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Developing for Non-Profits

10:16 pm on Jan 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi and thank you for providing a forum for us new ones to come in and absorb the wealth and experience of the rest of you. (sorry for the long post, feel free to skip to the bold if needed)

I've done some volunteer work on the sparked website for some organizations and really enjoyed the hours I put in there. I'd like to also do it at a more local level and help non-profits in my area get exposure. Sorry, but just wanted to let you know how I got here.

I don't have any friends in the industry, at all, so I pretty much use sites like this one (awesome btw) and youtube to teach me everything. I've learned the basics of WP, Gimp, FTP and a few other things that I've used. So my asking here is motivated especially from the fact that I do NOT want to let any non-profit organizations down by using a bad software choice or technique.

Here's what I use/do:
Host: 1and1 (cheapest renewal rate from what I've seen; they lack cpanel, but I learned to manually install WP) Do you guys recommend someone else?
I don't buy any extras, like private SSL. Is that okay/safe for my clients? I'm leaving all the WP user/registration/comments settings on default.
Plug-ins: PROPER contact form, Slick Contact Forms, Testimonial Basics, Wordpress SEO (Joost)

I'm sorry for the long post, and I know that there are so many holes that you can find here. And really, this is why I came. I'd rather get flamed here and later avoid a client getting hacked or missing out on something very important.

Thank you very much for your time. -John
1:17 am on Jan 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld ark215j!

Been there and still doing that since mid 2004 or so. I have 3 non-profits and a forth coming onboard this week.

If you look around there are a few very low cost (less than $5 US a month) cPanel hosts out there. It takes time to sift thru all the false webhosting review sites put up by some of them to find the gems. I would get a second hosting company so if your first choice goes down for a long time you can do a quick switch.

The only 'extra' I have ever considered mandatory is a domain as non-profit.example.com looks so unprofessional.

I'm not a fan of too many plugins as they slow down a site, esp if they all load multiple versions of the same js. Simple can still be good :-)

A plus to your situation is you can turn on a dime and test new things much easier than a team site.
2:59 am on Jan 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks so much for the response. I will continue to look for those hosts you speak of. And you are SO right, there are so many false review sites to sift thru. wow.
8:38 pm on Jan 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It's not clear whether you're hosting the sites for your clients, or whether they have their own accounts. Because many hosts these days let you put lots and lots of domains on a single account. So for $9/mo. or so, you could host a mess of sites for your clients as a service.