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What is the Process for Building a Nonprofit Website? Here is how we work with our clients:
Every nonprofit website is different and unique however our proven non-profit web design methodology delivers quality results over and over. Below is how we approach each nonprofit website we develop:
1. Intro phone call
- Introductory call to see if at a high level we are a right fit for each other
- This call typically takes around 10 – 15 minutes
2. In-Person Meeting or second phone call with executive team
- A more in depth conversation to see if our experience and work is a good fit for your needs
- This meeting typically takes around 45 – 60 minutes
3. Phone call to go over scope of work
- Assuming that we’re a good fit, this phone call is to go over of the scope of work to be performed, price and a timeline of the project
- This phone call typically takes 10 – 15 minutes
4. Kick off meeting
- In person meeting or group teleconference to discuss goals of website, define target audience and for us to learn about your organization.
- This meeting takes around 1 – 2 hours
5. Needs Analysis
- Internal survey sent to your staff
- Web Content Evaluation
- Competitive Analysis
- Content Architecture
- Wireframes (blueprint of website)
- This phase takes ~1 – 2 months depending on the complexity of your site
- Color Palette
- Design Mockups (actual design of your website)
- This phase takes around 1 month with revisions
- Install Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Sitefinity
- Convert design to HTML and integrate with CMS
- Install any custom modules or 3rd party tools
- Migrate over content
- This phase takes around 1 – 2 months depending on the complexity of your site
We ensure you’ll be able to manage your website using a personalized training video and a webinar style one-on-one training. In person training is also available.
3 Elements of Successful Web Design for Nonprofits
1. The Building Blocks for Long Term Value – Websites for non profit organizations have evolved into powerful tools in charge of collecting donations, motivating supporters and helping organize events. Beyond the look of your website it’s important to consider the long term value a multi-functional website can have. Websites for non profits now-a-days should be search engine friendly, easily updateable with a content management system, integrate with event registration and donation tools, as well support social media engagement through use of a blog, newsletter, twitter feeds, or Facebook. Considering the long term marketing impact will enable your organization to build a marketing machine that will last for years to come.
2. Design That Drives Action – An engaging and focused website design for a non profit can do wonders. First, design should quickly inform visitors about the mission of your organization, doing so with engaging images and copy. Second, good web design for non profits should incorporate simple navigation that highlights key pages helping visitors locate the information they are searching for within seconds. In terms of navigation another best practice is to include a sitemap which will help users and search engines find every page within your site. Perhaps, the most important aspect of successful web design for nonprofits is making sure every site page incorporates a call to action. For example, large buttons that drive newsletter signups or social media engagement. Other instances of a good call to action are making sure upcoming events are mentioned on every page, donation buttons, and contact information. Reinforcing these elements reinforces action from every visitor.
3. Reliability and Uptime – Behind any good website for a non profit is a reliable hosting provider, and peace of mind that your website is always there for you 24/7. Attacks and viruses are a real threat to any site. A hosting solution should include regular website backups, and someone to call encase downtime does occur.
How to Prepare for Working with a Nonprofit Web Design Firm
A good non-profit web designer will have a specific process for working with clients; they also bring a fresh perspective to your project, along with advice from past projects. Even if your project is still up in the air a good nonprofit web design firm can help sort out answers, and provide direction. One of the best ways to start identifying how to address website needs is to survey. A step a good nonprofit web development firm can help setup. Using a tool like survey monkey, you can create a series of questions for your visitors to answer once they are about to leave the website, these survives will deliver relevant takeaways regarding what information people are trying to obtain for your current site.
Another area to address with a non profit web design firm is who will host your website. A good hosting company should be available, provide security updates, and backup the website for about $50/month (what we offer). Hosting can be found cheaply elsewhere, but really consider the cost if something goes wrong with your website. If this is a brand new website for your organization it’s critical to decide on a domain name. It is a good idea to consult with a non profit web development firm because a well chosen domain name can play a large role in how your website is able to drive traffic from search engines.
For non profit’s that are transitioning from an old website to a new website it will save time and money to discuss what content will be moved to the new website. Non profit website design firms with experience in SEO can usually provide good advice for tweaking existing copy to improve keyword relevance that will drive search traffic. A good first step is to create a list of all the pages on your website that will need kept intact and converted to the new website design.
In terms of getting to a final design, nonprofit web designers typically work with clients by presenting multiple mock-ups of a new website layout, these are called wireframes. Generally after a design is agreed upon the non profit web designer will allow several rounds of revisions as the site is being built.
Finally, one of the most overlooked aspects of building a new website is preparing for its lifetime. Ensure that you speak with your non profit website design firm about how the website will be updated. Ask about training materials, or videos, and most importantly make sure the website is built on a content management system that will make it easy to add new pages, widgets, and adjust published pages.
Serving Washington DC Nonprofits, and The Entire Country
Washington DC is thriving with many non-profits, we are located near 17th and K Street downtown. As a DC non-profit web design firm we have helped local organizations like YMCA of DC, The Association of Military Comptrollers and The Foundation for Due Process of Law build beautiful websites. Our proximity to the DC nonprofit community allows us to stay in touch with new trends, and questions that leading non-profit organizations have regarding web development and design. Look no further for the best DC non-profit.