Web design, hosting, internet services

Article modified: January 2022, Author:

Getting the right deal

Many companies do special deals for charities. Unfortunately, there is no standard way of charging or setting up a web facility at present. You need to get a number of companies to quote for the work you want doing. Get them to explain what updating will be done by whom, when, and at what cost, or negotiate this. A clearly out-of-date web site reduces credibility! What time scales are they working to in design, who will be hosting (where your web site data/pages are actually kept) and are they likely to provide a reliable service with enough capacity for the level of interest you hope to generate?

Above all, make sure you get a specification which takes into account your existing IT systems (if any) and every aspect you need to keep it going for at least a year. (For example, could be hidden costs of extra pages above your basic agreement, need for expensive links to ‘upload’ data.)

Use of accessibility criteria and W3 standards is of increasing importance for any organisation.  Open Source software (such as WordPress) is a serious option, reducing basic costs but still usually needing help to implement, tweak design and interface with other systems. Sites like OpenSourceCMS have fairly techie info on the options.

Service Providers

Do it yourself

Web platforms such as WordPress (open source) and Google’s Blogger can enable you to set up your own basic website without specialist input. For best results some techie knowledge still helps.

There are also ‘drag-and-drop’ facilities such as Wix and Weebo, although these have limitatons and may not be fully accessible to all users.

Voice is an “easy-to-use website builder available free of charge to all community, not-for-profit, and voluntary groups in the UK”.

Mainly technical – ISP, hosting, packages

ISP = Internet Service Provider

  • GreenNet provides web services to organisations involved in peace, economic and social justice, human rights, environmental sustainability issues. Broadband, email, web (Drupal) hosting etc. Phone 0845 055 4011 / 020 7065 0935.
  • The Information Works Associated with Co-op Systems, specialising in web databases, web site support and strategy. Unit 4.09 Bondway Business Centre, 71 Bondway, London, SW8 1SQ, phone 020 7793 0677.

Mainly design and development

Also see specialist software developers.

  • Catfish Web Design produces anything from small ‘start-up’ sites to more complex designs with databases, e-commerce and content management systems – conform to W3C web-accessibility guidelines. Can also help with logo design, image branding and internet based marketing. Clients include Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Brain Research Trust, naz project london. Phone 01223 873349.
  • Codeface, a small web solutions agency, has worked with a variety of voluntary organisations. Office 11, Curtis House, 34 Third Avenue,Hove, BN3 2PD.
  • Electric Putty Works predominantly with organisations in the non-profit sector and specialises in creating accessible information based websites using their own content management system.
  • Fat Beehive Done stuff for Action Research, Coin Street. Flexible pricing. Website, consultancy, design, backend, databases, browser testing, hosting, content management systems, e-commerce. 59 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3QQ, phone 020 7739 8704.
  • Frieze Web Design has a policy that “charities pay only what they can afford”. Plenty of experience working with non-profit organisations.
  • GreenNet Design specialise in ‘creating fine web sites for the NGO and non-profit community’. 74-77 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PF, phone 020 7713 1941.
  • Headscape Have worked with Back Care, Butterfly Conservation, CAFOD, Fire Fighters Charity, Aidsmap, National Trust, National Parks, and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and strong on usability and accessibility aspects of web design and development.
  • Hugh Barnard Web design and programming (using open source tools), consultancy and teaching at all levels. Voluntary sector references available. Based in Hackney, East London.
  • Jamkit From simple web sites to complex extranets and mailing lists, with a particular emphasis on usability, accessibility and client control. Customers include Moorfields Eye Hospital, Breast Cancer Care, London Housing Foundation. Phone 020 7549 0520.
  • Jim Byrne Accessible web design, audits and training.
  • Suspire Media A number of charity clients. Phone 020 8521 8505.
  • Un.titled (was tincan) Their portfolio shows that they have produced a number of content management system based web sites for major charities and arts organisations.
  • Torchbox RationalMedia content management system, web-based software such as management information systems and reporting applications, online community building, consultancy, training, managed hosting and support services. Charities and public sector are core areas.
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