On this episode of WordPress for Nonprofits, I interview Cindy Leonard.
Who you are and what you do
Cindy works for the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a capacity-building center that offers affordable consulting and educational workshops among other services. Cindy builds websites for nonprofits.
Why use WordPress over another website content management system?
Cindy discovered WordPress after not being satisfied with other content management systems presented at a panel discussion. WordPress met her needs, and years later, it came to run over 25% of the world’s websites!
Describe your web development process and workflow
- Cindy first meets with the nonprofit, preferably in-person, to start things off
- She and the client go through an online card-sorting exercise to help them map out their information architecture
- Then she installs WordPress on whatever host they are using (Cindy prefers DreamHost, who offers free hosting to 501(c)3 organizations) and installs essential plugins
- She then builds a wireframe on paper (note from Andy: this is the most efficient way to do it!), and then builds it into WordPress with content placeholders
- Then the design process is very iterative and collaborative with the nonprofit. The design is done around the content while it is being developed. It is not a rigidly phased, waterfall process of “first design, then development, then content, then launch.” It’s much more agile and collaborative.
- Once everything is ready, Cindy does a pre-launch check which includes making sure all the features work, accessibility testing, mobile device and browser testing, and all other technical checkpoints to make sure the website is launch-ready.
WordPress themes – which ones do you prefer?
Cindy develops strictly on the Genesis Framework. She likes standardizing her development on a framework so that she doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time she develops a new website.
Top plugins recommended
Cindy’s essential plugins
- All in One SEO Pack
- Gravity Forms or Visual Form Builder
- Google XML Sitemaps
- Easy Google Fonts or Use Any Font
- Easy Updates Manager
- Broken Link Checker
- Genesis Favicon Uploader
- Genesis Print Style Plus
- Genesis Simple Edits
Cindy’s optional plugins
Software integrations with WordPress
Contact info and a parting piece of guidance
- Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University
- New personal site with topics including WordPress, nonprofit technology, and life hacks
If your organization lacks a mobile-responsive site, then it’s time to write a grant or start looking for money for a re-design.
Do your updates religiously, including plugins, themes, and WordPress core, to make sure your site is not vulnerable to hackers.
Codecademy helps you learn basic code.