‘Don’t fix it if it’s not broken’. This is what you might have heard employees or even friends suggest to you about your non-profit website. Just leave it as it is because it’s working all right. Sorry to disappoint you, this is bad advice. Because you need a nonprofit website redesign plan.
The fact that your website is functioning doesn’t mean it’s up-to-date or working well. Take a nonprofit website redesign project as you do with employee improvement. Just as you create programs to improve the working conditions and skillset of your employees, your website needs changes and upgrading to work well as time passes.
Technology evolves faster these days. New design trends are everywhere. The younger generation has little to no patience for poorly built, dull websites. So while you think it’s good to have just any website just to represent yourself online, you may be driving away potential donors without realizing it as a result of bad design.
Like many nonprofits, it’s difficult talking about website redesigns as this stuff may sound technical. And the biggest worry for you now is how do you know if your website needs a redesign or not. Throughout this post, you’ll learn that your nonprofit website redesign, while it might sound technical, has certain aspects you can handle yourself. You’ll also get actionable tips on the signs that tell you it’s time to redesign your website. Let’s get started.
A changing industry
Markets transform over time thanks to technology and you need to stay relevant. When you realize new technology and website features are entering your space, it’s time to redesign your nonprofit website.
What are the changing industry trends that show that you need a redesign of your site? Website chat features may be the norm for nonprofits to gain loyal audience. One-page websites might have caught on as the new trend to increase nonprofit online engagement. Or featuring volunteer stories in the homepage instead of putting them at the blog section is the new way to get more donors.
What to do:
Whatever the new trend is in your space, ensure that you’re extracting the good features and trends to stay relevant. We’re not saying you should all the crowd in the industry and imitate ay feature out there. However, if what’s trending in the industry makes sense, you shouldn’t ignore it. All you need to do is to customize industry revolutionary trends to suit your nonprofit website goals.
To keep tabs on the changing dynamics in your industry, follow influencers in the space. Also, make sure you analyze your competitors and see what’s working for them and how you can adopt that for your nonprofit website redesign journey. ‘A day in the digital world is like a year on earth’. Many things change. If you want to be relevant as a nonprofit, the redesign of your website to meet current industry standards is one of the best ways to go.
When performance is slowing down
Your website is one of the most important marketing and sales engine in your organization. Whenever you sense that performance, in the areas of donations, website visits, and overall engagement is slowing down, then it’s a perfect sign to consider redesigning your nonprofit website. While some website underperformance metrics may be because of a bad season or a slowing economy, most of the engagements on your site may be linked to your design.
A good deal of metrics add up. How are visitors converting to donors? What’s the performance of your “Call to Action” buttons now compared to last month? What is the level of engagement on your website, including comments and shares?
What to do:
You need to track all these to create a better nonprofit website redesign path for your organization. This will require you to take your site analytics seriously, from your site visitors and page bounce rate to search engine rankings. Tracking these metrics gives you a better view of what areas of the site will need redesigning.
A bad nonprofit website foundation
Your website does not differ from your house. The fact that your house is beautifully designed doesn’t mean it got a good foundation. Remember, all that glitters is not gold. A website may look beautiful on the outside but carries a shaky foundation that could cause it to crash anytime. When you realize your website’s foundation is shaky as you add more things to your site, then it’s time to start your nonprofit website redesign drive. But how do you identify the specific things that spell out a bad foundation?
A lot of happenings give you a warning of how bad your foundation is. When it becomes difficult to add new features or update your content. When your website crashes frequently for no heavy tasks. Website taking too long to load, content management system misbehaving, and many other issues are signs that you need a plan-B – a redesign of your nonprofit website.
What to do:
When redesigning your website, focus on your content management system, your hosting provider, and your marketing automation platforms. Scrutinize your content management system to understand the nature of the problem. At this point, you have two major options: upgrade your content management system or migrate to a different one altogether. Your hosting service provider is another area to observe to know whether you need an upgrade to a better plan or the hosting service can’t handle your load of work and you need a complete migration to a different provider. Don’t also forget your marketing automation system.
While the mention of a content management system and hosting provider and how to maneuver your way to change things may sound technical, these are things you can’t ignore just because you don’t know much about them. As an organization, it’s always good to find a good digital agency to handle the technical aspects of your nonprofit website redesign project.
Changing goals and branding disconnect
Your website is already designed to align with your nonprofit goals, right? That’s great. But like humans, nonprofits evolve and yours is no different. As time passes, your objectives change, the taste of your audience change, and this affects your entire branding. When you begin to evolve, it’s a sign that time is up to make your nonprofit website redesign decision.
What to do: When goals change, you need to redesign your website to meet the needs of your current and future audience, including volunteers and donors. In redesigning to meet changing goals and objectives, you should consider updating your content or start a complete redesign process to change everything. Updating content should only happen when there isn’t much change to your objectives. However, if your nonprofit is experiencing a complete shift in goals, objectives, the programs that you undertake, then you should go for a complete redesign that takes care of the branding from scratch, including colors, donor message, copy, and call to actions.
When your website isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly
In this age, if your website isn’t responsive (its ability to appear on different devices and still look good) or mobile-friendly, it’s a big sign you need a redesign. Responsiveness of a website is very important these days that Google’s algorithms see websites that are well optimized for every device as more serious than those that aren’t responsive.
About 39% of internet users would think twice about a service or product if the website is not user-friendly and current. Also, 52% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Considering these statistics, chances are that you’re losing out big if your website isn’t optimized for different devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), and it’s a sign that you need a nonprofit website redesign plan as quickly as possible.
What to do: redesign your site to have visually appealing, professional looks on all devices. Responsive also include making sure that you add certain features that allow the visually impaired and people with other disabilities be able to access your site easily. An additional factor to consider when redesigning for responsiveness is to make sure that your site loads faster, is easily shareable, and it’s simple to navigate.
What next for your nonprofit website redesign?
Redesigning your nonprofit website is an investment, not an expense. While the entire project may be time-consuming, it’s always worth the effort. It helps you redefine your online presence, show your audience that you know what you’re about, and over time, helps build trust between your organization and donors or volunteers.
If you’re a nonprofit with a lot going on – managing volunteers, running field projects or searching for funds, you may not have the time to handle your nonprofit website redesign project. In this case, it’s always good advice to seek help from a nonprofit web development agency to handle your website redesign while you focus on other important things.