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Website design for Nonprofits in 2020

There are some things that must be considered when designing websites. The best website designs all address the following areas to be successful.


COST: What is the average cost for website design?

The cost of a website can vary and depends on the path you take. There are basically four options that can be explored.

  1. The free option: You are responsible for everything including designing, hosting, and maintaining.

  2. A drag and drop website builder will only cost you $5 -$70/month, and also offer advanced functionalities (such as ecommerce). The best part is that you don’t need any technical or design skill to use DIY website builders. All the hard stuff is taken care of so it’s easy to get online.

  3. Template customization is where you hire a designer to customize a template for you. Expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 for template customization. The cost varies depending on how much work you want to be done – such as adding a header image, moving the logo location, creating a fixed navigation bar, changing the overall layout design, etc.

  4. Custom Website Design cost $1,500 – $10,000. You can hire a website designer or developer to create your website from scratch without the use of any website building software. Most websites are NOT built from scratch anymore. Only enterprise companies with very specific needs will choose to build a website this way, but this is also happening less and less.


What every nonprofit website design must have.

When designing a website there are many key factors that will contribute to how it is perceived.



Simple layout and aesthetics go a long way in convincing the visitor to stay at first glance. Several factors such as all contribute to good website design. These are the keys for an optimal layout:

  • Functionality

  • Consistency,

  • Colors,

  • Typography,

  • Imagery,



The main goal your website should achieve is to be able to immediately tell a story. What you may get wrong about storytelling on your website is that the story is not about YOU. The story must be the story your customers and prospects are telling themselves. They need to see themselves in the story which starts with their challenges, problems, and issues that they don’t know how to solve. You have to immediately let your website visitor see that you know what they’re struggling with and that there’s a good chance that you know how to solve it.



If it takes more than four seconds for any web page to load completely, it’s too slow.

Google found that 70 percent of the websites they surveyed in their study took seven seconds or longer to load.They also found that the slower the site, the more likely a user is to bounce. Google also noted 3 that seconds is the accepted best practice for website owners who want to keep their visitors on-site.

What makes this even more complicated is the fact that page speed can significantly impact your rankings. Google page speed is used as a ranking factor to assess pages in its index.



Scalability refers to responsiveness. The ability of a website to detect the visitor's screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly. It’s widely known that mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic. Does your web pages look great on all major mobile devices? If people can’t open your website on their mobile devices, they will most likely leave it within a few seconds and go elsewhere.


Whether or not you sell items on your website – if you take any information whatsoever, you should have SSL. The SSL will encrypt communications between you and your clients (i.e. a credit card number, Social Security number), which will allay their fears of providing such information, since there's so much identity theft on the web. VeriSign, TrustE, Entrust and GeoTrust are good options to explore.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO involves making certain changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine. ... SEO is the process that organizations go through to help make sure that their site ranks high in the search engines for relevant keywords and phrase


Social Share Widget – Did you know that only 34% of websites have a social share widget on them? Adding a social share widget on your site will allow website visitors to help you spread the word through their networks. This is the ultimate viral marketing tool.



To get the services you offer is the main reason people come to your website. Here are a few question that must be answered.

  • What are the services offered?

  • How much does it cost to get those services? (e.g. Price, Free)

  • Who is qualified to receive those services?

  • Who already benefited from those services (e.g. testimonials)?

  • Where can I receive those services (e.g. Location)

  • How can I receive the services (e.g. Telephone number, sign up)?



Many visitors to your site won’t be ready to commit financially but they will subscribe to receive more info or keep in touch. Email capture is a critical element for every business!


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