As you're selecting your new website design and are deciding on the look and feel, it's also time to start thinking about your content.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of content you're transferring from your old site to the new or from your existing materials. However, if you follow our tried and true step-by-step process, you'll have your content ready for web launch in no time.
Step 1. Review Your Existing Content and Assets
Before you can move forward into your website of tomorrow, it's time to take stock of what you have today. This includes all the content on your existing website and blog, print collateral and brochures, graphics, photos, and videos. It also includes any premium or gated content that requires someone to make a donation or join your mailing list to access.
Has your branding changed with the new site? Guess what? It's time to update all your brochures or downloadable content as well. It's hard to provide a good customer experience when the fact sheet they've downloaded has entirely different branding than your website.
Step 2. Optimize Your Word to Page Ratio
As you're planning your new web pages, recognize that anything less than 200 words per page will not provide a good user experience. In fact, Google might actually penalize you in search rankings. For good search engine ranking, shoot for somewhere between 500 and 1000 words per page.
This means that if your current website has lots of pages, but they're all short on content, you may want to consider how to combine them in a way that makes sense and ups the word count. Or, if you don't have many web pages to merge, comb through your blog for interesting topics to bulk up your page content.
Step 3. Define and Align Content
Take a look at the performance of the content you've collected. If some of it is high-performing, then it should be prominent on the new website. If some of it hasn't been looked at, updated, or downloaded in years, it might be time to let it go. Or you could take the idea and give it a major refresh for more high-performing content.
This could also mean aligning your content toward the marketing personas you're trying to reach. Personalizing your marketing by defining segments of your audience is a great way to hone in on whom you are targeting with your marketing efforts.
If your organization has undergone any leadership or staffing changes or updated your mission or goals, it's time for an update. This is a great time to make sure that your content is aligned with who your nonprofit is today, not who you were five years ago.
How to evaluate your current website for improvements and accessibility
The planning process for redesign projects
Transitioning to WordPress from Drupal or another CMS
Building the assets needed for a new site
Create a good user experience and useful content
Tips for launching your new site
Step 4. Choose Typography and Layout
Typically, one of the most exciting moments of a website redesign is seeing your content displayed on the page. When creating a wireframe and mockup, you get to choose how the content appears on the page. Some of the content-based design elements to play with include:
Typography - Your typography presents a lot of your nonprofit's personality. Is it staid and formal like Times New Roman or is it romantic and elegant like Gabriola?
Play with size, color, and effects like italics or bold.
Text Alignment - In English, we read from right to left, but the text on the page can be right, left or center aligned.
Brainstorm how the text will interact with and offset graphics and photos
Page Alignment - On the page, your text blocks can be centered, on the right or left, or even alternate as you scroll down the page.
A Website Redesign is a Big Project
So, take it one step at a time. Design, content, visuals, and photos, as well as interactivity, are all pieces of a complex puzzle. For more tips and resources, sign up for our on-demand webinar, Website Redesigns for Nonprofits. It's loaded with great information for your entire redesign project.