How to write a great brief for the redesign of your non-profit website – free template

Do you need to get your organisation’s website redesigned, and are you wondering what should go in the brief for it? You can use our handy free template to develop a comprehensive brief for your website redesign.

The template is a customisable Word document, is free to download and comes with an info sheet about key areas to consider when you’re getting your site redesigned.

A large number of non-profits are stuck with truly dreadful websites. Sometimes it’s because the website was developed a long time ago and the resources needed to update it just haven’t been available. Sometimes, it’s because the agency who created it overlooked some really important considerations, like site speed, or proper conversion tracking. The latter is depressingly common, and very frustrating. Charities can’t be expected to be technical experts on all aspects of website design, and there’s no excuse for agencies not having these key skills in this day and age.

So I’ve developed and refined a briefing document template for website redesign projects, that covers all the important considerations, and it’s available to download for free. Please use and share, and I’d love to hear your feedback on it.

When you’re hiring a web agency or freelance designer for your website redesign, make sure they will support you in all of the following areas:

Tracking and conversions: your site needs to have Google Analytics installed, and ideally Google Tag Manager too. Conversion tracking needs to be set up individually on Analytics for each website. I would immediately rule out any web agency that don’t do this: it’s a core digital skill and has been for a really long time!

Trackable actions: it’s also really important to make sure that every important action on the website, such as donations or email signups, can be fully tracked from start to finish. A pop up modal form might look nice, but they can be difficult to track. Measurement needs to be a key consideration when your site is being designed.

Redirects: when your site is redesigned, some URLs will change. There are lots of links to your website floating around on other sites, emails, social media, etc. If someone clicks on an old link, they should be sent to the updated new page rather than just an error page. Neglecting to set up redirects will affect your search engine performance, your Google Ads and much more. Your agency can do this for you, just make sure it’s in the brief and project plan.

Compliance & security: Your website should be accessible to people with disabilities, have a security certificate and be compliant with the data protection legislation from your jurisdiction. Good web agencies will already be aware of this and know what to do.

Site speed: Slow loading sites are a problem. Most users won’t wait around for them to load, and Google penalises sites that are slow in its search rankings. Site speed tests should be done on the new site to ensure that it’s as fast loading as possible.

Search engine optimisation: search is still the heart of the internet and the biggest driver of traffic. SEO needs to be considered from the outset of the project.

And finally – don’t put a sliding carousel on your homepage! They slow down the site loading time, and people don’t click on them.

Web redesign icon by Freepik on

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