A Charity Website
A website for your charity will need to be built on a very strict budget. To meet this need, many web design companies now specialise in charity web design and will produce a site for you at a very much reduced cost. Do make sure that you shop around and get yourself a few quotes before you decide on which company you’d like to build your site. Before you approach a web design company, make sure you’ve pin pointed exactly what your site will need to have included so that they are able to give you an accurate quote. A registered charity website needs to show people that it is for an established charity. You can use your site to raise awareness for your cause, to promote your charity fundraisers and events and to take donations online for your charity.
What needs to be included in the Site?
As mentioned, before you begin to search for designers, you should ascertain what it is that you will need for your site. You will usually find that your designer will offer a package deal that will include registering your site’s domain name, web hosting, e-mail accounts, design facilities and a content management system that is easy for you to use. As a charity site looking to take donations, it is absolutely vital that you have a secure payment gateway provider. Having this will mean your donors money can be transferred safely and securely and will not reveal any private financial information. This is essential, as people will not be likely to donate without a secure system with which to do so. Ask designers that are quoting for you to include how much extra a payment gateway will cost.
The design for your site should be simple, easy to use and look professional. Your home page should have clear links to all of the other pages on your site and the main focus on every single page of your charity website should be the ‘Donate Now’ button, which is usually displayed even on the home page.
Technical Support and Content Management
It is essential that your charity site has a content management system so that you can go in and make changes to the site. You’ll want to update it with news about current and upcoming events you have taking place. If you have a content management system it allows you to go in and make these changes yourself without having to seek professional advice from the web design company each time. If you have to speak to the web designer each time you want to make a change, it will definitely raise your maintenance costs for the site. You shouldn’t need much technical support at all if you’ve made sure the website has been designed properly in the first place. You’ll need to consider the long term costs of maintaining your website. There will be annual charges for re-registering your domain name and your web hosting. Another thing you ought to consider is getting some sort of SEO package. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is basically a way of writing your site so that search engines (like Google) can find you. Research shows that when people search for something on Google they are only likely to click on the first three sites listed. Therefore, it’s important that your site comes up as one of those. SEO is complicated and Google are changing what is needed all the time. However, keeping up to date on SEO from a specialist company can be costly, so if you are a smaller charity it might be worth educating yourself somewhat on SEO or seeing if you can find a company that will include some SEO with your initial design. Though again, it is something that needs maintaining.
If you look for a specialist in charity web design it should ensure that you never pay more than you should for any services received and they should be able to help you contact any other services you may need at the best price possible.