Building A Website for Non-Profits
One of the biggest challenges charities and non-profits face is a limited budget. They often plan regular meetings and discuss how to best spend their budget; on what medium could potentially make the biggest impact and best broadcast what kind of good work they’re doing. What better way than to create your own nonprofit website to generate awareness about your cause and put your charity on the virtual map? Creating a nonprofit website is easier than you think. Here are the steps you can take to make it happen:
1. Identify Your Website Needs
Thinking about your organization’s specific needs is the first step in creating your nonprofit site. The important thing to remember is that almost all organizations are focused on bringing in donations and in generating awareness for their cause; a good website brings these elements together and incorporates them with a striking, well-thought design.
You may start a blog-type website where you can educate your audiences, and add in a “donate” button to promote contributions. Consider what features are most important for your nonprofit’s success- how many pages do you need? Would you need to add widgets and integration with e-commerce software? How about linking the website to your social media profiles? You can also show your nonprofit company’s hard work with photos or through testimonials from your charity’s recipients.
2. Consider Options for a Domain Name ($15 per year)
A unique brand is equally important to be remembered online. Like other memorable domain names, the shorter, the better. If your nonprofit has an acronym, try and see if that is an available domain. A .org domain is generally the best option for nonprofit sites than the usual .com, because it sets them apart from commercial business operations.
If your acronym name with the .org domain is unavailable, then you may also want to consider registering the .net, .com, or if you’re a Canadian nonprofit, .ca domains. Having a .org domain is optimal, but it isn’t a necessity. Same goes for education institution websites that usually end in .edu, and for government agency websites that often end in .gov domains.
Check for an available domains at HostUpon.com
3. Choose A Web hosting Service ($100 per year)
You may get bombarded by a wealth of web hosting services on the web, but take the time to see what they have to offer and the always check a reputable hosting review site. To build your own website, you would want to find a webhosting service that provides a one-click script installer or a simple drag-and-drop Site Builder interface to get your nonprofit website up and running in no time. One-click installations are excellent for beginners; as you can easily install WordPress or a similar Content-Management System (CMS) which includes thousands of themes and templates. Furthermore, a good service typically offers a bundled domain name, Search Engine Submission, and SSL Certificates.
Learn more about HostUpon web hosting options by visiting hostupon.com
4. Find a Great Nonprofit Website Script & Template (FREE or $60 one-time fee)
Once you select the aesthetic and functional elements of your nonprofit website, registered a proper domain name, and found a web hosting service, it’s time to search for an excellent website builder template, CMS theme, or script that perfectly suit your needs.
Aside from providing clear access to the donation button and filling the site with great content for generating awareness, (and for SEO!), the overall design should be geared towards the specific type of industry you’re in.
Dreamer Theme for WordPress, designed by NOOThemes is one of the most popular WordPress themes for nonprofits and includes detailed documentation on how to build your site from scratch. The site-builder plugin used within DreamerTheme is called Visual Composer. Learn more here. And this is just one of many WordPress themes available! (May are free, and available for download directly inside of WordPress!)
Softaculous (included in most hosting plans) makes script installation easy by providing a complete, one-click installation wizard of software and scripts in one go, such as WordPress or Joomla. You will need to install your CMS/script (such as WordPress) first, before uploading your theme. Ask your web host for help as this part can sometimes be tricky!
5. Education (Always free!)
You won’t learn to design websites overnight, but there’s many free online courses and resources that help you learn popular site builders such as RVSiteBuilder, WordPress, and the like. Documentation from your theme’s framework may also help you learn the basics: how to use donation tracking graphics, online payment platforms, gallery plugins and event management tools are just some charity-specific features all nonprofit sites must have.
Visit the HostUpon knowledge-base to view many useful control panel and WordPress tutorials.
You’ve got everything you need, and no matter where you are in the world, HostUpon also provides full support 24/7.
Once everything is done, take your newly-created nonprofit website for a spin. Check out all the links and see if everything works as expected. Consider whether your website is responsive, mobile-friendly and has an attractive content layout.
Visit HostUpon.com to get started.