What Does Your Website Say About You?

One of the frequent recommendations we make when we work with struggling sites is to make yourself visible. So many programs are relatively unknown to the surrounding community; getting the word out about available services is really critical. A website is one simple way to make that happen. But does your website really convey the message (or portray the image) you want?

Network for Good had a great recommendation to get a better sense of what your website says about you. Wordle, which allows you to create word clouds by typing in key words or URLs, will display commonly appearing words more prominently than others. You can analyze your word cloud to see where the focus of your site apperas to be:

What does your nonprofit's website say to visitors? If you have an RSS feed you can enter that directly into the Wordle cloud-generator. If not, go ahead and copy and paste your homepage text.

Here are a few examples of red flags to watch out for:

  • A giant "WE" emanating from the center of the cloud
  • A cloud with 1,000 different words (time to edit down!)
  • Prominence of words that do not relate to your core mission and activities

I did this with the NSVRC site, as an example. And I must say, I'm pretty pleased with the cloud it returned (sustainability!):

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