It is easy to contact a web designer or agency for your website project. But before you grab the phone, there are few things you need to do to make sure that you set up the sitting room just right for your visitor.
These things are so significant to the point that if you don’t get them straight from the onset, it will result in confusion and a tremendous waste of your time and that of the designer. Unless you already have a website and those things were made clear, otherwise taking the time with your team to do the groundwork is key to a successful design of your website.
Alright! So let’s get down into it.
I encourage you to read to the end, even if you don’t need a website now, it will come in handy when you need to design one.
Even if you already have a website and you want to redesign it, it is still important to go to the drawing board and redefine your goals.
Now, if you are thinking of designing a website for the first time, the first thing you need to figure out is your goal for the website. Why do you need it? What do you want it to do for you?
Answering these questions is crucial to the success of your new website. Professional individuals, businesses and local organizations all design websites for different purposes; this article highlights some specifically for local NGOs.
You need to know right from the start if your purpose is to attract donors, raise awareness, advertise a new campaign or something else. And that decision is totally and entirely based on your needs.
Once that is clear with you and other members of your team, you have set the foundation for a successful website design for your non-profit.
The second thing you need to get right at the beginning before you embark on the design process is to decide which features you would want to have on your website.
These are some features that non-profits websites usually have: sign-up forms, on-site donation, membership login portal, blog, forms, custom email account and other useful integrations.
Deciding which features your website needs will clear up unnecessary expectations from the designer down the line.
Without content, there is no website; even if there is, it would be useless. So content is king when it comes to web design.
Unless otherwise agreed, the designer is not responsible for the creation of your content (copy/text, images, icons, videos) for your website. You and your team have to craft your story and make it compelling.
That is essential because most of the design features and content layouts out there is almost always the same; however, your story differs from everyone else’s.
Nobody has told your story before, so it is a unique sport to use for you to stand out from the crowd.
Begin with images. Take quality images of your beneficiaries, your team, volunteers. Just make sure that they look real to what you do and engaging. They must be of very high quality, too.
You don’t want to give a negative impression to your potential partners or donors with images of bad quality.
Next is the copy or text of your website.
Storytelling is emotionally engaging than merely writing activities straight out as if you are writing a technical documentation manual. Your website is for humans, and they like to engage with good stories.
Additionally, decide if you’d need any other illustrations or elements in your website that would make it visually appealing.
As the designer discovers these needs, it’d enable him to give you the quote for the entire website design.
Now, plan or anticipate the date you’d like the project completed.
The web designer you contact will give you details of the project timeline. But it is also very essential to discuss it as a team and know if it is something you can embark on now.
Web design takes a lot of time and other resources. Know early on who of your team members would be on the project, considering their skills level and the support you think they could contribute to the project.
Except for independent contractors, but most agencies will only respond if you have a budget set for the entire project. So set aside the quote before you contact the designer or agency.
As the saying goes, “proper prior planning prevents problem”. You don’t want to go down the line and run into issues with your designer because you failed to do the groundwork.
Making sure all the above are well-planned before going down to the nitty-gritty is paramount as the success of the whole web project starts right from there.
That is it!
I hope this article gave you some insights into web design. You can apply the ideas here into any web design project.
If you read this far and you want to get started with your non-profit website project, get in-touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact me if you need help with the pre-requisites mentioned above. I will be glad to hold your hand and lead you throughout the whole project.
Visit my portfolio website and view my past client’s work here
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