When we speak to charities where someone is looking to create their first website, we want to make this process of learning a new skill easy and enjoyable. The biggest challenge that many face is simply, how to initially approach their website, whereas the technical skills are easily learnt (especially as our team are always happy to chat and guide people through the setup process).

In this three-part series we are going to examine some ways that you can approach your website, by steering your thinking in ways that will give you clarity and help you build your website with intentional planning.

Our starting point: Who is your website aimed at?
 

Who is your website aimed at?

Some will have a very obvious answer and some may not, however, it is a very fundamental element to think about before you approach your website.

By answering this, you will have a firm idea of who you are talking with and this will guide you in your decisions of what information to put onto your website.

The way that you approach the website for a charity member will be very different to the type of content someone new to the charity would like to see. For example, charity members will probably know about the history of the charity and so this may not be appropriate for them to view as they land onto your homepage, however for someone visiting the area for the first time, this is an ideal place to find that. The homepage of a website should ideally act as a bulletin board, providing snippets of information with clear direction to where more information can be found. If you want more help specifically on the homepage, read our previous article on What do people expect from your website homepage.

So what content should your website have for charity members? Think about the website from the viewpoint of a member and you will soon come up with ideas that are relevant to your charity, such as providing clear access to need-to-know information like any events happening, a news/blog section that is updated regularly with the status of a particular project, a history page, members areas etc.

Does your charity have a specific vision in mind, or a particular demographic that attend? Keeping this in mind will help you focus, as a charity we are given various roles as to support one another, as such, one charity can not provide for all the needs of the area in which it is situated; if your charity mainly works to address a poverty issue in your town then you may want to focus in on this aspect more than other aspects, if your attention is primarily on providing a strong children's area, consider how this can be translated on your website - the use of bold colours for example or a photo gallery of your children's work.

However, a charity website should never be just about charity members. The charity is to be there for all, therefore it is very important that we think about other people who may not necessarily be members of the charity yet.

If you would like to discuss your website with a member of our team call us on 0121 651 1120 or email hello@charityedit.co.uk