(1). General design principles. Nowadays every website will be viewed on full sized screens, tablet computers and also phones. That means that designs that made sense a few years ago really do not work nowadays. For example, it was once common to have a column down the left or righthand side of the main page with details like addresses and so on. On a phone screen that becomes impossible. As a result we usually only recommend websites that have a menu at the top and that have a full main text and picture area underneath. This website is one example.
Some clients also like Single Page websites, as they can be scrolled through on a phone screen. That can work, though there is a risk that users find it harder to locate relevant content.
(2) Website content. A website is an important part of any organisation’s communications strategy but usually it should be used alongside other tools such as Facebook and Twitter. For example, Facebook is perfect for images that are of momentary interest, and is easily updated by non technical people because many of them use it themselves. Twitter is ideal for engaging in quick responses to fast moving situations.
By contrast, your website should be a place which holds carefully considered descriptions of your aims and strategies, where key images of important events are available, and where people go to find contact details and information about products, services and forthcoming events.
(3) Stock images. Our websites make use of stock photographs and graphics. We use them because it makes a site look more attractive to the eye. We could suggest a serious image showing people in an office, or a lighthearted picture of animals. It is a matter of judgment as to which image suits a particular site.
We will listen to your views and try to find images accordingly, securing your rights to use them on your website without additional charge. Copyright. Please note – we have a licence to use such third party images only on the website we create or maintain for you. You cannot take them and use them elsewhere, in leaflets for example or even on other websites.
(4) Your images. You can of course have your own images on the website. For example, there may be important images of products and services, or of offices or staff. Events are also often recorded, though we always recommend that Facebook is used for those photographs of passing interest, with the website having one or two images just to mark the event.
Please also be aware of some of the newer rules introduced recently, particularly those that require you to get the permission of people who are included in a photograph that is published. Images put on websites are seen for a long time so it is best to be selective when choosing images for your site.
(5) Contact form(s). Most websites like to have a contact form, for example a charity site wants one for volunteers to make contact through. This can be as straightforward as the form on this website, or the form can have additional fields as required.
If you want more than one contact form, that is not a problem.
Social media links. We can add links to Facebook, Twitter and a range of other social media sites.
Shopping baskets. We only advise having a shop on your WordPress website if it is very much a minor addition. If your main intention is to sell goods or services then there are probably better places to start than with a WordPress site. We can suggest on request.
Donation Button. We support the ability to have a ‘Make a donation’ button on your website if appropriate, or campaign information. There are at least five major ways that can be done including dedicated WordPress plugins. We will support whichever route you select.
(6) Email. Most WordPress hosting services provide at least one email account, usually firstname.lastname@example.org. This will be shown on the website in the ‘contact’ section and elsewhere, and also be accessible at a webmail address. It will forward to whatever email account you wish.
Of course, your contact form(s) will go to whichever email address you supply to us.
If you charity has a number of team members then we recommend you might use a service like Google Workspace to supply your email. Usually it also helps to use a different domain name for your web address to the one you use for your email. This will simplify your life considerably over time. Domain names are inexpensive, and the flexibility this approach gives will repay the cost a hundred times over.
Example 1. Use the domain yourorg.co.uk for email, then use yourorg.org.uk for your web address.
Example 2. Use the domain yourorg.co.uk for your email, and then use yourorgweb.co.uk for your web address.
We can advise on available web names.
(7) Page builder. The ‘page builder’ we most commonly use is called WPBakery. The main area of this page is created using this. Linked here are various examples of other features that can be created using WPBakery (a trademark of wpbakery.com).
(a) Accordions. A tool that allows sections to open and close as needed, for use with areas like FAQ pages. Examples of WPBakery accordion structures.
(b) Piecharts, linecharts etc. An easy way to display colourful charts such as pie-charts and line charts. Examples of WPBakery piechart, roundchart, linecharts.