Ligature Made: Affordable Websites for Nonprofits
There’s no doubt that nonprofits need accessible, highly usable, mobile-responsive websites to tell their stories, increase ticket sales, garner donations, and deepen community engagement. But depending on their budget, building a custom solution from the ground up can often be out of reach for many nonprofits.
The massive accessibility gap for those organizations can be insurmountable. It becomes a chicken-and-egg cycle — we need a strong, professional digital presence to raise awareness and funds to support our mission, but we can’t afford to build the website we need because we don’t have the funds available.
Seeing that gap, our team, with our professional backgrounds in performing arts and nonprofit marketing, followed what is our typical digital process to build an affordable web solution for small- to mid-sized nonprofits. The platform, StageHand, is infused with all of our design thinking and expertise and made available for organizations for a fraction of the cost of a fully custom solution.
StageHand is built on WordPress and is highly adaptable to your needs. With a wide variety of content blocks to stack on any page, it’s kinda like building a website with Legos—you choose the shape, the color, how you want to arrange the content to best meet your goals. Content like staff or artist bios are easily created and updated in one place so you never have to double your workload when making edits.
The template was designed with performing arts organizations top of mind, as we deeply understand this industry and its needs from a digital tool. It has robust calendar functionality and a lot of thought behind productions and calls-to-action to buy tickets or donate. But with StageHand’s flexibility in design and wide range of features, it has become a solution for other types of organizations and small businesses. We’re not just being biased when we say it’s awesome!
Digital accessibility is at the forefront of everything we do at Ligature, and StageHand is no exception. We built the template to meet WCAG AA accessibility standards. During setup and training, we will help customize the site to your brand while maintaining these benchmarks.
Solutions like Squarespace or Wix have their place, but there are also challenges that you may not immediately see. Our code is all written custom for this application, which makes search engines like Google happy. Other site builders’ templates look homogenous and as more and more users sign-on, the less custom and professional your site appears to ticket buyers, donors and grantors. Plus, we’re in the backend of StageHand performing monthly maintenance — the value of that ongoing (human!) support, free bug fixes and new-feature updates is exponentially better than you’ll get from any of those other companies who constantly interrupt your podcast.
Whether you’re looking for a permanent fix or just an affordable bandaid option while we build a fully custom website for you, StageHand is the optimal solution. Book a demo and let us show you why we love it!
Check out StageHand in action at:
- Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
- Ars Nova Singers
- Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
- Cherry Creek Theatre
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes this different from other subscription platforms like Squarespace or Wix?
- While these work for very simple websites, StageHand is robust enough to handle all types of content.
- WordPress can handle more plugins and integrations, giving you the most options for customization and added tools.
- We’re always keeping the platform up-to-date and adding new features, which isn’t always the case with different themes and web builders.
- You have easy and direct access to consistent, real people for support.
- With so many users, search engines deprioritize templated sites that reuse the same code over and over (and over and over) again.
What’s the pricing structure?
- There’s a one-time setup fee that includes a website strategy and design consultation with our team as well as a one-on-one training session for you and your team.
- Our monthly maintenance fee is on par with the fees we charge to keep our launched custom sites in proper working order. We understand this may still be out of range for some organizations, and a flex-pricing model may apply to your organization depending on your annual budget.
- There are also various integrations or add-ons (such as content population, copywriting, content strategy) that can be included in your package depending on your needs.
What am I getting for the monthly maintenance subscription?
- Access to the StageHand platform and all its features and content modules.
- Monthly maintenance on the site includes free bug fixes and new-feature updates. We safely test and update plugins before they go live on your site to prevent anything from breaking or crashing the site.
- Secure website hosting and database backups. We cover hosting fees — as well as domain registration fees if you’d like to transfer those.
- Ongoing web consulting and support from a dedicated team of experts with a deep understanding of the needs of nonprofits and small businesses.
- A gorgeous website that’s easy to navigate on any device and accessible to all types of users.
- Annual training to teach new staff, volunteers or board members how to use the site.
- Resource center with videos and tutorials if you forget.