Your nonprofit website needs a major overhaul. You’ve got the board on your side, you’ve contacted a few web design companies, and now you have to pick one. But how do you choose a web design company?

The best way to choose a web design company is based on their past experience, skills, cost and communication skills. 

I get that you don’t want to make the wrong choice, since this feels like a big opportunity to make a big impact for your organization, and those don’t come around often. But don’t worry, I’ll show you a few ways to pick a web design company.

What are the most important factors to consider when hiring a web design company?

When hiring a web design company, there are several key factors to consider. 


First, it’s important to find a company with a portfolio of work that you like. A company that demonstrates their ability to create the type of nonprofit website you’re looking for. 


You should also consider the company’s experience and the specific skills they bring to the table. Do they have experience working with nonprofit organizations of similar size?

Process and Communication

It’s important to consider the company’s communication skills, availability, and willingness to work with you throughout the design process. What does their process look like, and how much input do you have throughout it?


Fit is also important. Can you get along with the people you’ll be working with? For nonprofits, alignment is also important. Do they support similar initiatives or share similar interests? The type of service you need also affects the fit. If you’re a grassroots organization just starting out, you might want a more personable approach. A big agency might not be the best idea in this case. 


Lastly, it’s crucial to consider the cost of their services and whether they offer any guarantees or support post-launch. Can your organization afford the project and ongoing costs? 

When is the right time to contact development/​design teams?

When you should contact a web development company depends on how much experience and resources your organization has. How ready is your organization to take on new web projects? Nonprofits often need help starting and carrying out new web projects. 

To start, it’s important to build your case for a new website and start getting your team on board. A web design partner can audit your website to help you understand what needs to be fixed and what opportunities are available. You can use these to justify why a new website is worth it. 

Once you some have support, it’s time to start building a plan. During this stage, a web development team can help create a project roadmap. The roadmap clarifies what you need and what you are trying to accomplish. Other things you should consider and include in your roadmap are:

  • Why this project is important now

  • Current situation and problems 

  • Team involved, roles and responsibilities 

  • What you have already tried

  • What success looks like 

  • Tech specifications of what you’ll need 

  • Appropriate budget

Overview of key steps & milestones in website projects for nonprofits

There are 8 crucial phases to a nonprofit website rebuild. Many organizations who go the DIY route sometimes miss important steps in some or all of these phases, which leads to blown budgets, stretched timelines, and low to no ROIs. So what steps can you expect from a web design company?

  1. Identify the goals and objectives of the website, as well as the target audience.

  2. Conduct research and gather information about the target audience and competitors.

  3. Create a sitemap and wireframes to plan the structure and layout of the website.

  4. Design the user interface and visual elements of the website.

  5. Develop and implement the website, including the front-end and back-end coding.

  6. Test and debug the website to ensure it works properly and is free of errors.

  7. Launch the website and conduct ongoing maintenance and updates as needed.

  8. Conduct continuous improvements based on user feedback and performance in relation to initial goals. 

Throughout the process, the web design team will work closely with you to gather feedback and make adjustments to the design to ensure it meets the client’s needs and goals.

Where does your development/​design team come in?

It depends on your organization when the development team is involved in the process. Identify roles and responsibilities for the project, and see where you need support. Do you have someone who can audit your website? Do you have a graphic/​web designer in the team, but not a developer? Are you able to write content? 

It also depends on the budget for the project and the type of website you are building. If you’re just building your first website or seeking an upgrade on a basic page, chances are you just need a simple website and will skip a lot of the strategy work. In this case, the development team would get involved during the design and development stages. 

If you need a more custom website with specific objectives and integrations, you should involve the development team during the strategy phases. 

What do you need to have sorted BEFORE you start reaching out?

There are some things you need to have before contacting a web design that will help you communicate needs better and allow your project to start on the right foot. 

1. Clear idea of what you want your website to do

It is important to have a clear understanding of the purpose of your website and the goals you want it to achieve.

2. Budget

Determine how much you are willing to spend on your website. This will help you choose a web design company that meets your budget.

3. Timeline

Set a timeline for when you want your website to be completed. This will help you prioritize your needs and ensure the website can be delivered within your desired timeframe.

4. Design preferences

Keep your design preferences in mind and sketch out a rough idea of how you want your website to look. This can include example websites and what you like about them, like colors, fonts, layout, and any specific design elements.

5. Content

Companies can help you organize your content and give you ideas about what to include. Having all the content you want to include on your site before meeting with the web design company will help them understand the scope of your project. 

What does the process usually look like for nonprofits?

The web design process for nonprofits typically follows the same general steps as the process for designing a website for any other type of organization. It may involve some specific considerations, such as the need to incorporate the organization’s branding and mission, and the need to make the website easy to navigate and use for a potentially diverse audience. The process typically involves the following steps:

1. Planning

This is the first step in the web design process, and involves defining the goals and objectives of the website, as well as identifying the target audience and the specific features and functionality that the website will need.

2. Research and strategy 

Once the goals and objectives of the website have been defined, the next step is to conduct research to gather information about the target audience and the competitive landscape, and to develop a strategy for how the website will be designed and built to meet the needs of the target audience.

3. Design

Following the research and strategy phase, the web design team will create wireframes and mockups of the website to visually represent how the website will look and work. This will typically involve working closely with the nonprofit organization to ensure that the design aligns with their goals and objectives, and incorporates their brand and aesthetic.

4. Development

Once the design of the website has been finalized, the web development team will begin building the website, using the wireframes and mockups as a guide. This typically involves coding the website or using a no-code platform, and integrating any necessary features and functionality, such as a contact relationship manager (CRM) or donor management platform.

5. Testing and launch 

Before the website is launched, it will need to be thoroughly tested to ensure it is functioning properly and easy for the target audience to use. 

What questions should you ask a web design company before hiring them?

Some questions to ask a web design company before hiring them include:

  • Can you provide examples of your previous work and explain the design process you used for each project?

  • Do you have experience creating websites for nonprofits?

  • How will you ensure the website is user-friendly and easy to navigate?

  • Can you provide references or testimonials from previous clients?

  • What is your approach to working with clients and gathering feedback during the design process?

  • What is your timeline for completing the project, and can you provide a schedule for the various stages of the design process?

  • What is your approach to search engine optimization (SEO) and ensuring that the website is easily discoverable by search engines?

  • Will you provide training on how to update and maintain the website once it’s launched?

  • Do you offer any guarantees or support post-launch?

  • What do they use to create the website? Do you use a content management system to power your websites?

  • How does the look and feel of the website created? Is it a template or custom? 

  • Can you integrate the new website with third-party platforms like CRM, event management, or online payment tools?

  • Who will be working on the site, and can I meet them?

  • How do they handle changes? Do you offer ongoing maintenance and security updates for the website?

Ready to get your website build underway? Let’s go! 

When choosing a web design agency, it’s important to consider a few key factors to ensure that you select the right agency for your needs. First, look for an agency experienced in designing websites for nonprofits like yours to ensure they can design a website that meets your needs. Second, look for an agency with a clear process for working with clients, so you know what to expect during web design. Lastly, seek an agency with a track record of delivering high-quality, easy-to-use websites that meet their goals. 

At Bound State Software, we specialize in creating beautiful, user-friendly websites that help nonprofits stand out online. Our experienced team will work closely with you to understand your goals and create a unique website that showcases your brand and drives results. Whether you’re looking to build a new website from scratch or update your existing site, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can support your online presence.