Your website can be a powerful tool for engaging and mobilizing your audience, if it has the right mix of content, relevance, and usability. A well-designed website can generate attention, promote your work, build trust, and ultimately boost your impact.

Below are a few ways you can make your website more effective.


Have a blog and update it regularly

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. A regularly updated blog keeps your website’s content fresh and relevant and it is a great way to promote your organisation’s latest news and events. A blog also provides a great platform for you to comment on trends and topics in your industry. Don’t over commit to writing a blog, decide how regularly you can contribute and stick to your schedule.


Make sure your content is easy to read

Research shows that you have about 15 seconds to engage your audience so don’t scare them off with technical lingo or jargon. Use plain language and try to keep your sentences short, 35 words or less is a good rule of thumb. Use sub-headings to break up different sections, and supporting imagery where appropriate. You could be writing the most informative content in the world, but if it’s too hard to understand, your audience will give up.


Let them get to know you

An ‘About us’ page is your opportunity to tell your story so don’t waste it. Make it easy to find and include things like, your purpose or mission, who it is you serve, and a brief history of your organisation came to be.


Always include a ‘Call to action’

A call-to-action is an essential part of any effective website—especially for nonprofits, which are dependent on financial and volunteer support. Make it easy for visitors to make a donation, sign up to your newsletter, volunteer, find a job or become a member.


Keep your design clean and user friendly

Remember: usability before design. Establish how you want users to experience the site and where you want them to go, then choose your design accordingly. Don’t be tempted by too many design features, a minimal design seldom looks outdated and is less distracting for the user. Regardless of the industry, quality design is essential in order to maximize the impact of the website.


Contact us if you would like further advice on updating your organisation’s website.


Helpful links:

40 of the Best Websites of Non-Profit Organisations – Vandelay Design

The 100 Top Non-Profit Website Designs of 2015 – EveryAction

A Content Checklist for your Non-Profit’s Website Communication – New Media Campaigns

Your Go-To Guide to Creating the Best Nonprofit Website –

A Nonprofit’s Guide to Building Simple, Low-Cost Websites – Techsoup


One thought on “How to create an effective website

  1. In our experience there is more involved in having an effective website than many realise. Likewise it is important your website is the hub around which all your other online activities revolve – and they should direct viewers back to your website. Many websites are passive, meaning the content never changes and there is little reason for a viewer to return. If all you require is an electronic brochure then use the least expensive option available to you. If you want people to interact and engage then you need to plan for how your website will be used. This will impact upon the design. CommunityInfo NZ has an outline at Remember your website is often the first place people go for info and therefore the first impression they have of your organisation.

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