5 Nonprofit Websites you Need to Copy Right Now

If you’ve ever been stuck on how to design your nonprofit’s website, you know how it feels to be totally uninspired. It’s almost like your brain just stops functioning whenever you want to work, right? Well, I’m here to help you. These 5 nonprofit websites you need to copy will inspire you again!

1. Case Foundation

Here is a picture of 5 nonprofit websites you need to copy
The Case Foundation Website

Case Foundation is a nonprofit that invests in individuals, nonprofits, and social enterprises aiming to connect people, increase giving, and catalyze social action. Their website is great, and accurately reflects their mission. Right when you look at the page, they tell you in big white letters what they do. It tells visitors whether or not the nonprofit is what they’re looking for. 

Once you scroll down, they tell you in more detail who they are and what they do. This is where visitors who have an interest in the nonprofit end up, and they get more information about the nonprofit. Next, they have their blog posts. These help to give credibility to the nonprofit. By writing about the problems their potential supporters or interested individuals have, they build trust with them.

2. Conservation.org

Conservation is a nonprofit dedicated to, you guessed it, conserving the Earth. You can easily tell this just by taking a look at their website. They have all sorts of nature images and nature-themed things scattered around their website, which tells you that they work with nature in some way.

If you’re a visitor to their site interested in donating to help conserve the Earth, it wouldn’t be too hard to find out how. In their header, they have 2 buttons, a subscribe button and a donate button. Both of these are colored and highlighted against the white background to draw the visitor’s attention to it. 

Here is a picture of 5 nonprofit websites you need to copy
The Conservation website

3. David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to saving endangered animals. Their website is a great reflection of their mission statement. For example, take a look at the landing page. There are tons of animal pictures and animal art. Just by looking at this, you know that they have something to do with animals. The text they have on top of each of the images on the websites is specifically chosen to catch the viewer’s eye. Notice how it’s in bold, a big font size, and contrasting to the image. Contrast is what draws the viewer’s attention to the text and makes their mission statement clear.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

4. Plant Chicago

Plant Chicago is a nonprofit dedicated to making efficient methods of food production, energy conservation, and material reuse. When you first go to their website, you may notice the distinct lack of color. I think this a brilliant design decision on their part. A lack of color will naturally make the visitor’s eyes wander to places that have more of it. Their stamp, which they placed cleverly in the bottom left corner will get the visitor’s attention. They will want to scroll down to see more of it, and by doing so, they see their mission statement and their upcoming events. They used color brilliantly to get the visitor to look at more of their page.

Here is a picture of 5 nonprofit websites you need to copy
The Plant Chicago website

5. Life in my Shoes

 Life in my Shoes is a nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide by removing stigmas about other people, and their website reflects that really well. Every section on their website is well thought out and has a picture to convey the main message of the section. This is an excellent design choice on their part, because pictures will always convey the same message faster than words. Each section is also highlighted with its unique style and colors, which helps to capture the viewer’s attention all the way to the end. The unique font they use helps to give off the vibe that they’re out there to help the youth who may be most in need of their services. This website’s ingenious design alone makes it on the nonprofit websites you need to copy list.

Here is a picture of 5 nonprofit websites you need to copy
The Life in My Shoes website

Now that you’ve seen some nonprofit websites you need to copy, how has this inspired you? If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Also, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list to get updated whenever I post something new. Thank you so much for reading!

Ethan from The Lonely Coder

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How to Choose a CMS for your Nonprofit’s Website

Choosing how to build your nonprofit’s website can definitely be a daunting issue. You may be asking yourself “There are just so many choices, how do I know which one is the right one?” Well look no further, I’m here to save the day! If you’re considering using a CMS, this blog post will help you choose to use a CMS for your nonprofit’s website.

A CMS infographic!

This infographic explains how to choose a CMS for your nonprofit’s website really well. In case you don’t want to read it, here’s a brief text summary:

What is a CMS?

A CMS (Content Management System) is a tool that lets you create and modify your website quickly and easily. No real coding experience is required to use one, which makes it easily accessible to most people. Along with this, having a CMS makes it really easy to apply changes throughout your website quickly and consistently.

