If you’re reading this Charity Website Building Toolkit then the chances are that you’re interested in exploring the DIY route – whether that’s because you want to, or because your lack of budget dictates that you have to! You’re kind of in luck because building simple websites is a lot easier than it was 10 years ago and it’s no longer purely the realm of specialist web developers. Having said that, 10 years ago everyone accessed the web on monitors that were all pretty much the same size, but now you need to deliver your content to people viewing it on computers, laptops, tablets, phones – and in the future probably cars, watches and fridges too.
If you are reasonably computer literate, and have the patience to spend a fair bit of time time Google searching for answers and fixes – then I firmly believe that you can make your own charity website for under £100. It may not win many awards but it’ll do the job just fine.
I hope that the information throughout this Toolkit will hold your hand most of the way, and at least give you a nudge in the right direction when you need to find your own solutions. I’d love to hear some feedback or suggestions about what else I should cover.
How much does a website cost?
That really does depend on how long your proverbial shoestring is. With a fair bit of investment of your time (and in some cases, sanity!) you can create a basic functioning but nice looking website for very little. For instance:
- Domain name: £8 a year
- WordPress theme: £40
- Hosting: £100 a year.
Freelancers and Web Design Agencies
A single freelancer might charge you about £500-£1000 for a well built WordPress or Drupal site provided it doesn’t have too much customisation or special requirements. You won’t pay the additional 20% VAT for most individual freelancers.
If you want a bigger, nicer one that has a good donations mechanism and is custom designed just for you – then you might well need to recruit an agency to build it. You may need some different templates for the various content types and they’ll help adding your content to the site to get it off the ground.
An agency typically charges £400-£600+VAT per day and are unlikely to undertake a project for less than £3,000. A budget of £8,000 would be considered fairly meagre for most Agency website builds.
Putting the ‘world’ into the World Wide Web.
The great thing about the Internet its ability to bring people together from across the globe. And let’s face it, there are a load of extremely talented web geeks in other continents that are happy to work for a LOT less than £400 a day. A lot of them will be skilled in developing for WordPress (slightly fewer in Drupal) and if you know (and can explain, precisely) what you need doing then hiring a freelancer through one of the popular sites can be a great value-for-money option. I wouldn’t go to them for a ‘make me a website’ request, but if you want to add a picture gallery or customise the way in which comments are shown then you can get it done with a minimum of fuss for $20.
Do It Yourself or Hire Someone?
My advice would be to have a read through all the articles in this Toolkit to get an idea of what’s involved and how eager you are to roll your sleeves up and learn a bunch of new skills. If it looks like it’s something you’ll enjoy then by all means try going solo. If you’re not much of a tecchie then I’d recommend that you hire someone to help out so you can spend your time and effort elsewhere.
A lot depends on how much of a fundraising tool your website will be. If you’re expecting to get a fair few online donations and use the site to support your individual and corporate fundraisers then it’s definitely worth seeing it as an investment and getting a half-decent one. That doesn’t necessarily involve spending thousands of pounds, a budget of £700 could get you a solid but basic site with a CRM system built into it.
Check out my blog post on the best CMS tools for building a free charity website for more thoughts.
(ahem… why not hire me?)
I design and build custom made WordPress websites especially for small charities. They’re easy to administer and contain all the fundraising events and donations pages functionality you need. They look and work great on mobile phones and tablets too.