Digital Toolbox: marketing. How to create a website

This is the second in our Digital Toolbox series. If you haven't read the first one, which will help you determine which software you might need to help you run your social venture more efficiently, click here.

In this instalment of our Digital Toolbox series, we'll look at creating, hosting and designing your website.

1.    Web Development: WIX, WordPress, ThemeForest

The experience you deliver on your website is a window into the type of business you are. Quick loading pages, simple navigation, clear design, compelling content… all these attributes define what visitors think of your organisation within a few seconds of browsing on your site.

Just as you might dress properly to meet a client, partner or investor, you need to pay close attention to the way you present your organisation online and how people interact with it. If it's not already done, you’ll want to develop, host and/or optimize your organisation’s website.

Ideally, you’ll want to own control over updates and changes in order to do them as frequently as needed without incurring extra costs.

www.wix.com is a simple, cost effective and easy to use HTML5 website builder. Once you know your way around the editor and app store you can put together high standard websites fairly quickly.

www.wordpress.com also offers great flexibility of design, free hosting and support services and paired with www.themeforest.net , an extensive directory of themes, you won’t need to spend on a web design agency’s fees.

 

2.    Design: Canva, Pixlr, Moqups, Wistia, 99Designs, Spark, Adobe Cloud

Just like your website experience, design shouldn’t be overlooked when communicating with key stakeholders. Ask yourself if your organisation is visually consistent across platforms and mediums, whether online or offline.

Ask others how they perceive you. In an era where craftsmanship, creativity and uniqueness are constantly celebrated, organisations should regularly monitor the way their brand is perceived to make sure they aren’t outdated.

If you’re looking to attract talent or clients, good design practice will make an impact.

www.canva.com is a much-needed free tool that simplifies the design process. It’s a graphic design tool for non-designers to create info-graphics as well as other presentations, visuals and graphics. Canva has a huge range of images, visuals, layouts, templates, etc… for all of your communication needs.

www.pixlr.com provides free editing, cropping, enhancing and design tools for digital photography and imagery. Web-based and lightweight, it’s an easily accessible way to make great looking images without investing in expensive professional design software.

www.moqups.com is a web app that helps you create and collaborate on wireframes, mockups, diagrams and prototypes. It’s free for one project and let’s you drag and drop elements from a comprehensive library of widgets and smart-shapes to co-create the digital mock-ups you need for starting user interface design or development.

www.wistia.com provides online professional video hosting services and is free up to three videos. It helps SMEs by tracking video performance through its built-in metrics, analytics, and marketing tools. It also has tools for customizing videos and increasing traffic via video SEO.

www.99designs.co.uk runs graphic, logo, or web design competitions, enabling organisations lacking the internal skills with multiple ideas and access to hundreds of designers. To get started, £200 will get you 30 designers creating a logo for you to choose from.

www.spark.adobe.com is a free web based platform from the Adobe that let’s you create social graphics through templates and design filters, magazine style web stories and animated videos. Adobe Creative Cloud is offered at discounted rates for charities through Technology Trust. It is the most popular collection of creative design desktop applications, mobile apps, and services for designing, developing, and publishing graphical, video, audio, and interactive content for print, the web, and mobile devices.

The next instalment in the Digital Toolbox series will cover social media management, search engine optimisation and analytics. It'll be up on the site next week.

This content is brought to you by RBS Social & Community Capital which exists primarily to support charitable organisations (including, but not restricted to, charities, social enterprises and other organisations run for social impact) by providing finance where they are unable to access sufficient mainstream finance. RBS has a strong heritage supporting community-based businesses.

Photo credit: Pexels/Raw Pixel