Should I use a CMS?

Now, other web solutions have their pros and cons, and I suggest looking at them before coming to a solid decision.

  • Having a webmaster
    • A webmaster is in charge of all of your website’s operations, including the building and maintaining of your website.
  • Homegrown solution
    • A homegrown web solution will let you fully customize what you want your website to look and act like.
  • High-end enterprise
    • A high-end enterprise means having your very own, custom made CMS. These work the best with big organizations

How do I choose a good CMS?

If you’ve decided you want your website made with a CMS, you should then decide which CMS you want to use. I’ve condensed the questions in the infographic to the most important ones:

  • What does my website need?
    • What kinds of features does my website need to have?
    • How often will my website need to be updated?
    • What kind of hosting will my website be using?
  • What is my budget?
    • How much am I willing to spend to get my website done?
    • Am I taking into account other closely related costs? (Hosting, design, etc.)
  • How will I be able to maintain my website?
    • Who exactly will be contributing to the website?
    • How will they be contributing?
    • Will the CMS be easy to use for the people working on it?

What’s in a good CMS?

Next, it’s time to take a look at different CMSs. Every CMS needs these features to make and maintain a successful website:

  • Flexibility
    • The CMS should be able to adapt to any website architecture or changes you might make.
  • Scalability
    • The CMS should be able to work as well with big websites as small ones. It should be able to grow along with your nonprofit.
  • Ease of use
    • The CMS should be easy and intuitive to use. It should also provide proper feature documentation.
  • Quick implementation
    • The CMS should make it easy to install, and easy to change anything you desire,
  • Comprehensive training
    • The CMS should have proper guides and documentation. It should be easy to learn more about its features.
  • Ongoing support
    • The CMS should be regularly updated to fit with the latest web technologies. It should have customer service and documentation that is updated regularly.

My recommendation

Personally, the CMS I would recommend is WordPress. It’s fast, easy to use, and comes with tons of different plugins to suit any need you might have. In fact, this blog was built using WordPress!

Now that you know if you should use a CMS or not, how soon are you going to make your website? If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Also, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list to get updated whenever I post something new. Thank you so much for reading!

Ethan from The Lonely Coder

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5 Ways to Increase Brand Trustworthiness with your Website

Trustworthiness is the foundation of all positive relationships. It’s no wonder then that you have to develop it with your potential customers. If your customer’s don’t see you as a trustworthy figure, then they won’t buy from you. It’s as simple as that. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy from somebody you don’t trust, would you? 

1. Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to increase your brand’s trustworthiness. They are a form of social proof. They show customers that they can trust you because other people like them do.

Stats don’t lie!

Testimonials are most effective when they include a name, an authentic photo, and a quote. You want to make sure to add 2-3 testimonials to your website, ideally in their little section. 

Like this!

2. Have an honest brand description

Having an honest description of your company can go a long way in increasing your brand’s trustworthiness. First and foremost, it shows that you’re honest. Secondly, it tells customers what to expect. Consistency is king when it comes to building trustworthiness, but I’ll get back to that later. Make sure all your business information on your website’s about us page and social media accounts are consistent.

3. Show real people

Would you want to buy from someone who you’ve never heard of or seen before? Probably not, right? Well, this is exactly what customers are thinking when they go to a business website that seems a little too “distant”. Showing real people who work for your company can help alleviate this issue. 

You can do this by simply adding a picture of yourself or your employees hard at work. This should go in your about us page, so visitors can get an idea of who exactly they’re working with. If you can’t do this for some reason, just showing a picture of yourself or your employees will do the trick.

4. Interact with your visitors

Engaging with your visitors shows that you care enough about them to take the time to interact with them. It’s a great way to increase brand trustworthiness on your website.

Interacting with your users can boost your conversion rate

One easy way to do this is through your blog. You can add a comments section to each of your blog posts, and ask people to leave their questions and feedback there. That will create a natural avenue for interaction.

