10 Signs Your Nonprofit is Ready for a Website Redesign

By Lisa Hirst Carnes | January 2023

Illustration of a computer and other devices viewing websites.

Your website is the hub of all your online activities. It's vital and can make or break your organization. 

To attract members and donations, you need a website that's easy to navigate. If you're not sure your current site fits this description, it may be time for an upgrade. Here are ten major signs that your website needs a redesign. 

1. Your Site Is Not Accessible

How accessible is your website to people with disabilities? This is of growing importance, especially as a philanthropic organization. There's no quick fix to making your site more accessible. It's best to work with experts to form a strategy. But, you can start with a few simple actions.

  • Add alt text to images.
  • Avoid very small or ornate fonts.
  • Use captions with videos.
  • Provide transcripts of audio and video content.
  • Test features with a keyboard, as not all users can navigate with a mouse.

2. Your Website Doesn't Communicate Your Story 

Everything you post on your website is part of the story you tell about your organization. Does the story reflect what you do and represent? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Do you present so much data and hard information that you forget to tell a story? You want to provide facts, but too many statistics and charts can overwhelm readers.
  • Do you share timely news and information about relevant issues?
  • Are you transparent about your mission, activities, and goals?
  • Do you give visitors good reason to join your organization and make donations?

3. Your Website Is Difficult to Update

It's important to be able to make updates to your site as often as needed. This may include adding content, making edits, and adding or deleting pages. If you're using a website tool that's difficult to work with, you'll end up with an outdated site. If this is the case, you may consider switching to WordPress. WordPress is free to use, has many options for themes, and you can add plugins to add many functionalities. For example, there are plugins for SEO, creating forms, image editing, and many other tasks.

Screen capture of a WordPress page being updated in the new block editor.

Modern well built WordPress sites can support both amazing design and ease of editing through the newer block editor. 

4. Your Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly

As more people use mobile phones to access the internet, your site must be mobile-friendly. Not only will visitors use phones to visit your site, but many will also want to make donations this way. In 2021, 58% of donations made on a nonprofit's website were done by phone

A website with a responsive design is ideal, as this works for all devices. Most WordPress themes use responsive design. Make sure you test your site across devices, including laptops, tablets, and phones.


5. Your Website Uses Outdated Technologies

If you built your website years ago, it likely doesn't have the latest capabilities. Not all platforms support the features and apps you need to get the most out of your site. A good example is Drupal, which is quite popular with nonprofits. While Drupal has its benefits as a CMS, it's less flexible and more costly than WordPress. Furthermore, WordPress integrates with more software than any of its competitors. You'll also find it easier to find technical help as more designers are familiar with it. As you may have gathered, we're fans of WordPress!

6. It's Difficult to Accept Donations

We have come a long way from the days when donations had to be made in person or sent in the mail. More and more donors are looking for an easy way to send money online, often using their phones. Nonprofit Learning Lab reports that online revenue grew by 60% from 2017 to 2021. Also, 75% of American and Canadian donors also prefer giving online. This illustrates how important it is to make it simple for website visitors to donate online.

7. Your CTAs Aren't Relevant or Persuasive

Website visitors may not have a specific motive when they land on your site. They may be seeking information. They may have landed there by clicking a link on another site. A call-to-action (CTA) guides users, encouraging them to take an action. This could be submitting a form, donating to your cause, or registering for an event.

Your CTA needs to be clear and compelling. There should be at least one CTA on every page and in every post, and they should stand out from the rest of the content.  At the same time, you can't overdo it. If you have more than one CTA on a page that lead to different places, it can dilute the effectiveness. Too many buttons can be distracting to visitors.

8. Your Images Are Not Inclusive

You want to reach as wide an audience as possible. You don't want to give the impression that you're excluding people, even if it's not intentional. A website that's seen as non-inclusive is discouraging to users. It can also affect public perception of your organization's values. With this in mind, make sure the imagery you use is inclusive. Photos, illustrations, and videos should include gender, age, race, and body type diversity.

9. Your Site is Slow and Glitchy

Website visitors have little tolerance for slow-loading or confusing sites. Issues such as slow-loading pages, 404 errors or confusing menus mean a high bounce rate. That is, visitors will leave your site.
Factors that affect site speed include large images, unoptimized CSS, and caching issues. Links that lead to inactive pages will cause 404 errors. Addressing these issues will ensure that site visitors have a seamless experience.
Screen capture showing Google's page speed testing tool.

Using Google's free Page Speed Insights tool you can check your webpages for speed and performance. Website performance can impact search engine rankings and should be taken very seriously.

10. You Need the Help of an Experienced Digital Marketing Agency

It's hard to keep a website up-to-date when you have other tasks demanding your attention. Further, making changes piecemeal, such as correcting problems as they arise, isn't ideal. An experienced digital marketing agency can help you devise a strategy. 

ArcStone has decades of experience working with nonprofits; check out our featured work. If you need help, we'll work with you to develop a customized plan for your website and online presence. Contact us to discuss your project. 

Topics: Digital Marketing