The Internet is a vital communications tool. Web sites and email are important for most organizations that are striving to reach a widely distributed audience in a cost-effective manner.
Many small organizations, especially non-profits, need a site, but don’t have the money to pay professionals. Without a friend that can help, they may get an intern, a volunteer that will work in exchange for experience, a contractor, or use services like GoDaddy’s web site tonight or other template based systems.
Most of these are stop-gap approaches, and some can be extremely expensive.
A great solution is a WordPress blog, hosted by WordPress.
- WordPress is a great application, it is very powerful, and easy to use
- No application management, no security issues to worry about. No server management necessary.
- It is a good value, their premium services are priced fairly
- Great templates, so you can have a professional design, without paying for it. There are so many templates available, it is extremely unlikely anyone will know that you are using an existing template instead of a custom design.
- You can map a domain name to the blog, so it looks like you’re hosting the site.
- email can be run through a different server, the people at WordPress can help you find a good company
- You don’t need a volunteer, contractor, friend, or anyone else to set it up, and it is easy to pass it along to other people
Never forget, you get what you pay for. A volunteer is often someone trying to build up a portfolio. They may have limited skills, and limited experience. Volunteer work will always be pushed aside for paid work - everyone has to eat. People willing to work for low pay are the same - if they could get a job which paid more, they would. Friends are usually more reliable than strangers, but they may have other commitments.
For web projects that are too small for a web company, or don’t have the budget, it is worth considering services such as WordPress, and learning how to handle email on your own. There is little technical skill required and hosting companies are usually very helpful.
If you are concerned that you don’t have the time to set up a WordPress blog or handle the email, remember that even if you have someone help you, you will have to spend time with them to explain what you want. When you want changes, you will have to contact them, then check their work. Investing in learning to do the work yourself will save you time in communicating your needs to others.