Most CMSs let you do this easily. For example, WordPress automatically creates a comments section on every new blog post you publish. However, doing something like this on a website made from scratch can be difficult without any programming experience. I would suggest hiring a developer to make one for you.

5. Make your website consistent

Maintaining a consistent website experience lets customers know what to expect. There are 3 main things to focus on to maintain a consistent experience:

  • Your Delivery
    • Make sure your marketing strategy for your website is clear, and be sure to interact with your customers daily
  • Your Design
    • Having a consistent design and logo across your whole website is an easy way to build trust with your customers
  • Your Message
    • Make sure your brand’s message is clear on your website, and make sure your company behavior reflects that

 Now that you know how to build brand trustworthiness through your website, how soon are you going to do it? If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Also, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list to get updated whenever I post something new. Thank you so much for reading!

Ethan from The Lonely Coder

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You Need to Optimize your Website for Mobile Now

Mobile phones are near and dear to all of us. They’re so ingrained in our lives that many of us (including me) can’t imagine spending the day without one. We use them for everything in our lives, from browsing the internet to playing games to working. In fact, more than half of all internet traffic in 2018 came from mobile phones. This is exactly why you should optimize your website for mobile devices: there is just so much potential traffic that can come from mobile users!

Infographic explaining why you should optimize your website for mobile right now

Why should I optimize my website for mobile?

By optimizing your website for mobile, you can affect your website’s performance positively. Here are just a couple of ways:

  • Improves user experience
    • By improving and optimizing the layout of your site, mobile users will feel more comfortable while navigating
  • Boosts your SEO
    • Having a mobile-optimized website will reduce bounce rates, load times, and repeated content, resulting in your website ranking high in search results
  • You get an edge against non-optimized websites
    • You’ll automatically get an edge against non-optimized websites because they won’t have all these perks!
  • Increases time spent on your site for mobile users
    • Mobile users will have a better experience on your website, leading to higher retention rates and longer browsing times
  • Your website will load faster on mobile
    • Desktop websites are very big for mobile users, so optimizing your website will reduce website load times

How do I optimize my site?

One of the most commonly recommended things you can do to optimize your website for mobile is to make the layout and design mobile-friendly. There are 2 main ways you can do this: you can make a separate website for mobile users or you can make your existing website responsive.

Back in the earlier days of the web before responsive design was a thing, many webpages had a mobile and a desktop version of their site. This would allow the webpage managers to completely customize the website design for mobile users. If any of these apply, a separate mobile site may be right for you:

  • The vast majority of traffic to your website is through mobile devices
  • You have a very complicated website, and you want to make sure that mobile users are having a good experience

Responsively designed websites are a bit newer than separate mobile sites. What responsive design does is it lets developers make 1 version of a website for many different screen sizes. It also has a few key advantages over making a separate site:

  • Easier to maintain than 2 separate sites
  • Works on almost any screen size
  • No need to split up traffic between 2 websites

 However, if your website has a very intricate layout, it may be best to make a separate version of your site for mobile users.

 Now that you know why and how you can optimize your website for mobile users, you’re ready to grow your website! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Also, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list to get updated whenever I post something new. Thank you so much for reading!

Ethan from The Lonely Coder

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7 Easy Ways to Boost Traffic to Your WordPress Site

Have you ever struggled with getting people to go to your website? It can be very frustrating to see the money and effort put into building it goes down the drain. I know how it feels, and I definitely don’t want to see you struggle. That’s why I made a list of 7 ways to easily boost traffic to your WordPress site.

1. Speed it up

 If you’ve ever been in a place without good internet, you know how frustrating it can be to wait for a website to load. You probably felt frustrated, bored, or even angry. This is why it’s super important to have a website that loads as fast as possible. Without a fast loading page, users can get frustrated easily and leave before they see any content. If you want to check how fast your page is loading, I recommend taking a look at Google PageSpeed test (link). It shows you exactly which areas your website is struggling in, and what plugins you can use to fix it.

By increasing the speed of your website, you will be able to boost traffic to your wordpress website
Don’t waste any time!

