Nonprofits looking for a website platform should look no further than WordPress, the world’s most widely-used content management system.
Nonprofits and charitable organizations have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a platform for their website.
With the plethora of content management systems, SaaS web platforms, and site builders, it can be challenging to narrow down the options.
I’d like to make a case for WordPress, and tell you why I think it’s the perfect choice for nonprofits.
WordPress In A Nutshell
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, and it recently celebrated its fifteenth birthday.
It’s a mature platform, with a massive ecosystem of plugins and themes to choose from. WordPress is capable of supporting websites that range from small low-traffic sites, to sites of the largest nonprofit organizations.
WordPress is a fully capable and scalable web application that has come a long way since its early days as a blogging engine. Prominent websites like The New Yorker, TechCrunch, and Xerox, all rely on WordPress.
In short, if your nonprofit is in need of a website, WordPress has you covered.
Why Choose WordPress?
WordPress is open-source and free for anyone to use. Anyone can download WordPress and build a website with it.
Open-source technology plays a vital role in the WordPress ecosystem, making it possible to create a site, apply a theme, and add functionality using entirely open and free software. For thrifty nonprofits, this is a cost-effective way to develop your digital presence.
It’s important to keep in mind that websites still require content, design, system administration, and hosting, all of which cost money. However, WordPress and its plugin ecosystem provide a fantastic free foundation for building an impactful nonprofit site.
Before we talk about the benefits, let’s talk about a couple misconceptions.
I tend to hear the same concerns over and over again: WordPress “isn’t secure,” WordPress isn’t “professional,” WordPress is “just a blog.”
None of these are true.
Security is a complex issue, but if a WordPress installation is kept up to date, and its users employ password best practices, WordPress is as secure as any other content management system and a good deal more secure than most.
Because of its popularity, WordPress is a target for online criminals, but the same is true of every content management system in its class.
The benefits below far outweigh these concerns.
Benefits of Using WordPress
Whether your nonprofit site is a simple informational site, a lead generation site, a site for accepting donations, a membership site, or all of the above; WordPress is more than capable of adapting.
By installing a few plugins, you can extend WordPress to build nearly any type of website you want.
Take a look at these plugins to get an idea of what a WordPress site can do.
- Online Fundraising and Recurring Donations
- Building a Donor Membership Site
- Selling T-Shirts or Event Tickets
- Growing Your Mailing List
Themes enhance your control over the look and feel without having to sign up for code camp. Having an understanding of HTML and CSS is extremely helpful, but not necessary to use most themes.
There is no end to the variety of WordPress themes available to use in the WordPress Theme Directory and third-party markets.
These are a few built specifically for nonprofits.
- Zeko Charity WordPress Theme by Anariel Design
- Maisha Charity WordPress Theme by Anariel Design
- Hope Charity WordPress Theme by ThemeFuse
WordPress has a thriving, diverse community of creatives behind it. If you’re looking for support, or want to grow your WordPress skills, look no further than your local community’s WordPress events.
Community events such as Meetups and WordCamps provide free, or low-cost opportunities, for anyone to learn more about WordPress and get help from others that have already solved the same problems.
With WordPress, no one owns your data except for you, or your organization. The same goes when you use open-source plugins like Give.
Unlike many SaaS solutions, there are no commitments, contracts or fees, and you have complete control over your data and how you use it. Remember though, with power comes great responsibility.
It’s vital that you regularly back up your data or work with a hosting company that performs routine backups for you.
To sum it all up, WordPress is a mighty content management system on which nonprofits can build a fast and reliable web presence.
If your nonprofit uses WordPress, we’d love hear why you chose it in the comments below!