How Much Should a Web Site Cost?

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Building a Website

Keep in mind two Ps and two Fs

Pain – as you begin the process you have to figure out where the website is essentially failing; what do you need the website to do in order to be the most effective (for the work of staff and for your target audiences).

Understand from stakeholders what causes them the most pain or what needs are not met within your website and try to make it better. Figure out points of crisis/injury and identify points of need.

Passion – there are always a group of people that care about what you’re working on. So you want to tape into that and give voice to the people that are feeling what you’re feeling.

Question – how do you build a sense of shared ownership and, therefore, accountability- that’s a question that you have to ask as you build your online presence.

NOTE- When you tap into their passions - always give people a small amount of ownership and then make them give more. Develop small, well-defined asks.

Fame – weave your base and your community into your narrative. Orgs are in a paradigm where they have to talk about themselves and their successes for funding purposes. How can we turn this around and highlight people in your network that are doing amazing work around the issues that you’re collectively working on. Making people part of your narrative in a noncommittal way through social media gives them “fame” and by default engages them more.

PAIN- Motivation, what are their points of strength and what encourages them. Existential loneliness. PASSION- Tap into by giving people a role in your website. PDF forms. Well defined asks of action. FAME- weave your community into your organizing. Giving communities online fame. Draw attention to what is online. FUN- celebration of life. Convey the joy and emotion in what you're doing.

Make our offline work relevant to our online network. Participate for THEM! So they'll participate for YOU.

At staff meetings thank them for giving feedback. Shared ownership. Get everyone's voices

What are useful bridging activities (for people that have an “offline” and “online” network) – how do make what’s happening offline in your work relevant to your online audience.

If you want people to come to your protest – you better have gone to a couple of protests. Value creation conversation - if you can’t describe the way in which you are giving value to groups in your network, you can’t have the expectation that they will give back and support your needs.

Using the jpeg – posting people’s pictures on the Internet invokes the feeling of getting your name or picture in the local paper. It builds excitement, engagement, ownership.

Fun – you must convey the joy in what you are doing, even when you are working on serious issues. Look for the celebration of life or paint a narrative around what happens when your message/movement works. Build a transactional relationship that highlights the best case scenario and shows what the world can be – based on what actions that you want people to take.

Building a website with your staff

Make it a participatory process that brings in your staff across programs in order to zero in on what they need and what they envision. Use that knowledge to create a website that works. These are the people that are connected to your audience and knows what they are gravitating to and what areas of the website that they use.

Have a process that gets everyone’s voice onto the website and bring their voices out to the fore.

Focus on two phases – creation of content by staff (where you take on the role of being the sole poster) – focus on “content coaching”

Questions/observations that you have to consider when developing blogging/content for website?

Do you want one voice or diversity of voices? How can you make sure your website is consistent with your values composition? How do you ensure consistency and quality – particularly when you have various bloggers? How do you ensure that content is going up regularly and is fresh and timely? How do you make sure that you are engaging your audiences and highlighting them – while still uplifting your work? Pin down your audiences – and make sure that you are speaking to them first. NOTE – you should not have more than three audiences. Create one sentence descriptions or profiles of your audiences and lay out how they relate to the website and how they will go through the website


Q: Which tool do you use? Vertical Response; MailChimp (prettiest templates but hardest to customize templates); Constant Contact; Salsa

It takes a long time – allocate 10-20 hours to do a newsletter but it can take to 3 to 4 days

HTML coding is different in every browser and program (there’s no standard right now) - notice that it will look different and you should test that as much as possible to make sure that it looks how you want it to look.

If you have a long newsletter (longer than two pages) you should have a table of contents at the beginning of the newsletter.

1998 HTML coding/ that is the only type of coding that’s allowed to be used for newsletters and email.

Is the email blasting worth the time? Every email (including newsletters) should be trying to get people to do something and you have to figure out what the ask is behind the email and strategically how you will get that ask in. It’s not a megaphone that you use to tell people how amazing you are.

Keep in mind that a lot people don’t load pictures, so in this case your picture should tell your story – or be the only thing that tells your story – because it might be lost.

Pictures in enewsletter – make sure that it is the size you want it to be BEFORE you upload it into the email.

If you are doing an e-newsletter, pick a really targeted audience (one segment of your list) – and focus on generating your content around them.

Stay above the fold – huge headers are a waste of time.

Try A/B testing with email blasts – try testing your e-newsletter subject title and see which headline was more popular.