If you're still putting out annual reports the old fashioned way—pulling stacks of statistics, rounding up designers, blowing your budget on print copies, etc.—this post might be an eye-opener for you. Not only are annual report websites generally...Read more.
This title is not clickbait. It’s a real problem. It's been more than a year since Drupal 6 was abandoned by the open source Drupal community, leaving major security vulnerabilities in its wake. If it hasn't already cost your organization, it will—...Read more.
Designing a new website, or redesigning your old website, is a large project to undertake. Larger than most people think. According to SME Website Statistic , 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the...Read more.
YouTube videos are an effective way to get your supporters to act. However, until recently, it was hard to get those supporters to do anything after watching a video. Now with YouTube cards, you can drive users to any place on your website or completed donation transactions directly on your YouTube page.Read more.
Drupal or Wordpress: 7 Things to Consider Before Selecting a CMS
Drupal or Wordpress: it is the age old question that Rootid gets from our clients consistently. They both have their strengths and challenges, so we have put together a series of questions to help you decide which content management system may be better for you.
If you Google Drupal vs Wordpress, you will see the full vigor with which this debate rages across the internet. Rootid works in both Wordpress and Drupal, so we are the Switzerland of the debate, so to speak.
Over the years we have come up with a series of questions to help determine the requirements our clients have for their website project. It’s important to note that these are a starting point for the conversation.
Knowing more specifics about your project would be vital in making this decision. Below are some questions that will help you get started.
How many pages will your website have?
Generally speaking, Drupal performs better at larger scales, especially if you have a lot of different types of content (think events, news, press releases, blog posts, etc.).
Though Wordpress has made huge strides in this over the past several years, our opinion is that if you have over 500 pages (this is a recommendation not a hard stop), and you produce content consistently in a lot of different areas, Drupal will do a better job of managing and delivering that content.
On a scale of 1 to 5 how technically savvy would you consider your staff (1 being a technical neophyte)?
Wordpress has a reputation for having a better WYSIWYG editor (think of the interface you use in your email - that’s a WYSIWYG editor). In our opinion that’s true. Though Drupal has made a lot of strides in this area, especially in Drupal 8, Wordpress really takes the cake in this area and therefore is better for less technical teams.
Also, the way that Wordpress allows you to manage layouts on the page using shortcodes, and manage media through their WYSIWYG editor, makes it a better choice for users that might be less technically savvy.
Will you be maintaining the software, or do you have a budget for developers to maintain the site?
Open source software, just like any other software, is really important to keep up to date. Updates help maintain the security and efficiency of your website.
At Rootid, we always recommend that you have a development team run the updates, as sometimes bugs are introduced that need patches applied. Think of it like buying a car - there are continued maintenance costs to make sure your car runs safely and effectively. Build this into your web budget!
If your team does decide to run the updates yourselves, do it on a development server first, if case bugs are introduced.
Generally, if you are going to take on this responsibility, we find Wordpress easier to manage for updates.
How many internal users will be using the site? How many authors vs roles (editor, contributor, member, etc.)?
Though Wordpress does have a lot of plug-ins for building complex user roles on your site, Rootid believes that Drupal manages different roles and users configurations better than Wordpress.
Drupal has the user permissions structure built directly into the core software and can get extremely granular with what users are allowed to do. This allows administrators to fine tune what different users and roles are allowed to do.
Does the site need to be internationalized?
If you need to have a website that can be displayed in multiple languages, Drupal takes the prize. Again, Wordpress does offer a plug-in for internationalization, but we’ve found that Drupal’s internationalization module performs far better than its Wordpress counterpart.
What CRM do you use?
If you want to integrate your CRM into your website, I would recommend that you do deep research on how it integrates into Drupal and Wordpress. Most of the major CRMs, like SalesForce, Sugar, Salsa, etc. integrate into both Drupal and Wordpress on some level. But those integrations are not all created equal.
Be sure to sit down with your internal team, and your web development team to generate clear technical requirements about your integration needs before deciding which CMS is best for you.
I would call this a tie for the two CMS’s, but we bring it up to point out that this could be one of the most influential parts of the decision. So, do your homework! Or, have someone guide your team through a technical requirements discussion.
Is your current website run by a CMS?
