Website Creator Workshop for nonprofits

Are you responsible for your nonprofit’s website? Does your site need an overhaul? If your answers are yes and yes, keep reading!

Do you need a new website that you can manage – that’s within your budget? Here you go …

If your website: (select all that apply)

AND if your organization receives over $10,000 in donations, dues or volunteer hours each year …

I have the solution to make your life easier.

Who am I, and why should you listen to me?

My name is Leslie Smith, and I own Heron Design (you can learn more about me here, here, and here). For the last 30 years, I’ve worked in nonprofit marketing and communications, both as staff and outside consultant. I founded my own company in 2001, and have provided graphic and web design services to clients – mostly small to medium-sized non-profits – for the past 17 years.

For the past 12 years, I’ve designed websites almost exclusively in WordPress. It is the content management system standard that all other websites and blogs are compared to. It is flexible, mobile-ready, SEO-friendly, and secure.

WordPress is often touted as easy to set up, and even simpler to learn. That’s just not true. (I’ve coded websites since the Internet first became a ‘thing,’ and I’m an expert in php and html, yet there were times early on that I struggled to make WordPress look the way I wanted.) If you don’t have a basic understanding of html and php, creating a WordPress site with any kind of custom look can be incredibly frustrating.

I love weaving a client’s look and branding into a custom WordPress website. However, our custom websites typically run between $4,200 and $10,000. Most small and mid-sized nonprofits don’t have the budget for that. Heron Design isn’t above the ‘norm’ in our costs for website design: Here are screenshots from other companies, with links to their articles/websites.

As a solution, I developed the Website Creator Workshop for Nonprofits.

The Website Creator Workshop for Nonprofits is:

  • Better than a custom-designed website:  In addition to saving you up to 90% of the upfront cost, when your website goes live, we’ve coached you through adding every bit of your content. So when you need to change something, you’ve got the skills to handle it.
  • Better than doing it (by) yourself: I have a system – developed over two decades of building websites – to walk you through creating and gathering your content while my team and I work on your look and the technical side of things. Think of it as we’re taking out the sharp edges. (No more running with scissors for you.)
  • Better than the status quo: Your website is a reflection of your organization. A dynamic professional website reassures your audience that you are dynamic and forward-thinking. A cluttered, out-of-date website … well, you get the picture.
  • Better than relying on volunteers: Relying on volunteers to build your website is like having your brother-in-law build your house. If your brother-in-law is a builder, you’re in luck. Otherwise, you’re eventually gonna need a repairman. And an electrician. And a plumber. And a lot of patience. In the long run, are you really saving any money?
  • Better than relying on social media: If your entire online presence is on social media, you’re not the captain of your own ship. A website that allows you to create the look for your information, direct visitors’ paths through your pages, manage online discussions, and gather information from your audience puts you in control of your message.

If you can:

(1) Copy this:

(2) Paste it here:

(3) And Click This Button

Congratulations! You can successfully build a custom professional website in our workshop.

The August 28 Workshop Closes in


Reserve your spot!

Our next workshop starts Tuesday, August 28

Secure my spot!

A Screenshot Is Worth 1,000 Words

I can teach anyone to use WordPress to keep your website content up to date. Here are examples of WordPress websites I’ve built – and taught their owners to maintain – this year:

“Truths” I’ve Learned From Over 20 Years of Creating Websites

  • That little green lock icon in your browser window is displayed if you have an SSL certificate installed on your website. And yes, you absolutely need it, both for your website visitors’ peace of mind and for SEO. SSL Certificates are free on our websites (and installing your SSL Certificate is one of the technical ‘sharp edges’ that we handle for you).
  • Do you really need a 100+ person focus group to test your website? If you have a $25k website design budget, sure, it’s beneficial. But the truth is you can use free Google Analytics reports to track the way visitors move through your website, and make adjustments, if needed, based on that.
  • Html, php and css are just parts of coding language. Once you learn the basic semantic structure, they make sense. We’ve got an optional HTML Primer Session (included in the Workshop) if you want to customize your pages beyond the structure we provide.
  • The biggest truth most web designers won’t tell you: Building a website isn’t rocket science. Take away the technical jargon, follow the process we’ve created, and it’s easy. If you are passionate about your organization’s mission, and can put that into a story, we can help you craft your content and turn that into a website that reaches your goals.

There are two ways to put a value on the cost of building a website: actual dollars and your time.

  • The time it takes to build a custom website varies greatly, and estimates range from six hours to 100+. For our exercise, let’s assume you’re somewhere in the middle in terms of coding ability, and that it’ll take you 55 hours to build your website. What is the value of your time – not what you are paid, but what you generate? Multiply your hourly value by 55 = that’s the true cost of building a website in WordPress, from scratch, to match your organization’s branding.
  • Add in the time it will take you to keep your website up to date. WordPress software and plugins absolutely must be kept up to date for security, and you’ll need to test your site after each update to make sure everything still works properly.
  • Don’t forget to include time spent troubleshooting if you accidentally break something. That’s probably the biggest cost of DIY.
  • Let’s estimate that all of the above, conservatively, takes 70 hours the first year you DIY your website:

Of course, the ‘easy’ way is to pay for custom web design. A fully custom-designed website can easily cost a mid-sized nonprofit $10,000, plus ongoing monthly hosting and content update charges.


