Your website is the online face of your nonprofit, and you want it to be a good reflection of who you are and all the good work you do.
However, many nonprofits don’t have the budget to hire an agency to build them a website. In fact, according to WebFX, the average cost of an agency-built website can range from $12,000 to $150,000.
If your nonprofit doesn’t have that kind of budget for nonprofit website design, however, there are ways you can get a high-quality website without breaking the bank.
This article will explore the benefits, drawbacks, costs, and processes for three options to build a nonprofit website on a budget:
Option #1: Use a Website Builder Service
Option #2: Build it Yourself
Option #3: Hire a Freelancer
Option #1: Use a Nonprofit Website Builder Service
If you don’t have technical expertise in-house, you can use a nonprofit website builder service like Partner Web, which specializes in creating websites for nonprofits and includes website design, creation, and ongoing maintenance.
Nonprofit website builder services are a great middle ground between a do-it-yourself nonprofit website and hiring a full-service web design agency. You can get a great looking nonprofit website done quickly and for a very reasonable price.
If you don’t have the time or resources to build a website from scratch, a nonprofit website builder service is a great option. And because ongoing maintenance is included in the price, you don’t have to worry about upkeep.
Benefits of Using a Nonprofit Website Builder Service
- You don’t need any technical experience: You can get a website built without any experience or technical knowledge. Don’t know how to create new pages, install plugins, or build forms? It’s ok.
- It’s fast and easy: A nonprofit website builder service is designed to streamline the website building process, so you can get a brand new website up really fast.
- It’s affordable: A nonprofit website builder service is much more affordable than hiring a freelancer or agency to build your website, and can save you thousands of dollars.
- It’s worry-free: Because they take care of all website building, security, plugins, forms, and ongoing maintenance, it’s completely worry-free.
- You get support: When you use a nonprofit website builder service, you have access to support from the provider if you need it.
Potential Drawbacks of Using a Nonprofit Website Builder Service
There are, of course, a few potential drawbacks to using a nonprofit website builder service:
- You’re limited in what you can do: If you want a highly customized website with advanced functionality, you may need to hire a freelancer or agency.
- It can be more costly than building yourself: Using a nonprofit website builder service like Partner Web can cost more than building it yourself. The benefit of paying more, of course, is that you save time and don’t need any technical expertise.
Costs of Using a Nonprofit Website Builder Service
The cost of using a nonprofit website builder service will vary depending on your chosen provider and the features and functionality you need.
For Partner Web, the Standard Plan is $99/month and includes everything: website design, creation, and ongoing maintenance.
The Process of Using a Nonprofit Website Builder Service
Here’s an overview of the process of using Partner Web as your nonprofit website builder service:
1. Sign up for Partner Web: To get started, sign up for Partner Web and choose your template. Templates are designed specifically for nonprofits and cover human rights, animal welfare, nature conservation, arts, ministry, and more.
2. Submit your information: Provide basic information about your nonprofit, including your name, mission, logo, colors, font, and the content and images for your website. The Partner Web team will create the first draft of your website and send it to you for review.
3. Review and revise: You can then take some time to review your website and request any necessary revisions. The Partner Web team will make the revisions for you and send you a new draft.
4. Publish your website: Once you are happy with the website, the Partner Web team will make sure everything is working exactly as expected before your website goes live, including setting up forms, security, and plugins.
5. Keep it fresh: If you need to add new content or images to your website, you will have editor-level access to make minor content updates. You can also contact the support team at Partner Web for help.
6. Maintenance: The Partner Web team will also provide ongoing maintenance to ensure security and plugins are up to date and that your website is backed up. Additionally, if you want to make major content changes, like changing a page layout, adding a new page, or adding new plugins, one annual update is provided by the Partner Web team.
Option #2: Build It Yourself
Another option for building a nonprofit website on a budget is to do it yourself. If you have the time and expertise in house, you and your organization can both design and build the website. This can be done with a website builder or by coding the site from scratch.
Benefits of Building a Nonprofit Website Yourself
There are several benefits to building a nonprofit website yourself:
- It will save your organization money: This is the most obvious benefit of building a website yourself. You won’t have to pay someone else to design and build your site.
- You will have complete control: When you build a website yourself, you will be in control of every aspect of the design and development process. This includes the content, functionality, and overall look of your site.
- You will be able to make changes quickly and easily: If you need to change your website, you can do it yourself without having to wait for someone else to do it for you. This is especially important if you need to make changes or update content often.
Potential Drawbacks of Building a Nonprofit Website Yourself
- It will take time: Building a website takes time, especially if you are starting from scratch. Often it can take 2-6 months to complete. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to building a website, it may be better to hire someone else to do it.
- It may not be as professional-looking: If you are not a professional web designer or developer, your website may not look as polished, modern, or mobile-friendly as you would like.
- You may not be able to include all the features you want: When you build a website yourself, you may have to make some compromises in terms of features and functionality, especially if you don’t have the expertise to implement more advanced features and plugins.
Cost of Building a Nonprofit Website Yourself
The cost of building a nonprofit website yourself will depend on the method you use.
If you use a website builder: The cost will vary depending on the website builder platform you use – for example, Wix, Squarespace, or another builder. Some platforms offer free plans. However, these plans usually include branding from the website builder and may have limited features.
If you want to remove branding and have more control over your website, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan. The cost of paid plans will also vary, but they typically start at around $10 per month.