If you are currently using Drupal or Wordpress there is a lot of value in keeping a CMS that you currently use. Unless your current CMS is woefully under serving your needs, or it does not align with your vision for the future of the website and your technical needs, we recommend keeping what you have. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” so to speak.
Note that if your looking for a re-development because your business processes aren’t working with your current CMS, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re using the wrong CMS. There are a million different ways to build a workflow in both of these CMS’s, so do your due diligence to put together technical requirements, map out workflows, and assess what is and is not working before making a decision on any tool.
With that in mind, you should know the soft costs associated with re-training your staff and changing your business processes can be a large. It takes a lot of time and company resources to train staff on a new CMS.
Finally, the hard costs of migrating content from one system to another, can also be large if you have a lot of content to move.
Making Your Website a Fundraising Machine
Your CMS is going to be critical to raising donations online. The technology and strategies are always changing the best way to raise money online.
That's why Rootid put together this comprehensive guide to provide simple solutions that help you raise more money. Most are easier than you might think.
If you're still putting out annual reports the old fashioned way—pulling stacks of statistics, rounding up designers, blowing your budget on print copies, etc.—this post might be an eye-opener for you. Not only are annual report websites generally less expensive, they're also easy to fill with impactful media, easy to deliver, and easy to track. Plus, they're much more conscientious of the planet.
Letting your web team produce a professional site for this year's accomplishments could be a great step into the future for your non-profit—but don't take our word for it. Check out these reports from businesses and organizations who've already adopted the process to impressive results:
gridalternatives.org/annual-report-15 GRID Alternatives' adopted an online annual report format a few years ago and now simply updates the stats, graphics and stories each year with new information...saving time and money. Their annual report is styled in a familiar, almost print-like layout.
echoinggreen.org/2014 Echoing Green's 2014 report used floating side navigation to make it easy for visitors to jump to the information they were most interested in.
shopify.com/2013 Shopify's 2013 report summarized their news with an interactive timeline.
mailchimp.com/2012/ MailChimp's 2012 report featured an interactive element that allowed visitors to browse user statistics by demographic.
lemonly.com/2016report Lemonly encouraged visitors to interact with their 2016 report, using a circular beam of "light" to reveal facts.
2016.flama.is/ Flama laid out their 2016 report as a click-through slideshow.
one.org/annualreport/ One's bold use of color and typography combined with compelling photography and language really makes their annual report shine.
Styles may vary, but all successful annual report websites have two things in common: professional presentation and convenience. Sounds like a win, win! Need help with your next Annual Report? Drop us a line!
It's been more than a year since Drupal 6 was abandoned by the open source Drupal community, leaving major security vulnerabilities in its wake. If it hasn't already cost your organization, it will—and in more ways than one.
What Drupal 6 End of Life (EOL) Means
Drupal 6 is open source software, which means it was developed and maintained by a community of developers. Unfortunately, as of February 24th, 2016, that maintenance has come to an end. The software is no longer updated.
Why Drupal 6 Websites Are Vulnerable to Hackers
You and your team have worked hard to build relationships with your supporters. Earning their trust took time—but it will only take a second to lose it.
Due to security vulnerabilities, user information can easily get stolen. Whether it's through form submission or user accounts, your supporters' privacy is at constant risk. In fact, we would venture to say if your Drupal 6 website haven't already been hacked, it's only a matter of time.
Why Drupal 6 Support Is Expensive
If it were just announced that 99% of mechanics would no longer service the type of vehicle you own, what would it mean for you? Your choices would be severely limited, and they would have the freedom to raise their rates exponentially—same thing with Drupal 6.
Open source software is tested by a ton of users, and the best solutions come from group thinking. Once you eliminate that option, you're left with little choice, great expense, and solutions less rigorously tested.
Why Drupal 6 Websites Are Slower
New server operating systems are being developed all the time, but Drupal 6 can’t take advantage of those technologies. Its outdated code won’t “talk” with the new server technology, leaving its users stuck in the past. Let's not forget:
Statistics show you have fewer than 2 seconds to load your site before most users leave. Think of those missed opportunities!
Search rank with Google and Bing are now directly tied to website speed. If your website is slow, you’ll be pushed off of page 1 and attain far less traffic.
How Drupal 6 Harms Your Progress
If you and your staff are constantly forced to deal with website problems by scrambling to find a developer (assuming they will return your call during an emergency), it negatively affects your long-term goals.
