Investing time and money into a website is a simple decision for a lot of organisations around the world, including NGOs based in high income economies. 
Even local NGOs in low income countries can benefit from having a website. It helps them look more professional to donors and partners, gives them a useful communication channel, and creating websites has gotten substantially easier over recent years (and will continue to do so).
The first question to ask yourself is why do you need a website for your organisation? You know, beyond that it is being recommended in this article. What are the objectives / goals of the website… what is it meant to achieve? Examples here can range from a very simple website with an about page and contact details, all the way up to a website with program updates, stakeholder communications and the ability to accept donations. The decision on objectives will also need to take into account how much money and time you want to spend.


Websites can be one of the greatest tools for a business, but if you go down a path that is not a good match for your purpose and budget it can be an expensive and time consuming nightmare. Buying a website can be tricky, simply because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know and that can make it difficult to ask the right questions. So to help you out and get you oriented we have put together this awesome guide of what you must know before choosing a web design company.

1. Is the web company established and experienced?

It’s importantto find a web design company that has experience. You can measure this in years, number of clients and also through the quality their web design portfolio.

Years in business indicates that the web design company is a stable and successful business and that they will be able to competently work with your business for the long term. Number of clients indicates that the company should be very familiar with the full spectrum of website projects and won’t take on a project that they don’t have the experience in completing. It also indicates that they have had the opportunity to iron out their work processes and are familiar with deadlines and time frames.

Three important questions to ask are:

  • How long has the company been designing and developing websites?
  • How many clients do they have?
  • How many employees do they have?


According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses – and if the vast majority of your potential customers are online, you should be, too. Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, no matter what size your business is or what industry it belongs to.

An online presence is important for outbound marketing because it reinforces your brand and what you offer to your target market. Once you’ve communicated with your audience, you’ll need to have a web presence that helps portray why your product or service is so great – because that’s the next stop for the majority of your potential customers.

It’s also vital for inbound marketing, because quality online content will help attract customers even if they haven’t heard of your brand.

So here are three of the first things you need to look at when building your online marketing efforts.


Whenever there is a need for inter-linking hugely databases to generate database driven websites, web programmers or web developers unanimously agree on using PHP programming or ASP.Net programming. ASP ( Active-server-pages) and PHP ( Hyper text preprocessor) are considered as the two most popular and standard web programming languages because of their unique advantages over other web development languages. Both ASP.Net and PHP are developed to provide support to dynamic database driven websites. ASP.Net works smoothly on Microsoft products and it can be used with only IIS (Internet Information Server); whereas PHP can be run on any kind of platform as well as it can be connected with different types of databases.
ASP.Net is comparatively new programming language which was launched in 2002 by Microsoft. This web development language is best for building web applications, web services and dynamic websites. On the other hand PHP was launched in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf. It is an open source software and it can be downloaded for free under the PHP license. PHP and ASP.Net have some other differences too, which are elaborated below:
Database Compatibility
As PHP uses MySQL for the purpose of database connectivity, it is highly flexible in nature. Another important fact is that it will incur extra expenditure because MySQL can be accessed for free. Whereas, ASP.Net uses MS-SQL for connecting database but MS-SQL can not be availed free from Microsoft.
Linux can be used for running PHP programs and Linux is free operating system. Therefore, the cost of developing a website in PHP language is remarkably low. On the other hand, you need to install Internet Information Server (IIS)on a Windows server platform if you want to run ASP.Net program. As Windows server platform is not a free product, the cost of production is bounded to be increased.
General Run Time
It has been observed that ASP.Net code runs slower than PHP code. This is because ASP.Net utilizes server space while running whereas inbuilt memory space is used by PHP while running.
Coding Simplicity
ASP.Net codes are somewhat complicated and a web developer needs to work hard to get the hang of it. But PHP codes are very simple and a programmer does not have to make a diligent effort because it is comparatively easier than other types of programming languages.
Platform Connectivity Issue
ASP codes are usually run on Windows platforms but if you install ASP-Apache in the server than it can run on Linux platform as well. PHP has a unique advantage in this issue. Its codes can be linked with different types of platforms such as Windows, Linux and UNIX.
Cost of Tools
PHP codes are available for free in various forums and blogs as it is a open source software. Furthermore, some useful tools that can be used in PHP are also available for free. However, no such free tools are available for ASP.Net.
Background Language Support
The codes that are used in PHP are very much similar to that of C++ language and its syntax resembles the syntax used in C and C++. Therefore, if you have a fair knowledge in C++ or C, you will not face any difficulty while coding PHP language. However, the syntax of ASP is more or less similar to that of Visual basic syntax and this is all but simple.
Though PHP can offer enough measures for ensuring data security, ASP. Net is reputed for creating sophisticated techniques to ensure the safety of confidential data. This is the reason why government organizations opt for ASP.Net.

