Some people are of the opinion that you can have a site that looks good or a site that performs well. Fortunately, there’s no reason you have to pick between only one or the other. Offering your clients an excellent UX doesn’t have to come at the cost of attractive design features.

Due to the nature of nonprofits sites, however, you’re going to want to focus on accessibility features as well as those designed to make things more attractive.

Designing a Site with Accessibility in Mind

If you’ve ever poked around in your PC’s control panel, then you’ve surely seen an accessibility widget. This app includes features designed to make it easier for people to use digital services if they might have otherwise found it difficult to do so.

Captioning videos and providing a color-neutral experience is a great way to adapt these features to the web. Consider the issue of accessibility with each website design decision you make. Provisions in amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act have stated that sites laid out by organizations that receive public money will need to make these changes in order to continue to secure funding.

That being said, there are a few things you can do even if your group relies solely on individual donations. Provide a description for every image you post, which might be necessary for those who rely on screen reading technology. Providing optional audio captchas for users is a great idea too, since this prevents them from having to rely purely on visual ones. You can include a headphone-shaped widget underneath the traditional captcha in order to activate these.

Once you’ve sorted out these design issues, it’s time to start making bigger changes.

Configuring the Main Sections of Your Site

Donation widgets are more than likely the number one thing that new webmasters think about when it comes time to make a site for a nonprofit organization. If you’re already using the popular platform, then there’s no reason you can’t simply install a WordPress plugin for making donations that will handle most of the hard work itself. Standalone widgets might prove popular with those who don’t have a framework already installed on their site.

You’ll want to start thinking about your landing page too. There’s long been a debate over whether or not people should have big headers on sites, due in no small part to the fact that these don’t always load the best on mobile devices. Recent changes to the way that mobile browsers resolve pages, however, have fundamentally altered the way in which these load.

That means you’ll want to consider showing potential donors a big bold image the moment that they first log onto your site.

You could also consider offering a large image alongside some statistics and a prominent donation widget. The American branch of Oxfam has done this for some years now, and they’re always sure to update their site as time goes on so that it reflects the most recent crisis that their organization is working to address. If you support some kind of cause that might change to some degree over time, then this is an excellent way to deal with the issue.

Regardless of what design you pick, the end result will only be as good as the back end you have supporting it. Take a few moments to work out the technical details once you have everything else in place.

Working out the Back End Infrastructure for Your Site

Nonprofit organizations often have relatively tight budgets, so there’s a good chance you don’t want to spend a great deal on hosting. There are a few WordPress hosts that focus on offering low cost alternatives and the base WordPress package is free. This should prove especially attractive to smaller regional groups that can’t afford to put together a fundraiser on a massive scale.

Those who opt to install the framework will want to ensure that they’re running the latest version of the software as well. While you might be tempted to focus solely on the design choices that your potential donors will see, taking a few moments to install updates and tinker with configuration settings can go a long way toward offering the best experience possible to those who will financially back your activities.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.