The one step in redesigning your website that’s easiest to skip is also the most important: start out with a clear vision of your needs and goals for the website. And by “your needs” I really mean your visitors’ needs, since it's all about your audience after all!
If your website isn’t meeting your visitors’ needs anymore, or if it’s been sitting around for a while now without any TLC, then it might be time for an overhaul. (Or maybe a few tweaks would do the trick. Don’t underestimate how much you can improve things with some simple changes!) For many of you, this will be the first time you work on building a website, and you might not know what to expect or even what questions to be asking.
This was the focus of my recent webinar with My Charity Connects. I talked about the four stages of website redesign and what to expect at each one, touching on topics such as how to pick a consultant and what Content Management System (CMS) might be right for you. Here is the full recording of the webinar, and you can also see my presentation slides:
To help you identify your needs and put your visitors first, here are 4 questions to ask:
- Who will visit your website? This may be potential donors, existing donors, volunteers, advocates, foundations, media, etc. Each group will have their own needs and be looking for something different.
- Why? What do they want to do? They may want to donate, look up your address, volunteer, adopt an animal, sign a petition, etc.
- How can you make their lives simple? If visitors want to donate, make a “donate now” button easy to find. If they want to volunteer, post clear volunteer opportunities with instructions on how to apply/get in touch. Make it easy for visitors to find the information they need and get involved.
- What will get them to come back? Think of the websites you visit most often: this may be a news website, a favourite blog, or Facebook. The key to all of these is that they always have new, interesting content. Chances are you won’t have time to constantly update your website, but think about how you can keep your site fresh with information about upcoming events or new blog posts.
If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at: