Why Our Non-profit Chose WordPress
With our organization’s budget, it is often challenging to add a full salaried employee to handle very specific tasks. That is why most of our employees are cross-trained and wear many hats. With that said, we needed a web solution that:
- Was cheap to buy, or better yet, free
- Was cheap to outsource, since we cannot have a dedicated web developer
- Has tons of documentation and support
- Was easy to learn
Yes, we could have gone the straight HTML, PHP, CSS, jQuery route, but that meant that every time we needed to make some minor copy changes, we would potentially have to pay a web developer to do that. Actually, I could do that, but do I have the time to manage all of the sites content and constantly be updating the sites? No. I do not.
Yes, I know there is Joomla and Drupal, and probably some other ones out there that I have not even heard about, but WordPress seems to have the most support and, of course, everyone knows WordPress (at least they say they do). WordPress has a very easy interface to learn and it that makes updating content a breeze. If our orgs website needs the copy updated, I can rest easy knowing that the task can be delegated without having to worry about the site’s code being touched. One less help desk ticket to worry about
Apart from being easy to update the site’s copy, WordPress is extremely extensible and serves as a great framework for, not only websites, but web apps too. For instance, we needed a solution for grant management. Here are some of the things we needed it to do:
- Track grant donor relationships
- Track grant status
- Filter and search by grant status, grant donor name, date, etc.
- The ability to attach files, i.e., grant docs, award letters, etc.
- Use user roles to allow and deny access to specific features
Now, I won’t go into detail about how we made this work, but we did this with minimal plugins and it only took about one week to complete the project, and it works beautifully.
Speaking of plugins, WordPress has so many plugins, it is sickening. Literally… Have you ever looked at a WordPress Admin and seen 1.2 million plugins installed?
But, I digress…
Plugins can make life a lot easier. Almost anything functionality you need, there is most likely a plugin already developed for it. And, most cases, they are free, or really cheap. Example: We wanted to start utilizing online training in the form of using an Learning Management System (LMS). Some companies wanted to charge upwards of $1,500 per month to host online training on their platform. In the non-profit world, nope. Not gonna happen. And, it didn’t happen.
WordPress to the rescue, again.
LearnDash is a complete LMS for a one-time fee of $99. Yep. Uno. Once. No monthly fees. No astronomical prices. Just one low fee, one time. Now, that fits into the scope of our budget. Not to mention, the plugin is not skimping out on any features – it is quite feature rich.
The last major point that led us to choosing WordPress is the fact that there are tons of WordPress developers out there that do great work for a very affordable price. The great thing about this is that I have developed a relationship with a very good WordPress dev team and they understand our projects and who we are as an organization. They work fast and provide excellent results. The best part is that we do not have to assume the overhead of having a dedicated web developer on our staff.
Does your organization use WordPress? If so, how do you think it performs for your orgs needs? Would you ditch it and go to something else? If so, what would you choose?