Working in the progressive non-profit space, our clients often need to make big change on a small budget. They know a top quality website is important, but custom design and development can be a big investment. Sometimes they will say things like “you build a lot of websites, don’t you have some ready-made templates we can use?” It’s a good question to ask, so we thought we should lay out a few considerations to help you decide what is the best fit for your website project.
Custom NationBuilder websites
- You can provide direct input into the design of your site, based on what you know about your target audience (after all, you know them best!).
- A professional design and development team can help create a user experience tailored to your specific campaign objectives.
- As part of a custom build, it is easier to include third-party integrations and other custom functionality you won’t get in a ready-made template. For example, social media streams, shop integrations, advanced page tracking analytics, member-only content, and resource pages.
- You’ll have access to an agency team that can provide more involved support and strategic advice on getting the most out of your website. This is of course a major asset when it comes to optimising your workflows and supporter engagement in NationBuilder.
- It takes longer. Our standard project life-cycle, for example, can be up to 14 weeks for a full website design and development project (although that can be considerably shorter or longer, depending on the size, complexity and urgency of the project).
- It requires more financial investment. Custom website design and development is likely to cost at least six to ten times more than purchasing a ready-made theme.
NationBuilder theme templates
- It is cheaper. In the NationBuilder theme marketplace, for example, you can currently find ready-made themes ranging from USD 200-700 (with varying levels of functionality and support for different page templates).
- It is faster. Once you purchase a theme, you can start the content upload process and have your new site up and running in days (if not hours!)
- You still have all the basics you need to run a campaign.
- Your site won’t be unique.
- Your site will still look great, but it won’t necessarily be the perfect match for your brand, target audience and campaign objectives.
- You won’t be able to add customisations, change page layouts or reorder content.
If you are looking for a unique user experience tailored to your objectives, or otherwise need to create custom workflows for your NationBuilder site, then it is probably worth making the investment and engaging a professional to design and develop a custom website.
If, on the other hand, you want to launch a campaign quickly and cheaply, and only need the nuts and bolts of NationBuilder, then a ready-made theme could be for you.