The huge range of plugins available within WordPress is one of its key strengths. But with the WordPress Plugin Directory now featuring above 55,000, how on earth can a developer see the wood for the trees and make sound choices for constructing a secure and maintainable site?
Several years ago, Drupal 6 and 7 could probably have been considered the 'best' content management systems available. Of course, by 'best' I am being subjective here and I would have chosen Drupal over Wordpress, Joomla etc because of rigorous code standards, structured yet flexible building tools, configurable administration experience and so on.
If you are planning to rebuild your charity’s website, you are presented with a wide range of technology choices. This can seem bewildering but in point of fact I think you can make your choice by ansering a few simple questions and employing a couple of rules of thumb:
For many years, our go to learning management system (LMS) has been Moodle. Tried and tested, open source and more or less industry standard in the further education and not for profit sectors, Moodle is a sound platform with which to deliver your online learning.
A vital part of looking after your website involves an ongoing analysis of how well it is performing. I think most communications professionals these days spend some time every month looking at the stats. These are often used in reporting to senior management teams. They answer questions such as - how well is our site doing?
Many charities would like to integrate donations & newsletters into their websites. Alongside this, forms integrations can help streamline the process of transferring data between, say, an individual's donation and a record in a CRM.
We have been building sites both in Drupal and Wordpress for many years. That said, Drupal was our ‘go to’ platform. It provided a much greater level of structure both in terms of modelling data requirements and building code. Wordpress was ideal for smaller projects where a restricted budget and speed of development were key.
While well-crafted copy and clarity of messaging are key to your website’s success, it’s true to say that your site can be massively altered by your choice of images. Larger charities or social enterprises may have sizeable budgets for photography (and video) but many smaller charities don’t have this luxury.
It’s all too easy to bury yourself in the detail, but good SEO practices encourage you to look at the big picture as well as the minutiae. You have to keep in mind the tactical approaches to making your page popular and well-indexed by search engines, but spend some time thinking about your site strategy over time.