This website is meant to help nonprofits complete a successful do-it-yourself WordPress website project, but I’d be remiss to not briefly talk about the potential of getting outside help. There are plenty of reasons to consider getting at least a bit of paid help:
- Your organization doesn’t have the staff capacity to spare someone to build an entire site. Remember, building a site in-house means using salaried staff time, so it’s not truly “free.”
- None of your employees has the technical skills to build a website.
- You want external and expert opinions to improve the outcome of your website.
Why Hire a Nonprofit Website Consultant?
Many sites built in-house or with volunteers look great at first sight yet don’t hold up when it comes to site speed, long-term maintainability, and serving as the foundation for future changes and improvements to the site.
I strongly encourage everyone to work with a consultant at least for assessment, planning, and education on best practices and appropriate WordPress tools. When you hire a WordPress consultant, you’re hiring experience, not just technical skills.
However, I also hope this site serves as a free consultant for you, helping you make informed decisions when it comes to installing WordPress, picking a WordPress theme, implementing functionality via plugins, and entering your content.
Finding a Website Consultant for Nonprofits
It can be intimidating to find a good WordPress consultant. If you’re looking, I encourage you to take a variety of approaches to finding candidates:
- Ask colleagues and peer organizations. Follow those tiny “site made by” links in the footers of sites you like of other organizations near you.
- Consider attending WordPress meetups or web design meetups—often found on Meetup.com—to meet professionals in person who can help you. If there’s a chapter of an NTEN 501 Tech Club or NetSquared in your community, that’s a great source for nonprofit friendly web consultants.
- WordCamp conferences, while less frequent than meetups, are another great place to meet people and learn a lot about WordPress. For a 1 or 2 day conference, they also tend to be extremely affordable, often as little as $20!
- Look in consultant directories. If you’re in Washington state, I recommend the 501 Commons Consultants Directory which contains highly-vetted service providers with extensive nonprofit experience.
Vetting a WordPress Consultant for Nonprofits
Once you’ve found a few consultants, here are some questions you can ask them:
- Can you show me examples of sites you’ve built for similar organizations?
Find people who have built sites you like. Make sure they’re easy to use and navigate.
- How long do you expect your sites to last, and how do you ensure they continue functioning for that time?
I personally aim for sites to last 3-5 years and offer a WordPress maintenance plan to help people with technical maintenance.
- What’s your process and how to work with your clients? What work am I expected to complete?
This varies for each consultant. What’s important is that you understand and feel comfortable with that process.
- Do they capitalize the “P” in “WordPress” in written communication?
This is a common pet peeve of us experienced WordPressers! While it might not seem like a huge deal, that P shows an attention to detail and an immersion in the world of WordPress.
- “What it Means to be a Nonprofit Web Designer” from MRW Web Design
- “Can You Get a Good Website on a Small Budget?” by Kronda Adair on NTEN.org
- “How to Choose and Work with Technology Consultants” from TechSoup
- “Think Twice Before You Write That RFP” from MRW Web Design