2. Have Quality Content

 Having quality content on your website may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s seriously undervalued. Quality content tends to market itself. People will be more inclined to share good content with their friends and family, and that leads to more traffic to your WordPress site. The type of good content you post depends largely on the type of website you have. For example, if you run a blog, you should make sure to proofread your articles and add plenty of images to your posts.

A lot of marketers are doing it for a reason…

3. Add Internal Links

 An easy way you can boost traffic to your WordPress site is through internal links. Internal links are basically links that link to another page in your website. Most users will come to your webpage to find specific information. After they find it, they’ll leave your website. This is where internal links come in handy. They help to direct users to somewhere else on your website after they’re done. Internal links are a super-easy way to increase traffic to other parts of your website.

4. Have a Good Design

Have you ever seen a website so ugly you couldn’t help but laugh at it? Yeah, me too, and nobody likes those kinds of websites. If you don’t want your website to be laughed at, you need a good design. There are a couple of ways to go about getting a good design. The easiest way is to install a template off of the WordPress store. Alternatively, you can download one from a website. The way I would recommend is to hire someone to do it for you. It saves you time, energy, and you can get your website completely custom made.

You don’t want to be seen as “that” company

5. Use SEO

SEO is what can determine whether people can see your website or not. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. As the name suggests, it means optimizing for search engines. By optimizing your website more, you can increase your ranking in search engines like Google and Bing. To optimize your WordPress website for search engines, you can download a helpful plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast. It automatically takes care of the complicated things for you, and it helps you to optimize each page on your website.

SEO is super important!

6. Promote on Social Media

If you’re reading this, you’re probably using the internet. And what’s more synonymous with the internet than social media? Checking our social media accounts has become a daily thing for most of us. This is why promoting your website on social media can be a cheap and easy way to drive traffic to your WordPress site. At any time, you can notify the entire world that your website exists and that they can visit it.

I won’t go over how to make your social media accounts, but I will tell you how you can effectively tie them to your website. Make sure to add links to your social media pages somewhere, preferably in the footer. Also, editing your website’s meta description lets you customize your website’s preview on sites like Twitter. As mentioned before, WordPress SEO by Yoast can let you do this easily. 

Use social media, it really helps your business

7. Improve the User Experience

User experience (UX) encompasses what users experience when they visit your website. It’s about what and how the users feel as they interact with your website. As you can imagine, bad user experience means users will feel frustrated and annoyed when they use a site. And you definitely don’t want people to feel this way!

Things like a proper navigation bar, good formatting, and a high-quality homepage can help to make people’s experience on your website more pleasant. WordPress has built-in visual text editor, so you can see what your users will see as you’re typing it. WordPress also has an option to generate a custom navigation bar. You can add as many links and as much text to it as you want. For your homepage, I recommend hiring a professional to do it for you. They can examine the overall theme of your website, and build a user-friendly homepage that reflects that.

Put some effort into your website’s UX

 Now that you know how to boost traffic to your WordPress website, you’re ready to make an empire! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Also, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list to get updated whenever I post something new. Thank you so much for reading!

Ethan from The Lonely Coder

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10 Things your Business’s Website Absolutely Needs

Your small business website is the main hub of all your online activities. It needs to be refined into a 24-carat gold-plated masterpiece. That’s why making one can be daunting. To help you, I’ve made a list of 10 things that you need to add to your website to turn it into a shining masterpiece. These aren’t in any particular order, so feel free to jump around to points you see most fit for you.

1. A Contact Form

Putting a contact form on your website is an absolutely essential part of building your website. Your contact form needs to be easy to find and fill out. It needs to have a section to add the sender’s email, name, and message. Adding a section with your contact details is also a viable option. Be sure to put your business’s email, phone number, physical address (if applicable), and hours (if applicable).

2. Testimonials

Testimonials show that your business can be trusted. Make sure that the testimonials you use are real and unedited to increase trustworthiness. Adding the name and a picture of the person who sent the testimonial helps to add extra trustworthiness, but it isn’t necessary. You should ideally put your testimonials in a place where they can be easily seen on your website.

