Non-profits and churches are always looking for cost saving ways to achieve goals. Designing and maintaining a website is usually a big ticket investment. This investment which is key to the promotion of the organization is critical and needs a decent affordable solution. WordPress can handle this task very easily and with many options for scalability.
I will explain the main reasons why WordPress can handle this task and be very cost friendly to a church and other non-profit organizations.
Why Choose WordPress?
First, it’s FREE. The software is open-source, meaning that it is developed by a community of developers dedicated to its development similar to other software, such as LibreOffice or Ubuntu Linux. It is a free package to install on your web host.
Web Hosting Options
The key to any website is the hosting package or server that stores the website and all its data. Depending on the needs of the organization, there are many different solutions for hosting ranging from Free to multiple levels of paid hosting.
If the site is purely informational, budget hosting will most likely work and there are many hosting companies with various packages available at under $10 per month. There are also hosting services, such as DreamHost, which offer FREE hosting to churches and non-profits (given that all the requirements are met).
However, if reliability, security, and support are critical to you and your site, there are a handful of hosting providers which provide hosting dedicated to WordPress. Two notable names are Flywheel and WP Engine.
Choices in Themes
Themes are the visuals that everyone sees. It is the icing on the cake. There are over 50,000 themes available for WordPress in both Free and Premium versions. However, I highly recommend a premium one because they come with support from the developer and most premium themes are not that expensive either. They generally range from $20 to $80 and are well worth the investment.
There are also themes designed specifically for churches and non-profits because of their uniqueness and offer specific features.
Plugins extend Functionality
Plugins extend the basic functionality of WordPress. There are over 40,000 plugins available on the WordPress.org repository for just about every feature and function one could need. If not, there are developers in the community who will gladly develop a plugin to fill your need.
Like themes, plugins are also available in free and paid versions. The free versions generally have the basic necessary features while the paid versions include higher functionality depending on the price.
Content Creation and Management
The content on the site and how often it is updated is important as well. This task certainly can be left to a key individual in the organization as entering content is relatively simple to accomplish compared to the maintenance and support of the infrastructure. Within one hour, someone can learn to create new pages and posts along with uploading new images and supporting files.
There are agencies which will provide these services, therefore alleviating the task and will most likely package other services with it, such as social media.
Site Support and Maintenance
The key to a solid and secure site is how well it is maintained by the owner. Therefore, a solid decision has to be made as to who will be dedicated to making the necessary updates to the structure of the site. This person could be the secretary on staff or an outside person or agency for free or paid.
Even though WordPress is FREE, it is the upkeep and support of it which is critical and this decision should not be made lightly. If the site is critical to the existence and operations of the organization, it would be highly recommended to consider a service provider to maintain the site.
So, if you’re a church, school or other non-profit looking for a break to establish a new website presence, consider looking to WordPress and its endless opportunities and supporting partners. You’ll appreciate the effort. If there are any questions, consider contacting us to learn more.