Website

WHY A WEBSITE?

Websites are without a doubt the most important element of the internet. A digital web presence enables content such as texts, images, and videos to be displayed on the internet. To leverage online communities correctly, websites for social impact and nonprofits need to reflect the value of community in their story and mission, because people don’t give to organizations; people give to people
 

Here is an example of a compelling website:

GirlEffect.Org

girl_effect_hd_1600

Getting Started

YOUR PURPOSE: 

  • Before creating your website, make sure you have an understanding of your target audience and your purpose behind creating the site:
    • Who are you looking to educate and inform?
    • What are you looking to educate and inform about?
    • Why are you looking to educate and inform?  
  • Identify your “WHY” and lead with it. To convey your story or mission effectively online, you should be able to articulate in your messaging WHY you value this mission or story, more than HOW or WHAT you want to be done or are doing. With that, you will be more confident and more inspiring to your network of support.
  • Understand your audience and where they are coming from. If you can’t relate to your core community, it will be reflected in the way you deliver your mission. 

YOUR FORMAT: When categorizing websites by content, the list could literally go on forever, but for a Call to Action project, your site will lean towards an Educational site. But what you may want to think about is functionality. Websites can be categorized in terms of the functions they can perform as follows: 

  • Brochure: A brochure website is the simplest type of website in terms of functionality. Brochure websites typically only have a few pages, and are used as a simple online presence for a company or organization.
  • eCommerce: An e-commerce website is a website through which users are able to pay for a product or service online. 
  • Wiki: A wiki website is one which allows people to collaborate online and write content together. The most popular example is Wikipedia itself, which allows anyone to amend, add and assess the content of their articles.
  • Social Media: Social media websites are platforms which allow the sharing of images or ideas. They encourage online interaction and sharing. 

You also want to think about how dynamic the content of your page should be. In terms of how often the content of a website needs to be updated, it will fall into one of two categories:

  • Static/ Fixed: These websites are the most simplistic. Their content does not change depending on the user, and is not regularly updated. Static websites are built using simple HTML code and typically provide information.
  • Dynamic: A dynamic website displays different content each time it is visited. Examples include blogs and eCommerce sites, or generally any site that is updated regularly. Dynamic websites make for a more personal and interactive experience for the user, although they can be a little more complex to develop and may load slightly slower than static ones.

YOUR PROCESS: Although you’re welcome to build your site from scratch, website builders are the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to build a website. Website Builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Jimdo and WordPress power millions of websites built by ordinary web users without any experience. That being said, you will want to follow the steps below:

  1. Choose your website builder: Find a comparison chart online to show you the best builder for the features that are important to you. Features to think about are ease of use, template design, features & flexibility, popularity, mobile-ready, and pricing.
  2. Test your website builder: Signing up for a free trial lets you experiment with each website builder, without having to spend any money first. You can take each website builder for a test drive to see if it works out for you.
  3. Choose the right plan: Website builders offer different levels of subscription and, as with most things, the more you pay the more you get. However, there is usually always a free version and you are not obligated to sign up to a paid plan. If you do, you have the power to cancel and walk away any time you want.
  4. Choose your domain: A domain name is the bit of the URL (the long address in your browser’s search bar) that identifies a web page – in this case, your website.You have two choices when it comes to domain names: You can either purchase your own custom domain name through the website builder, or you can purchase it on your own through registrars such as GoDaddy or NameCheap.
  5. Pick your template: Whichever website builder you’ve chosen, you’ll have a really a good selection of design templates to choose from (generally speaking, the better your plan, the more templates you’ll have access to). Templates dictate what your homepage header and menu bar look like, and the content width on your site, so they’re pretty important. Think about them as “clothes” for your website. If you don’t like one set of clothes, just change to another one to give your website a completely different feel.
  6. Customize your template: Most builders provide quality images that make your site look very accomplished, so it makes sense to use them! The more professional your website looks, the more your visitors are going to trust you. Customizing your template could include:
    • Adding new pages to your menu
    • Changing the size, colors, and fonts of the buttons on your menu
    • Editing the images on your homepage gallery
    • Choosing a different color palette for your template
  7. Preview & test your website: The best way to do this is to preview & test your website. You’ll want to do a thorough test, but four key things to ask are
    • Is all the spelling and grammar correct?
    • Are all the buttons on the menu working? Do they take you where you’re supposed to go?
    • Does your site fulfill its purpose? You want your visitors to land on your site and know exactly what you’re about.
    • Is your formatting consistent? Make sure, for example, you don’t have different font styles on different pages. 
  8. Publish! Once you’re ready, publish your site and share it with the world!

Resources For Creating Your Site

Website Builders Comparison Chart for 2018

9 Social Good Sites You Should Know About (for ideas)

30 Bold and Clean Web Designs for Inspiration

Wix

Squarespace

Weebly

Jimdo

WordPress

IMCreator

 

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