Content Management System (CMS) allows publishing, editing and modifying the content of a website from a central interface to all the authorized users. It also enables your website to stay fresh with page updates and gives search engine optimization.

Let’s go to 1990’s which in terms of internet is an era of brand experience; where managing the content of a website without adequate knowledge of HTML was impossible. In less than a decade, the old age Content Management System has graduated to WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) text editing; advanced HTML, advanced search and the addition of features like survey tools and podcasts makes CMS a powerful tool.

The CMS has evolved from the period mentioned above, to such a stage where it is more collaborative. Website development was looked upon as a software professional’s forte in early stages but now horizon has expanded bringing designers, coders and content writers under it.

With all the advancement, the real purpose of Content Management System is to publish information on the website. Its functionality ranges from having a few features to more complex and powerful utilities.
Types of CMS Websites

Some of the different types of CMS websites are as follows:

    Web Content Management System: Used where a standalone application is required to create, manage, store and organize the website content. Web content may have photos, videos, audios and text to interact with users. Indexing, assembling the content at runtime and delivering the requested content to the user are the three main functionalities of Web Content Management System. Web CMS is a boon to non-technical users as it enables them to edit their website without actually knowing hardcoding.
    Component Content Management System: Content here is more structured and is called as a component. Every component has its own lifecycle of Authoring, Versioning, Approving and Using. In addition to versioning, Component Content Management System helps tracking relationships of the content like graphics, text etc. with each other.
    Enterprise Content Management System: As the name suggests Enterprise Content Management System, deals with huge data, primarily of bigger enterprises. It involves organizing day to day documents of an enterprise through structured methodology. The content management application which is one of the parts of Enterprise Content Management System helps the user to add, modify and remove the content without practical intervention of web administrator. The content delivery application gathers the information, compiles it and displays it on the website.

Main Advantages of CMS Website

Some of the advantages of using CMS website are as follows:

    Centralized System: A Centralized system brings all your data under one section which serves as centralized repository. Without any such system, the data might get scattered resulting in redundancy.
    Accuracy: All the content in CMS has to be stored only once, which can be reused multiple times, giving flexibility of usage. Additionally, CMS keeps track of content reuse and relevant updates to the content if any, thus, keeping the content updated and accurate.
    Secured Usage: By assigning user privileges, it is easy to keep the data secure through which only authorized people are allowed to edit the content.
    SEO friendly: Best practices for search engine optimization like meaningful URL’s, inclusion of page titles, correct metadata etc. are prevalent with the use of CMS.
    Low Cost: Some Content Management Platforms like Drupal, WordPress, Joomla! are open source while for others minimal cost can be incurred.

Designing CMS

Designing of CMS website is like Architectural designing. It needs utmost planning and foresightedness thus bringing challenges for designers.

For static website, the content is published just once, wherein for CMS enabled dynamic website content might get published again and again, so it is important for the designer to be seeing at the bigger picture.
Designing Navigation

Navigational design plays an important role in design of CMS website. While designing, user’s point of view should also be taken into consideration along with the ease of operation. Ultimately all the navigational design should adapt to the dynamic content environment.
Designing Layout

In CMS website, the content or the data is structured and dynamic. Each designer may have different ways of bringing in the harmony of design and content. Creativity at its best serving structured dynamism of the website is what is expected out of a CMS designer.
Developing CMS Website

Web portals like B2B, B2C, Real Estate, e-Commerce, Online Travel etc can be developed or customized using open source CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla!, Magento etc., it can also be developed using a core technology like PHP.
Choosing the Right CMS

Any good CMS should be easy and quick to install. Having a very effective user friendly interface, it should allow the use of extended CMS functionality if required. Easy modification to the GUI should be possible through templates.

Knowing the pulse of the industry, the end user and trusting your instincts are some of the important factors for choosing the right CMS.

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