How to a Build Website for a Charity
A guide to Building a Website for a Charity using WordPress, step-by-step.
A well-designed and functional website is crucial for charities to effectively communicate their mission, attract supporters, and raise funds. WordPress, a popular and user-friendly content management system (CMS), offers a powerful platform for building a charity website without extensive coding knowledge. This step-by-step guide will walk you through creating a charity website using WordPress.
Step 1: Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Provider and Purchase a Domain
The first step in building your charity website is to select a reliable web hosting provider. Look for a hosting service with good server performance, 24/7 customer support, and ample storage space. Some popular web hosting providers for WordPress websites include Bluehost, SiteGround, and WP Engine.
You will also need a domain name if you don't have one already.
Step 2: Install WordPress
Once you have chosen a web hosting provider, you can install WordPress on your domain. Many hosting providers offer a one-click WordPress installation option, making the process quick and straightforward. After the installation, you can access your website's WordPress dashboard. Install an SSL certificate - most hosting companies will do this automatically.
Step 3: Select a Theme
Next, choose a suitable WordPress theme for your charity website. There are numerous charity-focused themes available that offer attractive designs and essential functionalities. You can look for a piece that aligns with your organisation's mission and provides features like donation forms, event calendars, and volunteer registration options.
We advise selecting a simple base theme that is well-supported and then enhancing its functionality through plugins. By adopting this approach, you ensure that all the additional features will be carried over to any new theme you choose, saving you a great deal of work on migrated content and functionality in the future. If you're considering using the Beaver Builder page builder, the Beaver Theme is a particularly well-suited option; the theme is well-supported and will always be compatible with the page builder.
Step 4: Customise Your Website
Customising your charity website is where you can make it truly unique and reflective of your organisation's identity. We recommend using a page builder like Beaver Builder to adjust colours, fonts, logos, and other elements to match your branding. Create a user-friendly navigation menu that allows visitors to easily access different sections of your website.
Step 5: Add Essential Pages and Content
A well-structured charity website should include essential pages that provide visitors with valuable information. Key pages to include are:
a. Home Page: A welcoming and engaging homepage that showcases your mission and impact.
b. About Us: Share your organisation's story, history, and the team behind it.
c. Causes/Projects: Highlight the various causes or projects your charity supports.
d. Donate: Include a secure donation form to encourage visitors to contribute to your cause.
e. Events: Share information about upcoming events and fundraisers.
f. Blog: Regularly update a blog to share news, stories, and updates about your charity.
g. Contact: Provide contact details and a contact form for inquiries or collaboration opportunities.
Step 6: Add Donation Functionality
Setting up a secure and user-friendly donation functionality is crucial for your charity website. WordPress plugins like GiveWP can easily integrate donation forms and payment gateways. Ensure that your donation process is simple, with multiple donor payment options.
Step 7: Implement Volunteer Registration
Consider adding a volunteer registration form to your website if your charity relies on volunteers. Plugins like Gravity Forms can help you create and manage registration forms for volunteers interested in contributing their time and skills.
Step 8: Optimise for Mobile Devices
With a significant portion of internet traffic from mobile devices, ensuring your charity website is mobile-responsive is essential. Most modern WordPress themes are already mobile-friendly, but it's always a good idea to test your website on different devices to ensure a seamless user experience.
Step 9: Install Essential Plugins
WordPress offers a vast library of plugins that can extend your website's functionality. Besides the donation and registration plugins mentioned earlier, consider installing security plugins like Sucuri to protect your website from threats. SEO plugins like Yoast can help optimize your content for better search optimisation.
Step 10: Test and Launch Your Website
Before launching your charity website, thoroughly test all functionalities, including donation forms, contact forms, and event calendars. Verify that all pages are loading correctly and that the website functions as intended. Once you're confident everything is in order, it's time to launch your charity website by updating the DNS on your domain and sharing it with the world!
Creating a charity website using WordPress is an accessible and rewarding process. With suitable themes, plugins, and customisation, you can build an impactful online presence, engage supporters, raise funds, and further your organization's mission. By following these steps, your organisation can leverage the power of WordPress to create a professional and user-friendly website that helps your charity make a difference in the world.