15 Ways to Create a Horrible Non-profit Website

  1. Let everyone on your staff and board give feedback on your design, and apply everyone’s preferences.
  2. Put someone in charge who doesn’t care about the website.
  3. Replace pages or menu items with PDFs.
  4. Make your mission statement about six paragraphs long and put it front and center of the homepage.
  5. Hide the donation forms. It also helps to make it really hard to use.
  6. Don’t apply any kind of strategy to the site. Just throw it up and assume you’ll get support.
  7. Make sure you don’t look “too polished,” because no one will give you money unless the site looks like it was built on a shoestring.
  8. Assume no one looks at your site.
  9. Put up a bunch of unrelated pages with an unclear and incoherent message.
  10. Design for your board members (or yourself) rather than your audience.
  11. Leave development to a volunteer.
  12. Leave design to a volunteer.
  13. Play hot potato with updating website pages. The biggest sucker is in charge of keeping it current.
  14. Forget about your other communications efforts. Never cross reference them. Never meet with the people in charge of putting them together.
  15. Make your decision on a web developer based on cost alone, assuming you don’t always get what you pay for.

Monique Cuvelier spends her days at Talance sorting through the muck and creating fabulous non-profit websites. Contact her for advice on how.

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