Posted by Jay Wilkinson

Vitality is crucial for a nonprofit website—it’s extremely important to keep a website’s content fresh, engaging and current, especially on the homepage. Of course, along with that comes the necessary evil of actually taking the practical steps to update the content.

I say evil because for a lot of nonprofits, it’s a pain in the neck. It goes something like this:

You have new content you want to post, but you need to get it into the hands of the person who has that capability. So you email your go-to geek and, depending on his or her schedule, you have to wait. Sometimes a week, sometimes two. Maybe a month. In the meantime, your “fresh” and “updated” content becomes old and stale. And eventually changing out a paragraph, updating an event or adding a new picture becomes a hassle and not worth the trouble.

This is why it is so important for you to have an easy-to-use content management system. With the right tool, you don’t need to be a programmer to go to your website, click on the pages you want to update, copy, paste and save. Really—it should be that easy.

There are hundreds of content management systems available. Some are very expensive and others are free. Typically the free tools are difficult to use and it’s hard to find help when you need it (what do you expect for free?), so usually the ones that work best are those that cost a little, but have support available when you need assistance.

We no longer live in a day where it takes a computer science major to change content on a website. With the content management systems available, you can do it yourself, even if you’re not tech savvy. If you’re still in the mode of handing off content updates to one designated computer nerd who makes all of your site changes for you, stop. It’s time to get up to speed and find a good content management system that’s user friendly and allows you to keep things fresh. Look for one that has a good community around it and offers reliable support.

This way you can ensure vitality, keep your site fresh, engaging and current—all without being held hostage to the schedule of your favorite go-to geek.