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In the past few years, we’ve seen a big trend in the nonprofit world that has organizations migrating to products like WordPress for their nonprofit websites.
One reason for this is it’s easy for web developers to build websites on the WordPress platform. WordPress is a tool that was built with developers in mind, so it makes sense. It was not built, however, with you in mind, or your end user. That can be problematic, and here’s how.
A developer may come to you and say, “I’ll build a nonprofit website for you for this amount,” and it seems reasonable, so you agree, and he builds your site. At the same time, he’s also building in the ability to update your website’s content—but not for you. He’s creating a content management system that he can use.
And that’s where the problem lies. It’s 2013. You shouldn’t need a web developer in order to change or update your website’s content. What you do need is a CMS that gives you flexibility and control.
To be fair, I get it. I understand the appeal of WordPress and I will say this—it’s better than nothing at all. I use WordPress sites for a couple of organizations that I’m involved with, and I understand why people think it’s a good solution.
But the truth is, WordPress is not as easy as it seems. It can be clunky and a bit complicated to go into a WordPress template and make updates. It’s not drag-and-drop simple. It doesn’t provide a user-friendly content management system, which you need in order to keep your nonprofit website dynamic and fresh.
I advocate that every nonprofit give two or three key people inside the organization the ability to update your website’s content. Easily. With point-and-click simplicity. Content management should not be complicated, and you shouldn’t have to be tech-savvy in order to make changes to your website.
I love web developers, and I have a lot of good friends who are WordPress developers. So I’m not knocking WordPress or the developers who use it. I just don’t think it’s the right platform for nonprofits. It doesn’t give you and your end user what you ultimately need in a website, and it’s problematic when the developer you hired decides to move, change careers or focus on other opportunities. There goes your “content management system.”
Think about finding a really good content management system that is easy for you and other key members of your team to use for site updates and changes. That is, without a doubt, one of the most important things to consider when building your nonprofit website.