3. SEO

Good SEO is something your website absolutely needs. In short, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is what will get you traffic from search engines. SEO determines how far down your website is when it’s searched on Google. There are a lot of factors that go into what determines your search engine ranking, but one of the most important ones are keywords. Search engines will go into your website’s content and try to extract some meaning from it. Keywords help the search engine do this and make your website rank higher in search results.

4. An Appealing Design

Your business website absolutely needs an appealing design to be relevant in today’s society. After all, nobody wants to spend their time looking at an ugly or bland website design. The easiest way to get an appealing design for your website is to find a template online, but you’ll also need coding skills. Ideally, you should let a professional web designer or developer take care of that for you.

5. A Blog

Adding a blog to your website can be a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website. Your blog must include content that is geared toward your business’s target audience. The easiest way to add one is to use WordPress. By clicking a few buttons, you can have a fully functional and good-looking blog added to your website. However, if you’re not already using WordPress, it’s gonna be a little more difficult to set one up. In that case, I would recommend hiring a professional to do it for you.

A graph on why you should add a blog to your small business website

6. Social Media Links

Social media links are a must-have on your website. It’s a great and free way to raise brand awareness and to drive more traffic to your site. All you have to do is add your social media links and the corresponding icons to the footer of your website. WordPress lets you do this easily, but if you’re not using it, you should ask someone with coding experience to add it in for you.

7. A Product Description

Having a product description on your website will help customers get a better idea of what they’re buying. It’s essential to put your product description somewhere near the top of your page so customers will immediately know what you’re selling. Make sure this section is well written and easy to spot, because this section will likely determine whether a customer is going to stay on your page or not.

8. A Call to Action (Important!)

You need, and I can’t repeat this enough: you NEED a call to action on your website! It makes it so much clearer and easier for the customer to buy from your business if you add one of these. A call to action section is something on your webpage that will immediately show where the customer needs to go to buy from you. A call to action needs to be very obvious, almost sticking out like a sore thumb. Something as simple as a highlighted button can do the trick. There are also many other options such as popups, contact forms, and even links to your social media.

9. An About Us Page

Adding an about us page to your website can help customers get a sense of who you are as a business. Even something as small as a short section can accomplish this. However, if you have a multi-page site, it would be ideal to dedicate a full page to it. You should include a quick summary of your company and its mission, who it employs, and any outstanding achievements the company has received. 

10. An Email List Signup Form

An email list can help you grow your business by sending customers relevant information about your business. One easy way to add an email list to your blog is to add a popup. Many email list marketing platforms let you make popups that you can add to your website. Your popup needs to be visible and easy to read. It needs to have a place for the user to enter their email address and a clear call to action.

Now that you know what you need to add to your business website, you’re ready to turn it into a masterpiece! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Also, subscribe to my mailing list to get updated whenever I post something new. Thank you so much for reading!

Ethan from The Lonely Coder

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Introduction – Hello, World!

Hey everyone! My name is Ethan Roos, and I’m a freelance web developer from southern California. I specialize in making websites for nonprofits and other related small organizations. I’ve been a freelancer part-time for about 6 months now, and I’ve got to say that I love it! And I’d love nothing more than to share what I’ve learned with you. Now that I’ve made my introduction, here’s what I have planned for you:

About this blog

In this blog, I’m gonna go over the best ways you can make, maintain, and optimize your website in order to drive more traffic to it. This will apply to any type of website including blogs, company sites, personal sites, and, to an extent, certain social media pages. If you’re looking for a way to drive more traffic to your website, then this is the right blog for you.

I’m going to be the one writing the posts here, and I’ll try to give you some new content to look at every day, whether that’s a blog post, infographic, or another article I think you’ll find interesting. But, I’ll try to do mostly blog posts, and keep the others to a minimum.

Anyways, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can fill out the contact form located here. I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook if you want to see what I’m up to in real-time.

One more thing: I made a mailing list that you should totally subscribe to! Every time I post something, you’ll be notified by an email to your inbox. If you want to subscribe, you can sign up using the popup in the right-hand corner of your screen.

I look forward to seeing you around here, and I swear, no more introduction posts!


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