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Your Nonprofit’s Comprehensive Website Maintenance Checklist

nonprofit website maintenance
Courtesy of Hannah Busing on Unsplash.

Maintaining a website is no easy feat; it takes lots of effort to carry out through the year. This is especially true for a nonprofit, already running with limited time and resources. Understanding and planning out the laundry list of website maintenance can be daunting— how often should the analytics be checked, plugins get updated, or site responsiveness be monitored? 

In this blog post, we’ll lay out the weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly maintenance you should plan for your nonprofit website. In addition to planning which types of updates and checkups your website needs regularly, it’s important to view website maintenance from a lens of continuous improvement. A website is an investment for your nonprofit’s marketing strategy, and the strategy should be tweaked and revised to constantly excel. 

Once a Week Maintenance 

  • Find and fix any broken links or 404 errors
    This is a no-brainer— once a week, scan through your website and make sure each page opens and operates correctly. Nothing is more frustrating for a site visitor than trying to navigate a website and coming across a 404 error. Luckily, there are several WordPress plugins, like 404 Solution, that can detect 404 errors and redirect users to a correct URL.
  • Update your nonprofit calendar with community events
    The holidays are approaching, and nonprofits are extra busy this time of year planning for end of year campaigns and holiday community events. Every week, check in on your website’s event calendar to ensure all of your events and volunteer opportunities are marketed properly with the correct dates, times, and links.
  • Read through your contact form box, delete spam comments
    A nonprofit website’s contact form box can be especially busy. It’s important to check on these submissions once a week to filter through the inevitable spam comments and submissions.
  • Ensure your weekly content is optimized for SEO
    If your nonprofit organization publishes weekly content, like blog posts or community updates, ensure that the content is optimized for SEO. We’ve written about this before; in short, to get started, use targeted keywords and write meta descriptions for your content. 

Once a Month Maintenance

  • Test the functionality of your website’s donation form
    The functionality of your nonprofit’s donation form is critical to your online marketing strategy; if the donation form is not loading correctly, operates slowly, or causes any inconveniences to donors, they are less inclined to make donations in the future. It’s good practice to do test runs on the platform once a month.
  • Check website loading speed
    Website speed can impact whether or not a user continues to navigate your nonprofit website, including signing up for volunteer opportunities or making a donation! Your website should run at a loading speed of two to three seconds. If it is running slower, check on site elements that could be slowing it down, like high resolution videos, complicated website design layouts, or other multimedia. 
  • Look in on site analytics KPIs and make adjustments 
    Once a month, take a peek at your nonprofit website’s Google Analytics and see where your website stands in terms of overall website traffic, bounce rates, and average time users are on your site. Take note of unusually higher bounce rates, and what web pages are experiencing this— as part of nonprofit website maintenance, your content may need to be tweaked slightly to curb those bounce rates and keep your website traffic stable. 

Once a Quarter Maintenance 

  • Update images on website with newer ones
    A picture says a thousand words, and it’s important your nonprofit’s visual elements are updated in your quarterly site maintenance. This is a chance to showcase great photos from your community events, volunteer campaigns, and other happenings within your nonprofit community.
  • Review all plugins, discontinue use of ones that aren’t serving your team
    At least once a quarter, check in on your website’s plugins. Do any of them need to be updated? Are there any changes with a plugin that will impact how your site operates? And, while plenty of WordPress website plugins are free to download, a few more advanced plugins may be burning a hole in your nonprofit website’s budget if not used to their full potential.
  • Scan for outdated content
    Resetting a website for a new quarter includes updating important content that may have expired. This includes putting new dates on the nonprofit official calendar, updating any important campaign calls to action, changing necessary contact information if applicable, etc. This is especially important moving from the last quarter of the year to the first of the new year!
  • Test nonprofit website on multiple browsers
    Your nonprofit website should run smoothly on multiple internet browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, etc. Additionally, there should be a smooth user experience on mobile devices as well. Once a quarter, test the way your nonprofit website runs on all internet browsers and take note of any notable changes in experience between the browsers. 

Once a Year Maintenance 

  • Adjust your calendar for the new year
    Your nonprofit website’s calendar is a key asset to help your volunteers, donors, and community members stay on track with your nonprofit happenings through the year. It is essential that it stays updated. In the beginning of each year, plug in your already scheduled campaigns, donor events, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • Update copyright and renew domain name
    At DesignTLC, we build WordPress websites for nonprofits that automatically update the copyright information located in the footer of your website. If your site isn’t automatically making this update, then this is a part of your yearly nonprofit website maintenance. In addition to updating your copyright, ensure your website domain has been renewed or isn’t up for renewal.
  • Make website design goals for the next year!
    As a year carries out, plan to take notes on any website difficulties your team experienced within the year and brainstorm methods to adjust. Is your site in desperate need of a total redesign, or are there smaller changes that can be chunked out into different projects? Make a list of goals for your website in the next year and set out a plan for how to achieve them. Need help developing your plan of action? Reach out to the team at DesignTLC. 

Contact Us

Is your nonprofit website ready for a maintenance plan? Design TLC will be part of your team to keep your website working flawlessly so you can focus on running your business and ensuring its success. Reach out to us today for a FREE 15-minute consultation call!

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