Of all your online assets, your nonprofit’s website is far and way the most valuable, and most powerful. Unlike third party sites where you’re simply adding content to their platform, your website is your own, it is pliant, and can be changed at the drop of the hat.
Because it is so customizable, it can be difficult to come up with a final product. A bevy of decisions must be made from optimization, to organization and everything in between. Additionally, there is a lot of competing ideas about what makes the best nonprofit website.
Here are few myths about your nonprofit’s website that can (finally) be laid to rest.
Your website shouldn’t be “too nice”
Too often nonprofit’s believe that their website should not be too ‘flashy’ for fear donors will think they are undeserving of a donation. Nonprofits for too long have feared donors will take their money elsewhere simply because they can afford a website that offers a slick user interface, or an updated design.
Donors are coming to your website will NOT be discouraged because of an intuitive, up to date website. If they are arriving at your webpage with the intention of giving, they are there because they believe in your nonprofit’s mission. They want to see change in the world, and feel that your nonprofit is the best medium to do so.
Your website MUST have an image rotator
In a study conducted by WeedyGarden.net, where 3.7 million website visists were analyzed, only 1% of website visitors clicked on images in an image rotator. And of that 1%, 89.1% of those clicks were on the very first image.
Additionally, these banner image rotators are often stocked with large image file sizes. This can, and often will, severely slow down the load time of your webpage. And with a huge percentage of people leaving a webpage that does not load in 3 seconds or less, this is a burden your nonprofit can not afford to bear.
Nothing should be more than 3 clicks away
In a previous article, we discussed the importance of navigation to your website. This is not down playing navigation’s importance, it is actually putting a greater emphasis on it.
Instead of counting the amount of clicks it takes to reach a specific webpage, your nonprofit’s website manager should be ensuring that the item in question is easy to find. Whether it takes 4 or 5 clicks is erroneous, as long as the item is intuitively placed, and visitors are finding the information they need.
The most important items should be listed at the top of navigation
Speaking of navigation, many nonprofits are adamant that their most important webpages be featured at the top of menus. Their reasoning being visitors are more likely to click items at the top, right?
Your navigation should not be viewed this way, however. Navigation items at the top of your lists should instead be catch-alls that the rest of your websites content can be filed under.
No one will read your blog
Blogging is, despite criticism, one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website.
Many nonprofits argue: “no one will want to read about what we have to say.” Think about all the questions you and your nonprofit’s employees field on a daily basis, and use these as blog fodder. As your nonprofit starts blogging, invariably the ideas flow from there.