Which blogging platform is right for your non-profit organization?


We all know that having a website is an important part of any social media strategy, but along with that comes having a blog. Many times these are the same thing, and the blog serves as the main content on the site. Other times, a blog is a supplemental part of a site. Either way, finding the platform that is best for you and your organization is key to blogging success.

Some questions to ask yourself before setting up your blog:

  • Who will be blogging? Will this be a solo or group project?  Different platforms allow multiple authors, which is important to keep in mind. Also, I recommend making one person in charge of editing and layout, which means that person needs to be more knowledgeable on how to make changes.
  • What type of content will you share on the blog? Will it primarily be text, photos, videos, or a combination of all three? You might find after looking at different options that one is more suited to your content.
  • Will the blog serve as your main site or will it supplement your current site? Either way, you need to choose an option that works with you current website, brand and logo.

After thinking though a few of these questions, now the actual research can start on which blog platform is best for you.

WordPress

WordPress is a very popular free blogging platform that powers many of the sites you visit today – this one included. WordPress’ claim to fame is that they make it super easy to get a blog up and running and offer many plug-ins to make the site customizable.

There are two versions of WordPress — WordPress.com and WordPress.org. One might work better for you based on the needs of the blog.

WordPress.com allows you to create a free blog on WordPress’ servers. You get most of the features behind the WordPress platform without having to install it on your own server. While you never have to worry about updating software, your blog might have a domain ending in “WordPress.com”. It is also a social network that people use to follow and read all of the blogs to which they subscribe.

WordPress.org is the full featured free WordPress suite hosted on your own server. It is widely popular due to its ease of use and because it is free. It is easy to use for novice web designers, and it becomes more powerful as the user develops a familiarity with plug-ins or basic html.

There are a plethora of resources out there to build your site using WordPress. A simple google search will lead you in the right direction.

Squarespace

If you want a super easy to build professional looking blog, look no further than Squarespace. Squarespace is not free, but in my opinion it is worth the money. Depending on the plan you choose, you will be given web space, a domain, and an easy to use interface that allows you to customize your site through the simple act of “dragging and dropping”. This provider makes it easy to build a site that doesn’t look like created by a cookie cutter template approach. They also offer the ability to edit code if needed.

Other Options

There are a few other options out there. Tumblr is a social network built around blogging. The audience at Tumblr is on the younger side, but if that’s what you are looking for, it just might be the right place for your organization to share content.

Blogger is Google’s free blogging service and has been around for a long time. It is well-known as a starting place for new bloggers.

Finally, you can always code your own site. However, if you are going to do that, I always think it is best to consult with a professional.

I hope this post got you thinking about which blogging platform is right for your organization. If you currently have a blog, I’d love to hear the pros and cons of the system you are using. Also, if you have any questions on blogging services, I’d be more than happy to answer them using the comment section below!

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About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on July 16, 2012, in Mondays with Marissa, nonprofit, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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