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• 30 years in the sector
• Technology leadership, publications, events
• Welfare Rights
• Freelance web designer and trainer
• Many clients from welfare rights and law
• Worked for charities in the UK and Australia
on managing technology and websites
Planning a new website initiative
Notes to accompany the webinar by Jason King kingjason.co.uk
1. Do research
Because most people's knowledge of modern website design is outdated. Don't compare
yourself to poor websites, find out what the good ones look like.
Good non-profit web design: vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/best-non-profit-websites/
LASA Knowledgebase: ictknowledgebase.org.uk/youronlinepresence
2. Write a project brief
Personally I never quote on a project until I've seen a detailed brief that shows the client
has thought through what they need. Once your brief is written, get it signed off by
committee, and you have something to send to potential web designers.
What should a brief contain? ictknowledgebase.org.uk/websitebrief
10 things not to leave out: boagworld.com/business-strategy/web-design-brief
WCAG 2 accessibility standards, a legal requirement: w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
Find a volunteer IT professional to help prepare the brief: it4communities.org.uk/
Find a web developer: suppliersdirectory.org.uk/
3. Choose a CMS
There are many CMS to choose from, and various ways to build a website. Commission
your website from a web developer who can confidently explain how their preferred CMS
can match your project brief's requirements.
Which CMS for your charity? http://bit.ly/1jPhmsO
Drupal – needs to be installed on your own hosting: drupal.org
WordPress.com – hosted for you, mostly free, but charge to use your own domain name:
WordPress.org – self-hosted, free but you need to pay for hosting and perhaps someone
to install it: www.wordpress.org
WordPress themes – a cheap way to get a professional looking website, plenty of choice:
ElegantThemes.com StudioPress.com www.WooThemes.com
UK-Sands is a great example of a mobile responsive non-profit website (view it on your
phone / tablet and note how it resizes): uk-sands.org
Wireframes help you plan page layouts: http://www.usability.gov/how-to-andtools/methods/wireframing.html
5. Visual design
If your organisation's branding isn't good enough, engage a graphic designer to improve it.
The more you know what you want the website to look like, the more likely a web designer
is able to provide a good solution.
Make a mood board creativebloq.com/graphic-design/mood-boards-812470
Maybe use Pinterest.com as a tool for gathering sites and elements you like.
6. Code and test
It's better to get a web professional to check the code manually than to use automated
testing tools, but you can at least check the html and css code validate, and see what it
looks like on mobile devices.
RNIB and Abilitynet both do accessibility audits of websites:
Test your html code validates 100%: validator.w3.org
CSS controls how your web pages display. Test CSS code: jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator
Web pages are increasingly being viewed on mobile and tablet devices. If your
organisation work with younger people it is especially important to test your site displays
properly on mobile devices: mattkersley.com/responsive
This is how www.lasa.org.uk displays on different screen sizes. Try it out on your own site.
7. Launch and promote
Promotion should be continual, not just at launch. Use social networking tools (Facebook,
Twitter etc) as well as email newsletters. Put your website's address everywhere, on email
signatures, business cards, posters, tattoos etc. Get other quality, relevant websites to link
to your site.
Google AdGrants is the non-profit version of Google AdWords, Google’s advertising tool.
It’s worth spending time thinking about words or terms people are likely to use in searching
for your charity, as getting it right can help propel your website to the top of searches. Try
Googling your own charity and noting the rank it appears in the search results.
Keep refreshing the content, keep promoting the content, keep analysing success. These
tools will help.
Use Google Analytics for free and detailed web stats: google.com/analytics
Use Google Webmaster Tools to ensure Google sees all your content:
• Nonprofit website project handbook: http://bit.ly/W83q0K
• Optimise your online content toolkit: http://bit.ly/W83KfV
• Social Media Decision Guide: http://tinyurl.com/2esjkxv
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