Website – how to

Why is it hard to create a good website?

Practice.  My first website was hard to make.  By the time I made my 4th website, I was fast.  Now, I am really fast.

When you are planning your website, there will be hurdles.  Once you handle these hurdles, the rest will be easy.

Hurdle #1 – find someone who has made at least one website (preferably on WordPress) and who will give you tutorials on how to make further updates.images-25

Hurdle #2 – find someone who can write succinctly, which looks easy but is actually hard to do.   You need someone who has fresh eyes… who can see you as outsiders see your nonprofit.

Hurdle #3 – planning the main menu and drop down boxes on your website is hard.  You need to figure how to display all your information in a way that is easy to navigate.  Why is this hard?  When you are caught up in daily issues and always using internal lingo, its hard to step back and see yourself as an outsider.   Another source of confusion is the difference between the website and the organization chart.  A website should be structured to fit client needs …. just as an organization chart should be structured to fit client needs.   But the structure of organizations evolve due to employee capacity, history, etc.  So don’t expect your website to look like your org chart.

Hurdle #4 – Why are you unique?
Challenge yourself to write this as a separate web page.   State the reason with a brief rationale.

If you wish to hire specialists to build your website:

  • Find a writer to write the text and work with you to arrange the pages:  $500-$1000
  • Find a graphic artist to build the website (hopefully on an easy to use platform such as WordPress) and give you tutorials on how to make further updates: $1000-$2000

If you wish to build your own website:

I make websites for my clients on WordPress – because its easy, free and because it has such a large market share, I feel confident WordPress will continue for years.  There are 2 WordPress platforms.  I use because its easy and WordPress takes care of all the techie stuff.  If you have a techie on staff, you can consider using which has many more “plug-ins” available.

  1. Create 2 free WordPress accounts (in the name of general admin and of an employee).
  2. Create 2 free websites (the real website and a practice website), temporarily private.
  3. Give both accounts “administrator” status on both websites.
  4. Create both websites using the guidelines in the promotional audit. When circulating the drafts to others for review, explain how to evaluate creative.  This is the hard part.
  5. When complete, map new website to existing domain name.