Your website is an important part of your nonprofit organization. And when you’re ready to create one or upgrade your old website, always look for the best nonprofit web development agency for the job. Whether you’re creating a new website or upgrading your old one, there are many web development agencies out there. The trouble? Not all agencies are the same. Thus, making the right choice could be as important as designing the website itself.
But what makes an excellent nonprofit web development agency? Is it their years of experience? The number of projects they’ve worked on? Or how good their website looks? A number of factors go into the selection process. Here are the factors to consider when hiring a nonprofit web development agency for your organization.
One mistake many nonprofits make is that they widen their search parameters too wide when looking for a nonprofit web development agency. While you may think this gives you a better choice, it actually wastes a lot of time. There are millions of agencies building websites for nonprofits out there so the best way to find a great one is to search small. Here’s how:
- Consider searching for those in your neighborhood – could be your district or state. If you don’t find a good one, only then can you look further.
- If you know any nonprofits around you that have great websites, you can consult them to know the agencies they use for their work.
This doesn’t mean that you should stick to only your vicinity if you don’t like any of the web development agencies there. There are great freelancers and online-only nonprofit web development agencies out there that can also do a good job. All that matters is to make sure you’re hiring from a trusted source.
Expertise – a well-rounded team
While you might come across many nonprofit web design agencies in your search, not all of them have the expertise to meet your needs. When looking at expertise, the most important thing to look at is the team’s knowledge in different fields.
The team: your ideal nonprofit web development agency should have a team that has knowledge in the technologies, tools, and principles that could give you the best nonprofit website design. Things to look at would include a knowledge in content, user experience, design, user interface, web interactive technologies, and the ability to track the latest technologies and web development standards.
Your work as a nonprofit in this part is to spend time with different nonprofit web development agencies to understand their work, the team, and what they can provide.
The credibility of the nonprofit web development agency
In this digital age, any agency can claim to be good at what they do. And even though you might organize a physical meeting or meet online and talk about the organization’s expertise, it’s not always a guarantee that things are what they are. This is where you should look for the credibility of the nonprofit web development agency.
How? Start by checking them out on nonprofit review sites and places like Yelp. Your search should focus on reviews of other nonprofits about their work, their awards if any, certifications, and any other thing that would allow you to verify their credibility as an organization.
Portfolio showing their work
Any agency can write the “we’re the best in the industry” claim. But does their work show what they preach? This is the time to go through their work – the websites they’ve designed for other nonprofits. It’s also good to visit the sites they claim they’ve developed to see how that might be good or bad to your nonprofit needs.
Pricing and payment structure
Spending money is the most sensitive part of this process and a big factor to consider when choosing a nonprofit web development agency for your organization. At this stage, there are things to always keep in mind:
- Be careful of the agencies that charge ridiculously cheaper prices – and when your gut feeling tells you this is too cheap to be true, then it’s probably not going to work.
- Equally, be careful of those that charge ridiculously higher prices – sometimes, beyond a certain price point, it just not realistic.
- Look for a web development agency with moderate pricing. And by this stage, you might have already talked to a lot of agencies to know their prices.
- They should have a clearly defined payment structure. Some agencies would love to get a one-time payment of the total cost before they start the development process. Others require a down payment of 50% to start work and then you make the final payment when the website is done.
Bottom line is – don’t settle for too cheap agencies because your quality might be affected. And don’t also buy into too high prices, which might not necessarily reflect the quality being provided.
Room for regular maintenance
Just like how our buildings wear out and need some renovations, a website needs some retouching and upgrades from time to time. Your next nonprofit web development agency should be ready to come in and help maintain your site from time to time, upgrade your hosting when needed, build new integrations, and help out when there are issues with your site.
This is a delicate issue you shouldn’t overlook when hiring a development agency. That’s because the agency that built your site should be in the right position to do any upgrades. Bringing in a new agency altogether for issue fixes might end up causing more harm than good if you don’t get a good one. So it’s always good to look for an agency that is open to provide extra support beyond the original launch of your nonprofit website.
Abreast with current development and design trends
The field of web development is constantly changing – new standards, new tools, and new devices. The nonprofit web development agency you’re looking for should have a fair knowledge of the web development and design industry, the latest tools that are out there and can help your nonprofit website, and any changes in search engine algorithms that might affect the nature of a website.
Knows web accessibility standards and their implementation
As a nonprofit in this modern age, you want your website to be accessible to many people as possible. This would include but not limited to the hearing impaired, the visually impaired, and the physically disabled. Your nonprofit web development agency should have the knowledge to inculcate web accessibility standards into your website.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on what constitutes web accessibility for your nonprofit website and how to go about it. How To Achieve Web Accessibility For Your Nonprofit Website.