WordPress has been a popular content management system (CMS) since it launched in 2003. Although originally designed as a blogging tool, it now powers nearly a third of the Web. That’s more than 60 million websites – many of which are nonprofit sites.
WordPress broke out of its merely-for-blogging childhood by being open, modular, and customizable. Developers saw the potential of the platform beyond blogging.
Today, impactful nonprofits like The Task Force for Global Health, Food for the Poor, and Direct Relief are using WordPress to power their websites. Even smaller local nonprofits are using WordPress including Maryland LFL, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Dallas Texas, and The Wyneken Project.
These nonprofits, big and small, local and global, are choosing WordPress because it empowers them to focus on what they do best – make our world a better place.
Here are eight reasons why your nonprofit should be using WordPress for its website:
1. Integrated Online Giving Options
Online giving is indispensible in 2019.
Millennials, especially, are more likely to give if they can give regular small donations securely through your website. People just aren’t using checks like they once were.
Your donors want the freedom to give securely, regularly, and conveniently right on your website. WordPress lets you do just that.
In most cases, adding online giving to your site is as easy as installing a plugin, changing a few settings, and connecting your payment processor (like Stripe or PayPal).
2. There is [Probably] a Plugin for Your Unique Needs
A plugin is a small piece of software that plugs into a larger piece of software in order to give it new functionality. WordPress plugins do everything from blocking spam comments and tracking visitors to accepting online donations and managing volunteer events.
There are more than 56,000 plugins available in the official WordPress repositories alone. Even more available on developer and community websites.
That’s a lot of plugins. WordPress has the largest plugin community of any CMS available in 2019.
Chances are, someone has already written software that does what your nonprofit needs your site to do.
And, if the software doesn’t exist yet, someone, like Rystedt Creative, can create it.
3. The Ability to Keep Your Supporters Updated on the Go
Your nonprofit is busy making your community better.
Do you really have time to sit down at your computer in your office to publish something about your most recent event?
Most nonprofit leaders already have more than enough administrative work to do when they finally do get into the office.
WordPress makes it easy to publish content to your site on the go. You can share a picture, volunteer quote, and summary about your most recent event all while you’re on site – before you even leave…
From your phone.
It’s all thanks to the WordPress mobile app.
4. Low Startup Cost with Nearly Infinite Growth Potential
Launching a new WordPress website can range in cost from $0 for a Free WordPress.com site to $10,000 for a custom designed and developed WordPress site with all the bells and whistles.
Psst! For a guide to estimating your web-development costs check out this article.
But let’s focus on that $0 base price. Does entry level get any more affordable?
If all your nonprofit needs to get started is a simple website with a pre-packaged theme, no custom functionality, you’re OK with an address like "nonprofitinthecity.wordpress.com", and you can do the work yourself then you can jump in for nothing.
Need professional branding, online giving, a volunteer portal, regular maintenance and support, and your own domain name? Then you know it’s time to create a budget for your organization’s online needs.
Your nonprofit’s WordPress website can grow as your organization grows.
5. Easy to Onboard Volunteer Contributors and Admins
You’re not a web developer. Chances are, your volunteers aren’t either. WordPress is for organizations like yours.
Once you launch your new website, publishing new pages and posts is intuitive thanks to the new Gutenberg editor.
The new WordPress editor empowers your volunteer contributors to choose what type of content they want to add, type their text or upload their photos, and rearrange content – all while seeing what it’ll look like after they publish.
With more than two dozen "block" types (content types) to choose from (and more available through plugins), composing a new post or page has never been easier.
6. Complete Ownership of Your Site and Its Contents
Your website is going to be filled with your content. But is your website really yours?
A website is more like an app than a billboard. Consequently, there are software licenses and professional services involved. Often, especially with popular do-it-yourself website builders, the platform’s company owns your website and you only own your content. That may sound fine until your nonprofit needs to move its website to a new hosting provider or new platform.
WordPress is open source software – which means its code is free for anyone to examine, contribute to, modify, redistribute, and use.
Your WordPress website is yours and you can take it where you want to.
Your web-developer, in most cases, can even download all of your WordPress site’s files and database from your current hosting provider and move it to a new server with little risk or service disruption.
If you have a site at WordPress.com, a full-service WordPress hosting provider, you have a little less control but can always leave to become "self hosted" and really exercise your ownership of your site.
7. Infinitely Customizable
WordPress is designed to be customizable.
It’s all possible with WordPress.
Non-technical users can customize their sites using theme options and plugins.
WordPress developers, like Rystedt Creative, can develop whole themes, tweak existing themes, and develop new plugins to make your site whatever you need it to be.
Your nonprofit is uniquely great. Your website should be too.
8. Professional Support is Easily Available
WordPress is the most popular and well supported CMS available in 2019. Professional developer support is just around the corner.
Chances are your local city has a glut of freelancers able to assist your nonprofit.
Need more robust support? Firms, like Rystedt Creative, exist to provide clients with everything from custom online giving portals to professional branding – all within your WordPress site.
How to Get WordPress for Your Nonprofit
Are you sold?
There are three ways your nonprofit can get started with WordPress:
1. Get the All-In-One Service from WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a full-service WordPress hosting provider managed by the company that started WordPress, Automattic.
If you are looking for a simple, easy, and affordable place to get started with WordPress and you’re willing to create and manage the site yourself – WordPress.com is for you.
Their free tier includes:
- A free subdomain at wordpress.com
- Community support
- Dozens of free themes to choose from
- Basic customization options
- and more
WordPress.com can grow with you all the way up to where you need custom functionality.
2. Do it Yourself with the Software from WordPress.org
Looking for a bit more control of your site? Need some custom functionality?
You may want to consider using the software from WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is the home of the open source WordPress software. Here you can download the software and install it on any server you wish!
If your nonprofit has a tech savvy volunteer you may want to consider this option as your nonprofit can retain tight control of your site.
3. Buy a Custom and Professional WordPress Site
But what if your nonprofit needs professional branding and a new website? Or a custom donation portal that allows recurring designated giving? Or a custom members only community forum?
In such cases you may want to consider buying a custom designed and developed WordPress website through a firm like Rystedt Creative.
You’ll get the same great software, the same community support, and the same plugin options along with a website truly your own with professional maintenance and support.
Oh, and did we mention Rystedt Creative gives a 10% nonprofit discount? It’s one way we help you help others.