Donations plugin functionality: $240-$260/year
If you build the site from scratch: If you decide to build your nonprofit website from scratch using a platform like WordPress, you just need to pay for the domain name, hosting, and any plugins.
Domain names usually cost around $12+ per year, and hosting plans start at around $135 per year. You will also need to pay for any tools or software you use to build your website.
Donations plugin functionality: $240-$650/year
On the higher end, building the website yourself actually ends up being more expensive than using a website builder service, like Partner Web
The Process for Building a Nonprofit Website Yourself
If you decide to build your nonprofit website yourself, there are a few steps you will need to follow:
Website Builder Platforms
Alternatively, you can use a website builder platform. These platforms allow you to create a website without installing and managing a CMS. The cost of paid plans will vary depending on the platform and the level of features you need. However, many website builder platforms offer free plans with limited features.
The best website builder for nonprofits will offer you plenty of features and options to help you create a professional-looking website that is tailored specifically for your nonprofit organization.
While there are no specific criteria to determine the best nonprofit website builder, there are plenty of options available that can accommodate the needs of most nonprofits.
Here are some of the best website builders for nonprofits:
- Wix is a cloud-based platform that offers free and paid plans. It is one of the easiest platforms to use, making it a good option for those unfamiliar with web design.
- Weebly is another cloud-based platform that offers free and paid plans. It is a good option for those who want more control over their website design.
- Squarespace is a premium platform that offers paid plans only. It is a good option for those willing to pay more for a high-quality website.
- Duda is a website builder that specializes in creating mobile-friendly websites. This can benefit nonprofits, as many people use their smartphones to access the internet.
- Zyro is a newer platform that offers free and paid plans. It includes features specifically for businesses, making it a good option for nonprofits.
- GoDaddy offers a website builder as part of its web hosting and domain services suite. The cost of paid plans will vary depending on the other features you add to your plan.
These are just a handful of the options available when looking for a website builder for nonprofits.
Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to find the one that best fits what your nonprofit is looking for. The best nonprofit website builder is one that is easy to use and can be customized to fit your organization’s needs.
Option #3: Hire a Freelancer
If you don’t want to use a website builder service or build the website yourself, you can hire a freelancer to do it for you. This option is the most expensive, but if you want advanced functionality and lots of customization, it can be a good option.
Benefits of Hiring a Freelancer to Build Your Nonprofit Website
There are several benefits of hiring a freelancer to build your nonprofit website:
- You’ll get a professional-looking website: When you hire a skilled freelancer, you can get a website that looks really polished and professional.
- You can get the exact features and functionality you want: A freelancer will be able to build a website that includes all the features and functionality you need.
- You’ll have more control over the process: When you work with a freelancer, you’ll have more control over the process and can be involved in every step, from choosing a domain name to adding content.
Potential Drawbacks of Hiring a Freelancer to Build Your Nonprofit Website
There are also some potential drawbacks to hiring a freelancer to build your nonprofit website:
- It can take longer: Building a website from scratch can take longer than using a website builder service, doing it yourself, or hiring an agency.
- There is less support: If you have questions or need help, you may not be able to rely on the same freelancer for support.
- You need to find a good freelancer: Not all freelancers are created equal. It’s important to take the time to find a freelancer with the right skills and experience.
- There is more risk: When you hire a freelancer, there is always some risk involved. For example, the freelancer could disappear or do a poor job.
Costs of Hiring a Freelancer to Build Your Nonprofit Website
How much you’ll pay to have a freelancer build your nonprofit website depends on several factors, including the freelancer’s experience, the features you want, and the amount of time it will take.
Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for a basic website. You can expect to pay more if you want a more complex website with additional features and functionality.
The Process for Hiring a Freelancer to Build Your Nonprofit Website
If you decide to hire a freelancer to build your nonprofit website, there are a few steps you’ll need to take:
1. Define your needs:
- What do you want your website to do?
- What kind of content will you be sharing?
- What features and functionality do you need?
Having clear answers to these questions will help your freelancer understand your vision and build a nonprofit website that meets your needs.
2. Find a freelancer: Once you know what you need, you can start looking for a freelancer to build your website. You can find freelancers on websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour. You’ll need to create a job posting that outlines the project and what you’re looking for.
3. Compare proposals and choose a freelancer: Once you receive proposals from freelancers, you’ll need to compare them and choose the one that’s right for you. Consider things like cost, experience, reviews, and portfolio when making your decision.
4. Sign a contract: Once you’ve chosen a freelancer, you’ll need to sign a contract that outlines the scope of work and the terms of the project. This may include smaller milestones and payments.
5. Check in regularly: Once the project is underway, check in with the freelancer regularly to ensure everything is going according to plan.
6. Accept delivery and leave feedback: Once the project is complete, your freelancer will launch your website and hand over the reins. Be sure to leave feedback about your experience working with the freelancer.
7. If you need edits: If you need tweaks or changes after your website is launched, you can rehire your freelancer or find a new one to make the changes for you. You’ll need to create a new job posting and repeat the process.
Building a nonprofit website doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can build a website yourself, hire someone to build it for you, or use a nonprofit website builder service like Partner Web. All three options have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you and your nonprofit.
If you want to build a website quickly and easily, without any technical knowledge or experience, then using a nonprofit website builder service is the best option for you. With Partner Web, you can have a website up and running in no time, and at an affordable price. Plus, you’ll get access to support if you need it.
Get started today and see how easy it is to build a nonprofit website with Partner Web.