Chances are your nonprofit, association, or charitable organization has a website. But while you may be familiar with how it works, you may not know how it came about – and that’s totally fine.
Whether you’re using the services of a nonprofit website development agency or your in-house team, there are two approaches that you’ll encounter when these teams build your website: either through hand-coding it or using a website builder.
While it may not be of much importance to you as a nonprofit (so far as your website is live), it’s a great way to know how your website is built and the pros and cons of each method. And next time you’re hiring an agency to develop or upgrade your website or using an in-house team, you’ll have a chance to understand how they’re working and probably contribute to which method you prefer.
Let’s get started.
Hand-coding your Nonprofit Website
This approach involves working with you and analyzing your nonprofit goals, your web technology needs, your target audience, designing the user interface, building the information architecture, implementing code, and offering support.
The agency or your in-house development team gets time for each clients and have to design each nonprofit’s solution from the ground-up, based on the organization’s unique requirements.
Cons of hand-coding your nonprofit website
Hand coding your nonprofit website comes with a lot of benefits.
Built to suit your organization’s unique goals
Through focusing on your nonprofit needs and building everything from scratch, the development team is able to come up with a digital solution that’s tailored towards your unique goals as a nonprofit.
Full control over the website
Hand coding your website means you buy your domain and hosting and building everything from scratch. This gives you complete control over your website and the entire code. You can update or migrate your website code to any host or domain of your choice with your entire source code following you.
Great implementation of search engine principles
From optimizing meta descriptions to defining tag and image principles, hand-coding helps your team to develop a website that pays minute attention to search engine principles. This helps your site rank better and get an excellent outreach.
Responsiveness at its best
Since your website is coded from scratch, the team is able to implement great website responsiveness principles, making sure your visitors experience the best digital product no matter the device they’re on.
Great site functionality
The development team, through developing your website by coding it from scratch, is able to make all the micro-interactions needed for an excellent platform experience.
Cons of hand-coding your nonprofit website
Building your nonprofit website from the scratch by hand-coding it may demand having a huge budget as an organization.
Since the team has to sit down and conceptualize, understand your visitors, plan the entire development process, design, and code, it usually takes a lot of time.
Using Website Builders
Website builders are tools that allow you to create a website without writing code. With a website builder, you don’t need programming knowledge to get a good-looking website for your nonprofit.
These tools provide a drag-and-drop experience that enables anyone to build a website with a few steps. From Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace to Webflow, there are a lot of these platforms out there.
Pros of a website builder
Easy to use or start
Website builders are easy to use. If you’re tech-savvy, you can build your nonprofit website in a couple of days. Even those that are not technology inclined can use these tools to build websites.
Using a website builder will enable your team to launch your product faster. The presence of pre-designed templates makes everything moves faster.
With a website builder, your team spends less time on a project, meaning less paid. After paying for a subscription, you’re good to go. Some website builders will give you free hosting for a couple of months before you start paying.
Cons of using a website builder
Loading times may be poor
With website builders, not much attention is usually paid to the back-end (the actual place controlling what happens on your website). Additionally, this part is usually handled by the website builder, which hosts many other websites on a single server, probably using the same codebase with many other websites. this slows down the speed of your site.
SEO is poorly implemented
Not much attention would be paid to search engine optimization principles. This is mostly handled from the backend, and since you’re not building from scratch, you won’t see the codebase to make changes that would reflect good search engine principles.
Migrating is difficult (sometimes impossible)
It’s difficult to migrate your site from one content management system to another, unlike hand-coded websites that make the process easy by moving the whole codebase.
Which one do you go for?
At IndieTech Solutions, this is our job. Whether you want a website hand-coded or built by a website builder, we’re ready to take on the challenge. Even if you’re confused on which one to go for, our assessment of your nonprofit organization’s needs would help us built the website in a way that you desire. There’s no single answer when it comes to which one to choose. It all depends on your needs, and at IndieTech Solutions, we help build a robust web solution.