A well-designed organizational website is essential to help nonprofits engage new supporters, raise money, and share information with their base of donors and supporters. Schools and PTOs need specific school website software features to communicate with families, share community calendars and upcoming events, as well as sell school spirit merchandise and more. If you need to update or even create a nonprofit website for your organization, the task can seem expensive and daunting.
DoJiggy offers beautifully crafted nonprofit websites built on the WordPress platform to meet these needs. We make the process easy and affordable, like all of our nonprofit and fundraising solutions. Then we back up our sites with powerful nonprofit website hosting.
So what is involved in building a nonprofit website? Here are the eight steps to create a nonprofit organization website on DoJiggy’s WordPress platform.
8 Steps to Beautiful, Secure Nonprofit Website Development
1. Purchase a Website and Hosting Package
We offer two levels of website hosting and services, to meet your non-profit’s budget and needs. Select from Standard or Premium Startup and Hosting Services. If your organization would like an eCommerce store, Nonprofit CRM integration and/or the ability to accept multiple payment methods, you’ll need the Premium Startup and Hosting Services. See a website demo or read more on our non-profit website pricing plans here.
2. Create your Trello Login
Once you’ve purchased your website, it’s time to get started collaborating. We’ll send you instructions on signing up with Trello. Trello is a project management and collaboration software that allows your organization to view our progress and designer time spent on projects, upload content and images, and keep everything organized and in one location. We will manage the entire website onboarding process in Trello.
3. Schedule a Website Kick-Off Meeting
Once the Trello board is created and the team is in, we’ll get the team together to discuss timelines, priorities and current assets and assignments. We’ll make sure that your understand how to communicate via Trello and know what to expect of our team. This is your chance to introduce your vision for the website, as well. If you want to know how to create a non-profit organization website with ease, this step is key. Communications are tracked and stored in one place, for every task.
4. Select your Nonprofit Website Template
All of our nonprofit and school websites come with a beautiful, mobile responsive WordPress template. Just let us know which of our templates you like, and we’ll start from there. Our templates can be easily customized to match your organization’s or school’s brand. They include editing tools and image upload and sizing features to make it easy for administrators to create the perfect website. Don’t worry if you prefer a custom design or don’t see what you’re looking for in our templates, we can work with any WordPress template (additional fees apply).
5. Select Private Domain & Install SSL Certificate
What is your organization’s URL? We will need to reserve this if you don’t already have a website on this URL. We purchase and monitor the URL for you, as part of the hosting service. If you already have the domain, you can turn it over to our team or decide on co-management terms.
Our nonprofit websites are built on cloud technology and industry-leading security standards. All domain pages are secured with a SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. An SSL certificate ensures a secure connection is established between a website user and the server where the website data originates. It is signified in a website’s URL by the use of HTTPS (instead of just HTTP). Secure sessions use encryption methods to ensure that data can be more safely transferred. Read more on the importance of SSL. We will need to setup DNS or confirm domain ownership to complete this important step.
6. Determine Site Content & Provide Existing Assets
If you already have an organization website and Facebook page, this usually comes together pretty quickly. What content do you want to include on your website and what images or video do you already have? Do you want a WordPress blog and online calendar? Our templates provide a good starting point, but your team will know what information and provide the content that is needed for your constituents.
Here are a few recommendations to get started building an effective non-profit website:
- Fewer options on the primary menu navigation help constituents to focus. Don’t add too many menu items, but rather categorize and add content under about 6-8 main menu items.
- Good photos and graphics are a must. Remember – a picture is worth 1,000 words. Hire a photographer to attend your events or classes and be sure to include photos of those you serve (with permission).
- Put as much information as possible right up front on your nonprofit website home page, so users don’t have to click to learn what you do and for whom.
- Present clear calls to action – what are you looking for from constituents? Donations, volunteers, fundraising and event participants, and more.
- Put your nonprofit mission statement upfront and center so people know who you are and what you’re about.
- Highlight your Social Media pages. Encourage your users to join the conversation and learn more about your daily activities by following you on Social Media. Our templates encourage this.
- Blog often and highlight case studies and personal stories that share the impact of your organization.
Our Start-up packages include limited design work so that your in-house or preferred designer is free to build out the website. We can also provide all design services (at about $50/hour, depending on your needs). For current WordPress users, we can usually migrate your data directly (additional fees apply here, but this can save a lot of time and design work).
7. Select Integrations and Plug-ins
Based on the above content discovery, what functionality and integrations will your nonprofit website need? We offer a full list, including:
- Payment processing with Authorize.net, DoJiggy Payments, and PayPal
- eCommerce merchandise store (for merchandise and school spirit sales)
- Google Analytics
- Yoast SEO for nonprofits
- Nonprofit CRM integration
- Email marketing integration (MailChimp)
- SMS integration (additional monthly fees apply)
- QuickBooks integration (additional monthly fees apply)
8. Launch your New Nonprofit Website
We’re ready to go! We’ll launch your website and can continue to work on Phase 2 work if any has been specified or projected. As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to creating a solid nonprofit website. Leave it to us! We can build most websites in about two to three weeks’ time, with careful collaboration from your team.