When building out your different menus one thing you should keep at the forefront of your mind is the user journey. You want to make navigating your website as easy for the user as possible. A couple of good questions to ask yourself when building your menus.
Do you have clear calls to action on your main menu?
You should have at least one clear call to action in your main menu (Give Now, Sponsor Now, Start a Fundraiser, etc). The reason for this being that the main menu is visible across all pages on your site. So, if someone is on a landing page reading up about something you're doing, a program you're running or one of your fundraising campaigns and they feel compelled to give, it should be clear where they can do that.
Do all the menu options scale?
E.g. When looking at your website on mobile, is the menu that your call to action is in (Donate/Store/Sponsor a Child) still visible? Is your cart icon visible so there is a simple way for users to navigate to the checkout? It is a good idea to place the links to these important pages in the Main Menu.
Is there somewhere clear that the user can see to navigate back to the homepage of your website?
If a user has clicked through multiple links and finds themselves on a page they didn't want to get to, is it clear for them to see how to navigate back to the home page? This could be that the logo directs back there (however, not everyone would know to click the logo to go to the home page), so the recommended option would be to place a link in your menu such as 'Home' or 'Return to Home' that links back.
Make sure your navigation words are in a contrasting colour so they are legible
Good quality and correctly sized images are crucial for not only the look and feel of your website but for the load time. If you have huge full-resolution images on your page, it's going to slow down your site substantially. Your home page, in particular, should have compelling images (or videos) that represent your cause. First impressions matter, and this is the first thing they'll see when they visit your site. Some handy tips.
As a general rule of thumb, no images used on your site should be less than 255 pixels wide. You can use 400 x 600 as a rough guideline. If the image is a banner across the top of your page, we recommend no smaller than 1920px wide.
Save at 70 percent image quality - they look the same but load up to 20 times faster.
Rename your images before uploading them so they aren't named some random letter-number combo (or final-FINAL-ACTUALFINAL.png). This is better for SEO and accessibility and looks more professional.
NB: If you don't necessarily have your own imagery, you can find some great free stock images at unsplash.com
Your logo should be clear. If your logo has too much small detail it won't show up well in the small space on the site. Perhaps you have a secondary logo or a variation that is crisp and clear for web.
You may also want to set a separate logo for your mobile view. Something that will work better in a condensed space - perhaps just the logo mark without text.
About Us Page
Include a well written About Us page. Tell your story and connect with your supporters in a human way.
We live in a very social media focussed age, so it's a good idea to have social media icons and links throughout your website. Having social media icons visible encourages engagement and inspires your supporters to take the next action and share about your organization with their friends and family. Some recommended spots to have these visible on your website is in the menu or top bar, in the footer, and on the thank you page that supporters are directed to once they have made a contribution. If you have a blog, it's also great to include these in your blog posts.
In Givecloud we've created another great tool to increase engagement, called 'Impact'. It provides each of your supporters with a unique referral link that they can share on social media and use to track the impact that they are having - this includes seeing how many people have made a contribution using their link and how many people have visited the website via the link they shared! Learn more about this feature here.
Include email signup on your site. Email communication is still the most effective way to convert donors.
You should have any external links (social media, links to other websites, etc) open in a new window so the user doesn't leave your site.
It's also a good idea to check all of your links to make sure they are working correctly and don't lead to any error pages.
For more ways to build trust with your supporters, view our Trustraising blog here.