For nonprofits, the greatest employee can be the website. A nonprofit’s website is often the first point of contact for donors, foundations, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Thus, the website must make an excellent first impression, be easy to navigate, contain valuable information, and tell a compelling story. Still, many nonprofits are falling short when it comes to web design, and are presenting websites that are outdated, confusing to navigate, and failing to engage visitors. Many organizations are strapped for resources and, therefore not prioritizing a revamp of the organization’s website. Engaging in a thoughtful website redesign, however, is an investment that will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.
When to Redesign
Some indicators can help reveal whether a website redesign is a good idea. One major indicator is whether or not the site is mobile-friendly. Many older websites or websites that were created poorly are not optimized for mobile, which is a major problem as research indicates that 46% of consumers are unlikely to return to a mobile site if it didn’t work properly during their last visit. (Test out your site using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test).
Another indicator is the user experience or UX. A site with a great UX is easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, and lacks bugs or errors. A poor UX can be a major deterrent to visitors to the website and overall engagement. For example, research indicates that 53% of visitors will exit a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Adobe found that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. And many websites are driving people away because the navigation is confusing, making it hard for visitors to find critical information.
A more concrete indicator is the bounce rate, the percentage of visitors who enter the website and then leave it before viewing another page. A high bounce rate indicates that the website is failing to capture visitors’ attention, which means the website is not doing its job. In analyzing bounce rates, it is important to understand bounce rate benchmarks and the various ways that bounce rates can be used as a metric of success. Please keep in mind that this website performance metric is changing to “Engagement Rate” in Google Analytics 4 by July 2023.
These are just a handful of indicators that can lend insight into whether or not it is becoming necessary for a nonprofit website to be redesigned. The truth is that if you are questioning whether or not your nonprofit’s website needs to be revamped, it is probably a good time to do so. Investigating these indicators can help you build your case.
So you’ve decided to redesign, now what?
After making the case that a website redesign will strongly benefit your nonprofit organization, there are many steps you must take to make that redesign successful. Perhaps the most important step, however, comes at the very beginning: deciding whether or not to do the website redesign in-house, or to hire an outside vendor, partner, or freelancer.
For nonprofits that are already strapped for resources, pulling staff away from critical projects to focus on a website redesign can really slow things down. A website redesign is a very large undertaking, and not something that should be considered a side project. For these reasons, it is a good idea to consider outsourcing the redesign. A quality web designer will know how to work with members of the organization’s team every step of the way to maintain the organization’s vision while ensuring the highest level of quality. Furthermore, pulling in assistance from outside of the organization can really help in adding a fresh perspective, which can be really beneficial.
But what about the cost?
By now, you may be sold on hiring outside help to revamp your nonprofit’s website. But there is one hitch that many organizations get stuck on- the price. It can be tricky to get the buy-in needed to shell out the money required to hire a web designer for a redesign, especially for nonprofits that are low on cash. In making the case, it is important to emphasize that the redesign is an investment that will pay off in the long run, as the revamped website will serve as a strong employee for the organization, drawing visitors in and inciting them to take action.
For nonprofit organizations seeking a web redesign on a budget, Key Medium is here to help. Giving back is in our company’s DNA, and that’s why we dedicate a portion of our time and resources to create digital experiences for awesome causes. Through a Key Medium Coding For Causes Grant, your organization can receive a digital makeover, or strategy boost for much, much less.
Leah Bury is a writer and passionate about various social justice issues, to say the very least. She’s worked in a variety of organizations, from an education technology startup to a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund, and has in the past supported Coding For Causes in spreading equity and community education on a City-wide scale. She likes to hike, travel, read, and enjoys music festivals.