10 Simple Nonprofit Website Updates You Can Make Today

10 Simple Nonprofit Website Updates You Can Make Today


Like a house with good bones, your nonprofit website can function well for years without major renovations. However, to extend the life of your home and your website, it’s a great idea to do routine maintenance and occasional updates. 

Otherwise, a small leak can lead to a ruined roof, or an outdated element on your website can damage your users’ experience.

Your website is hard at work for your nonprofit 24/7. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to determine what you should refresh on your nonprofit website so everyone who visits feels as welcome as they would in your home!


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1. Does your homepage headline explain who you are or what you do?

Your hero section (top portion) on your nonprofit website needs to communicate to your viewers who you are and how you can help them. Ideally, you want your visitors to know what you are about in the first 10 to 15 seconds. Get rid of ambiguous copy that doesn’t communicate your story quickly.
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2. Are you still using sliders or pop-ups?

Sliders were all the rage years ago. Now, not so much. Sliders aren’t SEO-friendly, and they don’t work well on mobile. They’re distracting and take away from the initial explanation of who you are and what you do. Pop-ups are also distracting, especially on mobile devices. If you must use a pop-up, make it an exit-intent pop-up that reacts only when someone is about to leave your website.
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3. Are there social media icons in your header?

Social media icons in your header are gateways for people to leave your nonprofit website before they’ve even started absorbing your content. Ditch links in your header that take your user away from your website, and place them in the footer instead. Your website should be the hub of your online presence; your social media should feed to it, not away from it. Consider using social media sharing buttons that allow visitors to share your content on their social media pages without taking them away from your site.
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4. Is your nonprofit website mobile responsive?

If your website was designed within the last five years, chances are you can check this box “done.” Most of the newer website templates are responsive out of the box, especially if you’re using WordPress or Squarespace. That doesn’t mean all of the content or elements you have on your site are responsive, though. Even with a newer site, it is wise to check and see how your site looks on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. If it’s been more than five years since you designed your nonprofit website, definitely take time to look at it on all devices. If your website doesn’t work on mobile or tablet, you’re probably losing out on traffic. Not only do nearly half of users access sites on their phones, but Google rankings also give preference to websites that are adjusted for mobile.
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5. Is your typography easy to read?

A good starting point for your body copy is 16-point type. You can go down to 12 points if you are using a very readable font, but ideally, 16 or higher is best. For headlines, a good rule of thumb is to base the headline size off your body copy size to create a nice contrast. If you have 16-point type, double that to 32 points for the subhead, then double again for the headline size, to 64 points.
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6. Does your nonprofit website flow well?

Direct your viewers where you want them to go. Navigation should be easy to understand and viewers should feel at ease using your site. Review your website to see if there are any places where a viewer might get stuck or question, “where is X?” You can also get some great insights by asking a new user to navigate your website while you watch.
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7. Are you using obvious stock photos?

Photos of people shaking hands, people in suits in conference rooms, and other staged photos come across as inauthentic. Photos should feel real and not staged. If you must use stock photos, try to find images that feel natural and candid. Graphics and illustrations are also good alternatives!
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8. Are you using email links in your content?

While it may seem like a great idea to include your email link in your content, email links can be security risks. With many bots on the internet, it makes it easy for spammers to get your email. Instead, consider a simple email form. It’s safer, trackable, and allows you to store the submitted data.
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9. Are you relying on PDFs?

Many websites rely on PDFs in place of actual content. You might have a services brochure or an event flyer that were created for print, then you uploaded them to your site instead of using active text and photos or artwork. If your nonprofit website has a lot of content in PDF form, replace that with actual web content. PDFs are not ideal for the web and are not SEO-friendly. Real words on your pages can be read and understood by the bots you want to speak to—search engines that read your content and list your site for users who are searching for that information.
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10. Do your call-to-action buttons feel robotic?

The default call to action for any button on a website is “submit.” Unfortunately, “submit” is a horrible call to action. It’s vague, impersonal, and comes across as robotic. Take a look at your buttons and get rid of the robotic “submit” call to action.

Instead, make your call-to-action buttons more personable by writing your call to action in the first person. Let your button answer the question, “What do I want to do?”

For example, “I want to _______”:

  • Donate Now
  • Get Involved
  • Become a Volunteer
  • Team Up

If your nonprofit website ticks any of the above boxes, it’s a great time to do some light remodeling! Your website is open even when your office is closed, working even when employees are out sick, and answering users’ questions even when you’re busy. Making sure your nonprofit website is fulfilling the needs of your online visitors is an important factor in your organization’s success.


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