A Website Checklist

This post was featured in the September 2012 Nonprofit Blog Carnival

Ten posts to take your website to the next level

Even in the age of social media, websites are still one of the first places people go to in order to get information. That’s why your nonprofit organization needs one that’s welcoming and audience-centered.   

Does your website pass that test?  Use the checklist below to find out. 

Home page
Your home page is often the first place a newcomer will visit.  Make it an entryway to the rest of your website.  
  • Is it free of clutter and easy to navigate and read? 
  • Does it include an engaging photo and a small amount of text, such as a tagline or position statement?
  • If you are highlighting something such as an event, is the information up-to-date, and is it the most newsworthy item you can feature?
  • Does it include a Donate Now button that’s prominent without being tacky?
  • Does it include a newsletter sign up box and social media icons?
  • Is the navigation bar easy to use?
  • Does it include a search feature?

More information on creating a great home page.

Donation page
More people are donating online and this trend will continue.  If you are planning to do a fundraising appeal soon, now is a good time to make sure your donation page is up to speed.
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Does it include a strong call to action with the same messages as all your other fundraising appeals? 
  • Does it show how the donation will be used and what different amounts will fund?
  • Does it include an option for recurring gifts?
  • Does it have a compelling photo?  
  • After someone donates, does it take the person to a thank you landing page and generate a thank you email? 

More information on creating a great donation page.

The rest of your pages
Now take some time to look at the rest of your web pages.
  • Are they easy to read/scan and navigate?  
  • Do all of your pages have a consistent look?
  • Is the content well written in a conversational style (no jargon), and is it free of grammatical errors and typos?
  • Are your pages audience-centered?  Remember that some visitors know you well and others don’t.  A person visiting your volunteer page may not know much about your organization, so you will need to include a compelling description of what you do.
  • Do your pages contain a clear call to action?  For example, your volunteer page should make someone want to volunteer.
  • Does each page have one or two photos related to its subject matter?  Going back to your volunteer page, you could include a photo of volunteers engaging with clients.
  • Is all the content up-to-date?
  • Do all your links work?
  • Do all your pages include a Donate Now button, navigation bar, social media icons, a newsletter sign up box, and a search feature, so your visitors don’t have to go back to the home page?
  • Are you using analytics to see how often people visit your pages?  If you have pages that aren’t generating a lot of interest, assess why that is happening. You may need to make the page more enticing or take it down.
  • Is it mobile friendly?
  • Is there other content you should include?

More information on creating content for your website.

After you have made any necessary changes, have someone who isn’t as familiar with your organization (maybe a friend or family member) look at your website to see if the content is clear and that it is easy to navigate. 

Again, your goal is a website that is welcoming and audience- centered for everyone from first-time visitors to long-time supporters.
Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

25 thoughts on “A Website Checklist

  1. Really super checklist Ann.Particularly important is the suggestion that you have someone who is an “outsider” take a look at your website. What's their impression of what you do and how you do it? How easy is it for them to find out what your mission is? Is it easy to donate? It's amazing how blind we can be to our own weaknesses.


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