I was cross-checking the progress on a couple sites that I volunteer for today (not clients), knowing that they have been in a current re-development process for their websites. These organizations have phenominal staff members I have worked with in the past, and I am sure they are more than competant to pull together a great site….
But here is the thing, ironically EACH of these sites are using the SAME WordPress template…no seriously, they are.
Upon digging for further information, all THREE are using the same database (CRM). I know some of you are putting the pieces together, but let me lay it out for you:
1. The organization knew they had to get a better website, better digital communication process, new look, etc. etc.
2. The organization knew their current database model wasn’t really working for them (although when identifying the real reason “why” they found it wasn’t the database…it was them…but this is a post for another day)
3. The organization found a company that included a database AND website that would increase their digital presence, be interactive, could integrate with social media, and increase donations (well, I don’t know if they always promise that part)
4. The organization decided to go with this vendor…without seriously considering ONE MAJOR THING:
Once the website is up and going…who is going to continue the maintenance, content management, increase donor engagement, social marketing, analytics interpretation, changing and adapting design technologies…do I need to continue?
Phew- All too often I run into the organization that has felt they have been to the drawing board for web development and technology too often (on average every 2-3 years). These organizations try the band-aid approach, “let’s just get something up that looks better and we will figure the rest of it out.”
This way of thinking doesn’t work!
Here is why:
1. With the increase in traffic (hopefully) you need the infrastructure to handle the increase in inquiries, engagement, donations etc. Who is managing the day-to-day communications?
2. With the increase in effective communications coordinated with your website (social media, email marketing) you have an easier tool for people to request MORE content from you. Who is writing that content?
3. Your leadership or volunteers may come and go. Who is the consistent voice and reason behind your communications?
The website should be your on-demand communication tool- but is your infrastructure allowing you to be ON-DEMAND?