Are you thinking of setting up a web site?

TechSoup has a great post about simple low-cost web sites for nonprofits. The whole article is definitely worth reading. In my post, I want to comment on some tips about getting started.

Even if you’re not completely ready to set up your web site, register your domain name. In fact, register multiple domain names! Nonprofits generally use .org and I suggest also buying the .com and .net extensions. There are numerous providers of domain names and one I like (and feel is reputable) is 1and1.com. They only charge $8.00 or so each year.

Evaluating your needs is also an important step before diving right in. Even though someone may recommend an expensive web developer, it does not mean they offer services your nonprofit even needs. What is the goal of your site? Do you want basic (static) information with your name, address, office hours, etc..? Or, is it information that will be constantly changing, such as an event calendar?

Many of the nonprofits I have provided assistance to had their needs met with a basic, “out-of-the-box” solution. These types of sites provide wizards which will walk you through adding pages to your site. The site builder and hosting service with 1and1.com is $60 a year for a basic site.

More people are realizing that blogging platforms such as WordPress can actually work as a website. Take a look at some existing WordPress sites to see which features are available with a blog. This is another way to put up a web site without any programming knowledge.

There are definitely many other considerations, but this is a good way to get started. Remember, buy your domains. It’s okay to hold them even if you’re not going to use them for a while. Also, brainstorm with a few other co-workers or volunteers and decide what you want from your web site.