The cost of our workshop?

$900 

Plus ongoing monthly web support & hosting charges

That’s a fraction of the cost of a full-blown custom website design, or your time to learn to build a DIY site. And at the end of the Workshop, you’ll have the skills needed to keep your content up to date.

Our next workshop starts Tuesday, August 28

Secure my spot today!

Web Support & Hosting Packages

Do We Have to Buy Web Hosting from Heron Design?

Short answer: yes.

Why? A website is a living document – and it needs attention to keep it secure, and looking great. We offer that attention: every week, we’ll scan your site for WordPress code and plugins that need to be updated and check for any ‘mischievous’ code that might have crept in through an unlocked door.

Creating your website in this Workshop is a fraction of the cost of custom design, and that cost is offset by the hosting income we receive from these sites. We do offer custom website design for clients that can be moved to another web host provider.

We don’t require a contract – if you aren’t satisfied you don’t have to continue to host your website with us – but you can’t take the website files created in the Workshop to another web hosting provider.

Our basic web hosting package is $49/month. This includes:

  • ANYTHING-web-related support for you – if you get stuck or need help/advice, we’re here for you. (And if we can’t explain how to solve your problem, we’ll fix it for you.)
  • 30 emails @yourdomain.org with cloud-based IMAP accounts
  • Unlimited email aliases @yourdomain.com that forward to ‘real’ email accounts
  • Blazing fast server speeds – up to 20x faster than comparable hosting packages
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • WordPress code and plugin updates
  • Secured with an SSL Certificate from CloudFlare
  • Regular site backups
  • How-to tutorials in your admin area for everything you’ll need to update your website content
Always short on time? We can help you keep your content updated, all year round or just in your busiest season: everything from your calendar to optimizing your images to posting/scheduling your latest blog entry.

Managed Content Website Hosting – Bi-Weekly Updates

  • $124/month: everything in our basic hosting package, plus we’ll check in with you every other week for website updates

Managed Content Website Hosting – Weekly Updates

  • $250/month: everything in our basic hosting package, plus we’ll check in with you every week for website updates

How Long Does It Take?

The Website Creator Workshop for Nonprofits is a work at your own pace program.

The process can go as slow or as fast as you need it to; the typical website takes about six weeks to create.

Our system – developed through two decades of building websites and three decades of working with nonprofits – takes you from Concept to Live and beyond. You’ll have Content Worksheets, Writing Prompts and resources to help you generate and gather your content while we develop your look and set up your website.

Once you’ve approved your color palette, fonts and layout and completed your Content Worksheets, it all comes together during online coaching sessions where we walk you through every step of adding content to your site.

When the site is ready, we’ll work with you to point your domain to our server – or do it for you if you’re technically-challenged – and then your site will be live.

And in the end, you’ll have a new, custom-made, professional, dynamic, beautiful website that engages your audience and helps your organization reach your goals.

A Guarantee

I believe I can help ANYONE create a website. But sometimes things happen, and I understand.

If you sign up for the workshop, give it three weeks of honest effort, and then decide that it’s not the best way to build your organization’s website, all you have to do is email me, and I’ll refund 100% of your money.

I’m taking a risk by doing this: three weeks in, you’ll have all our Content Worksheets, Writing Prompts and the color palettes, fonts and layouts that we recommend to best represent your organization. You could sign up for the workshop just to steal free consulting for your nonprofit, and rip me off. But I believe most people are honest. I’m going to trust that you – a nonprofit professional – aren’t going to do that to me. So, I’m offering you a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

And a Gift

The first thing I look at when working with a new client is their logo.

Over half of the nonprofits I’ve worked with have sent me logos that weren’t in a format that works well on a website – for example: jpegs with a solid white background, creating the dreaded ‘white box’ effect in an otherwise beautiful website header. Or an almost (but not quite) clear scan of a hand-drawn logo. Or the wrong size. Or worse: four different-but-similar versions of a logo, and the executive director or board wants to use parts of each.

If your logo isn’t in tip-top shape as a crystal-clear non-pixelated perfect-header-size transparent .png, I’ll redraw it for you.

Normally I charge $200 for this service, but if you sign up today, I’ll clean up your logo for free, so that you have the best possible start for your Workshop.

Our next workshop starts Tuesday, August 28

To secure your spot in the next workshop, click on the button below. A $300 refundable deposit holds your spot; the remainder is due by noon on Friday, Aug. 24.

Secure my spot!

Need more time to decide?

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Keep Me Posted

P.S. Why does your nonprofit exist? Don’t you owe it to your cause to do everything you can to further your mission and reach your goals?

A professionally designed, dynamic website that connects with your audience will help you reach your goals.

And it is within your reach. Our Website Creator Workshop for Nonprofits will help you create a website that has your audience asking “How can I help?”

Trust our process: sign up today to get $150 off, and I’ll clean up your logo – for free – as my gift to you.

Questions, or just want to talk to me before signing up? No problem. Email me and we’ll set up a time to talk.