Website Success Checklist: 15 Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Website

Your website has a purpose. For a nonprofit organization, the purpose of your website is to guide people to your services, attract donors and sponsors, and increase awareness and visibility in the community.

You can use your website as a powerful communication tool to connect the dots between people who need you and your mission. A successful website:

  • Engages your visitors
  • Inspires them to take action
  • Contributes to your mission and goal
  • Saves time and solves problems

As the hub of your digital presence, you website directly impacts the growth and impact of your organization. A website with serious problems makes it difficult or impossible for people to reach out or make a donation. A great website integrates elements of design, communication, and technology to inspire people to take action.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of your website is driven by helping people solve problems, and providing a useful, easy, and engaging experience for them.

Website Best Practices

15 key areas to improve effectiveness

To ensure your website is user-focused, easy to find, and running smoothly, your improvement strategy must cross many areas. A website is not just branding or IT, it's a combination of goal-setting, research, UX, branding, marketing, content, navigation, SEO, technology, and measurement. No single area can stand alone.

Here are 15 key areas to check on your website to identify problems and potential opportunities for improvement:

  1. Home page clearly states what you do
  2. Content is engaging, accurate, and easy to update
  3. Call to Action is compelling and aligns with your goals
  4. Navigation is organized and intuitive
  5. Fonts have sufficient contrast and readability
  6. Layout and features work on mobile
  7. Contact information is easy to find
  8. Pages load quickly and error-free
  9. Security and backup systems are in place
  10. Legal policies and terms are current
  11. Easy to find on search engines
  12. Forms submissions are being received
  13. SSL certificate is enabled and www is resolved
  14. Social media and subscribe links are connected
  15. Google Analytics tracking visitor activity

What to focus on first?

You don't have to fix everything all at once, and you don't need to do it all yourself. Decide which of these approaches works best for you:

  • Worst problem – What is a huge problem or mistake that needs to be resolved immediately?
  • Biggest impact – Where is the biggest opportunity for growth or success, or avoiding future problems?
  • Easiest – What is a no brainer that you can do yourself or delegate to someone else without any planning or approval process?
  • Fastest – What can you resolve today or this week without any fuss?

Depending on your time, expertise, and budget, you could start by knocking out one or two small tasks first, or perhaps start planning a bigger project to address many issues at once.

Need a full assessment of your nonprofit website? We offer an in-depth Website Performance Audit with an in-depth analysis, prioritized action items, and one-on-one recommendations on next steps. Get in touch to learn more.

How did you do?

How does your website measure up? What do you think you should focus on first? 

Did you get an A+ on any of the checklist items? Well done!