Nonprofit WordPress Training
Sometimes, website development just won't fit in the budget—especially if you're a nonprofit organization! But, that doesn't mean that your website management should be forgotten. This is why we offer website training as a service at Trail 9 — so your intern, volunteer, employee, or team can learn how to properly manage and maintain your website while keeping it secure and up-to-date (AND at a much lower cost than hiring a developer).
This year, we've mainly been helping nonprofit clients regain control of their out-of-date WordPress websites. A lot of businesses and organizations can be stubborn about getting help due to the anticipated expense, and that's a pretty typical outlook. But, if you can't afford a professional developer to come in and take care of your website, a much cheaper option is to set aside a day or two of website training, so you'll be able to learn what you need to do to keep your website safe and running smoothly.
The WordPress Training Process
For this year's WordPress clients, we did about four hours of training apiece. First, we made them a how-to guide that they could follow, and then we walked them through the steps of creating new content, like posts and pages. Then, we showed them where their plugins were located and how they could use them. After that came how to properly update the website—including its plugins, themes, and even its core set of WordPress code. Finally, we took a look at what WordPress licensing they were dealing with — what they were paying for and what they weren't — and we showed them some better and cheaper alternatives, which they were free to use if they chose.
For one of the trainee organizations, we helped them set up a development website, which is another name for a test website. Having a development website environment is a best practice when owning a website at all, because you use it for testing anything new you plan on adding to your live website — your production website. Once they had it set up, our trainees were able to test new updates, plugins, content creation, and more on their development website. And, if one of the new additions ends up breaking or crashing the development site, then the production site would not be affected. This is perfect for weeding out bad plugins or finding bugs without crashing or changing your production site.
EVERYONE Can Update (and Everyone Should!)
Having a website that's regularly updated with new content is obviously great for getting found online — more content means better SEO, making you more easily found, so that you can spread your organization's brand and message across the Web. But, the most important reason a website should be updated consistently — ESPECIALLY a WordPress website — is to keep it safe from virtual attacks.
With a lot of nonprofit organizations, the last thing they think about is updating their website. Sometimes, they may have the resources and people to manage it, but it's just not a priority, and it ends up being neglected. And, neglected, out-of-date websites have an increased possibility of being hacked.
Being hacked never brings positive results, but it could be detrimental for a nonprofit organization. First, many of hacked websites are set to automatically send their visitors to other websites they don't mean to go. If your website starts sending unsuspecting visitors to malicious or pornographic websites, then it won't do your image any favors.
Recently, we saw a nonprofit organization that uses Joomla (a popular CMS) to accept their donations. But, their system had been unmanaged for over a year! So, they're accepting donations regularly through their website — hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — with an insecure system. Imagine if someone hacked into that system, copied it, and made it so that THEY got the donations instead of the organization. Not only would the organization miss those donations, but how would they go about getting that money back? How would they explain to their donors what had happened?
Finally, if your website is compromised, it can end up being blacklisted by search engines. In this case, your visitors are warned by Google, or whatever search engine they're using, to keep away from your website if they try to go there. This is definitely bad for a brand's image too, and your website basically becomes unavailable for however long it takes you to fix it and notify Google.
More Training Info
We're mainly talking about WordPress training in this post, but we offer training for all kinds of website skills — anything you want your staff to learn — whether it's WordPress, Drupal, Google Analytics, SEO, Inbound Marketing, or eCommerce.
We offer basic training, training for new members of staff, training refreshers, and training for higher levels of experience — such as using and maintaining newly added functionalities. It can be as simple as how to edit the copyright date on your website's footer, or how to add an SSL certificate to increase your website's security and SEO.
Our training is typically done in two-hour segments, at an hourly cost, and it can last as long as your organization wants it to. We can also provide formal documentation if requested, or we can simply send and print screenshots for you showing step-by-step processes.
If you want more control over your website, contact us or give us a call at (708) 320-8643.