How to Build a Website for a Nonprofit Organization with WordPress?
There are numerous non-profit organizations that seek to make a difference in the world. Their main goal is always to inspire and encourage acts that help in solving a specific issue. The best way to spread the world about problems and solutions in the world is, well you guessed it, building a website. Getting together a decent website that not only works, but makes the message clear and impactful isn’t always easy.
This is no problem to large organizations like GreenPeace and the Red Cross, because they can hire entire teams to help. But it smaller local organizations don’t have the amount of resources and manpower it takes to make this happen. So, often enough, non tech-savvy people are left to do the job as best as they can.
Have no worries though, because thanks to WordPress, even you can do it with a minimal technical background. It also requires a very minimal investment too. In a best case scenario, all you need to pay for is the hosting of your website. But if you want to go the extra mile and make your job easier while making your website look truly amazing, a premium theme is a great investment. So, in this article, I’ll tell you why you should use WordPress, which is my favorite hosting provider and how to set it up to match the needs of a nonprofit organization. Let’s get down to it!
Top Reasons to Use WordPress
There are plenty of website builders out there such as Squarespace and Wix. These make it easy to build a website with drag and drop features, but WordPress can do the same. In fact, WordPress is an open source platform, so it’s completely free to use. Other website builders require at least an $8 – $15 monthly fee and they aren’t as flexible as this popular content management system.
There’s a reason why every 4th website is built with WordPress. This adds up to 74 million websites being run by this platform.
Needless to say, WordPress is a great option the specific case of a nonprofit or charity organization. Here are the main reasons to use WordPress to build your site.
It’s Very Beginner Friendly
WordPress is extremely comprehensive and easy to use by anyone. You also have tons of training material at your disposal. There are numerous websites and YouTube channels dedicated to WordPress, that all have great tutorials that you can follow. You can usually get a website up and running within an hour or two.
WordPress is Fully Responsive
About half of the internet’s traffic comes from mobile devices with web access, so it’s only natural that you build your website to suit them. It’s important that your website is fully functional on mobile as well and that readers can easily access your blog, donations, events and anything else on your website.
So it’s a good thing that WordPress supports fully responsive themes and layouts. All you have to do is choose a well-designed theme that is fully responsive, but 99% are, so no worries about that.
It’s Very Flexible
Alongside the fact that WordPress is incredibly easy to use, it is also easily extensible. You can add numerous functions and features with a few clicks. This is thanks to the platform’s plugin system that allows you to install a plugin without exiting the dashboard. So you can easily add every functionality that your non-profit website requires.
It’s Cost Effective
Nonprofit organizations and charities have a limited budget most of the time because they spend their money on where it actually makes an impact. So, being able to cut corners wherever it’s necessary is a big help. Which is why WordPress being free is great. You don’t need to purchase it or anything, just download it from their website or install it on your hosting server.
You can get off completely free by being resourceful, by using some of the free themes and plugins available out there. But your site will look much better and will be a lot more functional if you don’t mind spending about $70 on your site.
How To Build Your Nonprofit Organization’s Website With WordPress
Building a website for a nonprofit organization is like building any other site with WordPress. It can be done in a few simple steps and you can have your website up and running within two hours or a day if you need to wait for your web hosting service to be activated. So, let’s see what the individual steps of getting your website up and running are!
Step 1: Choosing a Hosting Provider and Your Domain Name
WordPress has a free self-hosted option, but it won’t exactly make your website the fastest. It’s much better to go with a commercial hosting provider. It will ensure that your website runs fast and smoothly throughout the year. Doing so will cost you about $5 every month, but in return, your website will be much faster and more accessible.
My top pick when it comes to hosting is InMotion. They are the most reliable hosting provider I could find because not only do they have powerful servers but powerful customer support as well. I never saw my website to be down or to load slower than it is supposed to. When I need an issue solved, I just call the customer support service and they answer within minutes. You’ll need someone to help you out in case something isn’t working on your site and you don’t know why.
InMotion has some of the friendliest humans who you can call to aid and have them solve whatever they can. You also get free bonuses you would have to pay for elsewhere, such as free backups and security features, which will ensure your website’s safety. All in all, InMotion is a solid option and will only cost you $3.99 / month, in case you subscribe for a longer period of time.
Claiming a Domain Name
Having a catchy domain name is important and it’s up to you to come up with one. Once you have, it’s time to see if it’s available and register it. You can do that as well through InMotion’s website. You just type your preferred domain name into the search bar and see if it’s available or not. If it is, just click on buy and you’ll have a domain name for your new nonprofit website.
Step 2: Installing WordPress
This is the simplest step as it only requires a single click. Just log into the cPanel at InMotion and find WordPress among the applications. Just click on its icon and it install it. The same process applies for about 90% of hosting providers out there, so there’s no way you could mess it up.
Step 3: Choose a WordPress Theme
If you installed WordPress, you’ll be greeted with its basic template. It really isn’t much and certainly isn’t enough to convey your organization’s message. So you should find a theme that suits you and your organization a lot better. Not to mention that it also has to look professional in order to be as convincing as possible. Here are the ones I’ve found to work best for a nonprofit or charity organization.
Jarvis is one of the best parallax themes on ThemeForest. It is flexible and filled with features, so it can easily adapt to any kind of website you want to build out of it. You can have a very professional looking website simply by choosing one of its 14+ variations and adding your own text, colors and images. The whole layout of Jarvis is full responsible and easy to manage. Check out the demo and see if it fits what you have imagined.
Churchope is the best suited for a nonprofit website that has a lot to share. It incorporates all the functionality and looks you would want from a simple nonprofit website. You can show off events, run a blog or have a shop on your website. It’s also easy to manage and set up so you won’t have to spend too much time tinkering around to get it to look the way you want it. Check out the live demo and see for yourself.
CharityHub is lean and simple and just plain perfect for showing off every aspect of your organizations mission. You can easily run a blog, add a gallery and place every bit of content that people have to see to be convinced about your message. What’s even better is the fact that you can show off what are you collecting donations for. People can visit and see how much money has been collected and how much more you require for your mission to succeed. This is incredibly useful for a nonprofit organization that relies on donations, so this theme will suit you well. The live demo is quite convincing too!
Step 4: Install Useful Plugins
Plugins are what make WordPress so convenient and flexible. They allow you to add specific functions to your site. With tens of thousands of plugins available, you can add just about whatever you want. It takes a few clicks to install a plugin. You might have to watch a tutorial video to get the hang of more complicated ones but most of them are pretty comprehensive to use. Here are a couple of plugins that might be handy as you work to build your nonprofit website.
- Events: Calendarize, Event On
- Donations: PayPal donations, Give
- Newsletter: MailChimp, MailPoet
- Sliders: MetaSlider, Slider Revolution
- Forms: NinjaForms, Gravity Forms
- SEO: Yoast SEO
You don’t need much to get your nonprofit organization’s website up and running, just a bit of time, patience and a few dollars to spend. It won’t take you long to get your website up and running with all the necessary features and the looks it requires.
I hope this article helped you learn something new today and that we will see you again soon in the next one!