With all of your energy addressing emergencies, who has time to create new ideas and strategies that forward your cause?
We know you have enough on your to-do list. Do you need to start your day dealing with an emergency website crash?
Why Now is the Time to Migrate to Drupal 7
You have a choice. Continue running around with your hair on fire, or invest in your digital marketing program.
The process can be involved, but is manageable when you break it into simple steps. That’s why our team has created a four-step process that makes it easy.
The process addresses:
the amount of content and the content structure
the functionality and how pages are built
the design of your website
the Drupal modules
In the end, it’s a choice between your website being a liability or an asset for your organization. As we all know, websites have become a critical part of our brand identities and programmatic goals.
If a short-term investment can save you long-term costs and present more opportunities in the long run, why not go for it?
Successful Website Projects: 4 Things to Discuss BEFORE You Start
In the age of content marketing, control of your website is a must. Your visitors expect fresh content constantly.
Make sure you you get trained on how to manage your website.
Great, I have my obstacles, now what?
It’s important to provide context to the obstacles. Once identified, it’s important to better understand how they contribute to your goals not getting met.
For example: “I spend so much time downloading and uploading CSV’s to our CRM, that I can’t follow-up to thank our donors.”
Know Your Audience
I can’t stress how important this element is:
It’s hard to engage an audience that you don’t fully understand. Take the time to get to know and understand them. Your success counts on it.
Your organization should have a clear description for each audience group your work with and the top 3 things that you want them to do.
Do you know what they do on your site currently?
Do you know what you WANT them to do on your site?
Notice: there is a big difference between what they do, and what you’d like them to do. This is an important distinction.
How do you measure success on our website?
It’s hard to measure if you never set goals.
We find that many people don’t set goals because they don’t want to know if they’re not meeting them. Failure is not celebrated enough.
Failure to meet a goal can be as bad as blowing a goal out of the water because maybe you set your expectations too low.
At the end of the day, you need establish what you’re going to measure and how you’re going to measure it.
How to get started
Getting this conversation started can be difficult, especially in an organization that has a lot of voices to be heard. Here are some keys:
Set expectations that you would like to hear all staff thoughts on these matters, but not all suggestions provided will be implemented on the new website. It’s important to establish this early and often.
Internal surveys can be helpful to facilitate this process.
Make sure to engage senior staff early in the planning process. Getting their buy-in on the project is extremely important.
Download our comprehensive guide that breaks down the technology and strategies into easy to follow steps. The solutions are simpler than you think.
Looking to leverage your awesome YouTube content to drive more donations, newsletter sign-ups and supporter engagement? You can easily add links by using cards and end screens to your YouTube videos.
This tutorial will help you sort out when it's appropriate to choose a card versus an end card, and the rules surrounding how and when you can use them.
Before You Start: Connect Your Website to Your YouTube Account
Before you start this tutorial, it's really important that you connect your website to your YouTube account. If this process isn't complete before you try to add end screens and cards, you won't be able to add them to your video.
This video does NOT cover these instructions, but it's a really easy process. You can find instructions on Google Documentation page.
Choose Donation Cards vs End Screens
One of the things that is brought up in this tutorial is selecting a card over an end screen to drive action.
It's up to you based on your strategy, but here are some clear differences to note:
Donation Cards allow users to make a donation quickly and easily on the screen, whereas an End Screen link would require the user to go to a new screen to complete the transaction.
End Screens require that you have at least one link to another video, channel or playlist, whereas you can have up to 5 cards, and none of them need to link to a video, playlist, channel, etc.
Donation Cards restrict the icon that you include with your call to action, end screens allow you to upload a custom image to your call to action.
If you want users to find your video on your YouTube channel, use donations cards.
If you want users to view your video on your website, use either a link card, or an end screen.
When users click on a donation card, the donation process takes place on YouTube, not on your website. So, you're essentially sending users to complete a donation process off of your website.
So, if you want users to complete the process on your website use a Link Card.
Using Video to Raise More Donations
Video content is becoming more and more common, and we believe is driving the newest wave of content on the web. It increases engagement with supporters and drives a lot of activity.
Content can't do it all by itself though. There are additional strategies that need to be considered to raise more money, and boost online engagement. Download our comprehensive guide to raising more money online and learn more.