Last week I gave you 11 tips to start thinking about if it’s time to upgrade from your do-it-yourself nonprofit website. I’m sure you’ve been imagining various scenarios and whether or not you should change things up on your nonprofit website.
Here are nine more helpful hints to consider as you decide whether to continue with your current nonprofit site or hire a web developer. So grab a cup of coffee and take some time to think about your company’s future!
Help—I can’t transfer my site!
If you’re anything like me, I do not like to recreate the wheel! I spend a lot of time writing content for my site, finding just the right graphics, and more. I don’t appreciate when I feel like I’ve wasted my time and have to start big projects (like website content) over again!
Go back and read the fine print of your agreement with your nonprofit website company. More often than not, the code and design of a DIY nonprofit website do not belong to you. If you decide to leave, you can’t take the site with you. Don’t think about trying to copy what’s on your site. The design and code is copyrighted by the company providing your nonprofit website. Therefore, copying is illegal (that’s right, it’s not your copyright)!
Yawn…even you find your content to be boring
Outdated information makes you appear disinterested or even lazy to your potential customers. Make sure you frequently update your website so it’s interesting and relevant to visitors and adored by search engines!
MY SEO is suffering!
Believe it or not, despite what some web developers say, good on-page SEO doesn’t require amazing CMS or magic plug-ins. However, your site does need foundation blocks to boost on-page SEO efforts. Some do-it-yourself providers have limited capabilities that could be stunting your SEO efforts as a whole. Remember the better your SEO, the more visitors to your nonprofit website!
How slow can you go?
Are visitors experiencing ridiculously slow load times or less than optimal performance (i.e. multiple plug-ins and broken links)? Has your nonprofit website become a slow, hard-to-navigate mess?
Poorly written code is one of the major factors of a slow loading website (along with poorly optimized images). Code for DIY websites is written with a one-size-fits-all approach. The problem is if your nonprofit website slows down, there’s no way to optimize the code itself. Your options with your current site are limited.
Death by 404 errors
I don’t know about you but one of my biggest pet peeves is clicking on a link for a page and a 404 error emerges. If I’m in a patient and good spirited mood, I may try a second time to see if I get the error again or I might even try a different page from that website. However, more often than not, I quickly lose my patience and I continue looking for services or resources from other sources.
Visitors see these error messages when links no longer exist (because it was moved or deleted). Search engines, such as Google, also do not like 404 errors!
The scope of your business has changed
Another major reason why people won’t return to your nonprofit website is if you’re giving them mixed messages. It’s imperative that your site is current and relevant. It must be a true reflection of what your business offers.
Your nonprofit website must change and grow to support your current goals and services. Make sure to educate potential customers and offer them current thought leadership. Remember you are the expert in your field, so be bold and don’t shy away from what you know!
You find yourself spending more time managing your website than running your business!
Take a moment to think back to when you first decided to create your nonprofit website. Most likely, one of the greatest appeals of a do-it-yourself site was the ability to manage your site on your own. As your business grows and becomes more successful, you may wonder if managing your site is the best use of your time (or even one of your staff).
There you have it, 18 helpful tips to decide if you should ditch your DIY nonprofit website. How are you feeling about the current condition of your website? If you found yourself nodding in agreement with most of these potentially problematic areas, you probably have your answer. Remember that your nonprofit website is a huge contributing factor to your business’ success!