What did you need external support for?
We needed a new website built for two reasons:
- We had a rebrand and new copy that we wanted to implement.
- Our WordPress website was causing us technical problems and costing us quite a lot of money. It was originally ported over from Squarespace.
We also wanted a website that would be easier for us to manage ourselves.
What kind of organisation were you looking for?
We were looking for a digital partner who we could trust, with the right sort of technical expertise.
We were open to new platforms and guidance on technical solutions. It was important that they understood we were a small organisation.
What was your role in trying to find an partner?
Most of the project sat under me. Scoping out the website build. Managing and finding partners. Asking and answering all the questions. Getting proposals in. Planning the launch internally and externally.
My boss was quite involved, especially during the brand stage of it. He was involved with the website build, too.
My first ever job was for a digital agency. They used to build websites. I'm not a technical person, but I know a fair bit. I'd also made a Squarespace website, so I knew a bit about self-managed platforms.
What did you use Dovetail for?
I went through Dovetail and looked at different partner websites and the projects they’d delivered. I looked at guide budget ranges, what sort of developers they were. I was really keen to see non-WordPress options.
I used the shortlist builder, adding a few organisations. I had a couple of agencies that I wanted to reach out to. I liked Good Praxis the most from the list before I'd spoken to them.
Why do you think it’s important to find the right partner?
It’s a big financial and time investment. For charities in particular, working with limited resources.
It's often hard to sell to your bosses or trustees. To make the case for why you need to invest in digital or technical infrastructure.
The right partner helps you get to where you want to be. One of the really good things about the approach we went with (using Wagtail) is it's really easy for us to build new content blocks. We have that flexibility now.
What are your top 3 tips to people at charities who are looking to bring in a partner?
- Scope out different options, especially for website builds. You don't necessarily have to go for a WebPress website. There's a lot of options out there which might be a better fit for you.
- Reach out to people early, so you have a sense of how people like to work, what kind of costings they're proposing, and how that might work with your budget.
- Ask how website maintenance will work. That's really important to think about. What do you want the maintenance to look like? Are you going to be doing it yourself or are you going to be getting an external agency to do ongoing maintenance? Are you going to get them in once a year to do updates, checking how things are going?