Posted by Jay Wilkinson

You know the old adage, “You get what you pay for?” This is especially true with nonprofit websites—and unfortunately in the nonprofit world, the “do it cheap” mentality is too prevalent.

I refer to this as the “Executive Director’s really smart nephew with a computer” syndrome, or the “we’ve got a volunteer working on it” disorder. Take your pick—they both say, “I want a web presence, but I don’t want to pay for it.”

The problem with this thinking is, you end up with migrant technology workers—people who have great intentions and some computer skills, but no longevity. Life gets in the way and people move on. I have so much respect for people who volunteer their time to help nonprofits. But giving a volunteer the responsibility to maintain your web presence is not a good long-term solution.

Did you know that the average nonprofit has to restart the process of creating a web presence every two and a half years? That’s crazy. This is because they don’t want to spend the money on experts who will stick with them for the long haul.

Another problem that’s cropped up in the last few years is a reliance on WordPress technology. WordPress looks nice on the surface with its beautiful templates and “plug it and play” functionality. But it doesn’t deliver what you need to truly engage with your constituents. Be on the lookout for everyone jumping on the WordPress bandwagon—all they’ll end up with is an online brochure.

For most organizations, WordPress will not allow you to have the depth of impact that you need your nonprofit website to have.

So what’s the answer? Think consistency and stability. Work with a professional web development company or build your next nonprofit website on a Content Management System platform that anyone can update, regardless of their technical ability. It’ll cost you far less in the long run and get you impressive long-term results.