when answering these questions. How much will it cost, will there be support if or when needed, what’s the best hosting plan that won’t break the bank?
Instead of hiring a website developer, many nonprofits start building their own websites. However, the task of creating a website can be daunting if you’ve never done it before or don’t know how. Luckily, we have this guide to help you create a website you’ll be proud to call your own.
WordPress and why to use it
WordPress is the world’s largest content management system, and it’s free. It also has support plugins, themes, forums, guides, etc. A huge reservoir. Because of the options and capabilities available, WordPress is the best way to go when creating a website.
I know some of you might think you need to know how to code or be tech savvy, but that’s not the case anymore. We’ll talk about that later, but there’s no need to worry if you don’t know how to code.
Create a plan for your nonprofit website
So you’ve decided that a WordPress site is best for your nonprofit, but where do you start? Before you dive in, you need to have a plan. Without a plan you will have to go back and fix the problems or try to update the plugins later; Trust me – it will happen. Not only will this happen, but it will waste time and get you lost while building.
Let’s take a look at some tips to highlight your nonprofit’s mission, goals, and how visitors can contribute or get involved:
Why are you building this website? How will this help a non-profit organization? Make sure you know these answers before starting a website. If you get halfway through a website and decide it’s not really going to help a nonprofit, you can’t get that time back. As you answer these questions, all of your future decisions should support and reflect those answers. If you need to, write them on a sticky note and place them directly on your computer.
Who is your nonprofit? what are they on This question should be easy to answer, but should be written into your plans. You want to make sure it’s included on your site.
If you’re building a great website, but visitors don’t really know what a nonprofit is and what it’s all about, why should they donate or help? Just write what your nonprofit is, what you do, your goals, and make it a priority for your site.
Who are you trying to attract? Figure out your ideal audience and why they are ideal. You will want to create a website that targets them and that they want to visit. Creating a website is not for everyone. Trying to please everyone is a surefire way to ensure that your website falls short of its intended audience.
What do you want to do on your site? Obviously, the donate button should be enabled, but what else? A calendar, for example, is a great way to let supporters know when and where events are and how to join.
This is the time to think about what you want from your visitors. How do you want them to use the site? If you want them to learn more about the nonprofit or the cause it supports, make sure the information is clearly visible or easy to find.
Creating a website is a big task, and getting it right and done efficiently can be frustrating when you’re trying to do it, especially for an organization. While many nonprofits are already stretched thin, engaging employees in the process is a huge benefit. This may not be possible if the nonprofit is smaller or doesn’t have a large workforce, but if you’re lucky enough to have extra hands, minds, and eyes, by all means use them.
Choosing the right non-commercial hosting provider
You’ve got your plan and you’re ready to move on to the next step, hosting.
Web hosting is the act of a company that stores and transmits data for your website, and every website needs it. There are many types of hosting plans, but for a WordPress site, we recommend a WordPress hosting plan with InMotion Hosting.
Why are these types of plans the best choice? Because they are optimized specifically for WordPress sites and are fantastic for organizations. They include support for any questions you may have, and with the number of plugins available, you’re sure to have questions.
Unlimited email accounts are also included. As a nonprofit, one of your goals is to grow to help more, and with that, you’ll need more email addresses as you add more staff, volunteers, support, etc.
One of the best features of these plans? A hundred. With six options to choose from, depending on how big you want your site to be and the amount of traffic it can handle, the prices are unbeatable. As a non-profit organization, we understand that spending a lot of money on hosting is not in your plan or budget, which is why we try to offer you the best we can at the lowest price. A huge bonus with these plans will take us to our next stage in the construction process.
Building a website
This is the part that scares me the most. We mentioned from the beginning that creating a website on WordPress is a no-brainer, and we mentioned the bonus with our hosting plans. Our BoldGrid website builder is included with every WordPress hosting plan, giving you access to a website layout editor. Not only does this make design easier, but you’ll still be able to choose a theme for your site and add additional plugins. Let’s talk about them:
- WordPress theme – A theme is the general appearance of your site. You’ll want to look at a variety of them to find the one that’s right for you. With WordPress, you can change themes whenever you want, and many are free.
- Responsive design – Make sure your website is responsive across devices, prioritizing mobile optimization. Responsive design enhances user experience and positively affects search engine rankings.
- Intuitive navigation – Develop a user-friendly navigation structure that will make it easier for visitors to explore your website. A logical and intuitive layout contributes to longer user sessions and reduced bounce rates.
- WordPress Plugins – Essential plugins include SEO optimization tools, event calendars, donation buttons, contact forms, etc. Before installing, research the plugin you plan to use to make sure it’s what you need, works properly, and doesn’t slow down your site.
Once you’ve decided which theme you want and which plugins to use, it’s time to create and add content. This is where other input will be most beneficial, especially if this is not your forte. Make sure you have a flow with the content, you don’t want complicated transitions or hard to find links and pages.
Content creation tips
- Compelling landing page content – Create an engaging landing page that succinctly expresses your nonprofit’s purpose. Clearly describe your mission, goals, and how visitors can contribute or get involved.
- Keyword rich blog posts – Publish blog posts regularly that contain targeted keywords related to your nonprofit niche. Not only does this provide valuable information to your audience, but it also boosts SEO by targeting specific search queries. If you’re new to SEO, check out our SEO Beginner’s Guide.
- Media rich content – Enhance user engagement with multimedia elements such as images and videos. Optimize media files for web performance to maintain fast loading speeds.
Everyone who visits a website expects a hassle-free experience. If a visitor perceives a website as too difficult to navigate, they will leave, plain and simple. Don’t be afraid to play with different settings, styles, colors, views, etc. The more you learn about the program, the better your website will perform. Have fun with it, enjoy the process because it’s rewarding when it’s done.
With WordPress hosting
You now have a WordPress website and a WordPress hosting plan to go with it. It wasn’t that hard, was it? If you still have questions, reach out to our awesome support or check out BoldGrid’s help articles.
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