A pro-bono website and logo redesign helped put this Seattle-area nonprofit ahead of the pack. Woof!
Our team of forever dog-lovers is always looking for ways to give back, so we jumped at the chance to help Greyhound Pets, Inc. (GPI), a Seattle area greyhound rescue group, redesign their website. GPI is a nonprofit doing a wonderful job placing these beautiful animals in loving homes while helping educate the public about the breed.
GPI is run by volunteers who manage their day-to-day operations as well as maintain their website and social media presences. The GPI website is a hub for volunteers, donors, and potential adopters to read the group’s latest news and see the greyhounds ready for adoption. When we first met with GPI, they shared that their website had been long-neglected and was neither a modern design nor mobile-friendly. They had received feedback that their site was difficult to navigate, and although there was a wealth of information and resources on the site, it was challenging for visitors to find what they needed.
We approached this website redesign by:
- assessing their current site
- talking with GPI about a “wish list” for their ideal website
- creating a strategy for on-going website updates and maintenance
Bonus project: GPI expressed interest in making their logo web-friendly and contemporary to fit with their new site design.
Creating Greyhound Pets, Inc.’s New Logo
GPI’s previous logo used the beautiful, custom artwork by local Washington artist Terry Albert. This black and white illustration of two greyhounds had become the nonprofit’s trademark, used on branded items from t-shirts to flyers to booth signs:
When it came to using this logo on the website, however, GPI lacked a consistent version of a logo which incorporated their name:
For GPI’s redesigned logo, our lead designer Oliver interviewed the GPI team to determine what elements to incorporate in the new design. The GPI team shared that they would like to highlight the longevity and history of the organization, founded in 1985. The font choice and distressed insignia were also meant to echo the style of the black and white greyhound illustration.
The result provided a new interpretation of the GPI logo that could easily be incorporated into the website header as well as other collateral going forward.
Greyhounds Pets, Inc. Nonprofit Website Redesign
Goals & Objectives
With GPI’s new logo design in place, we began talking about the outcomes they would like to achieve for their new website.
Some goals for the new site included:
1. The ability to update the site more easily
Updating the old website was a manual and time-consuming process with a single volunteer from GPI’s team as the go-to person to all website-related items.
For the new site, GPI wanted more members of the team to be able to understand and update the following sections:
- “Dog of the Month” listings with pictures and details about a dog available for adoption whom they wished to spotlight
- Rainbow Bridge Memorial Posts for tributes to greyhounds who had passed away
- Blog posts to highlight:
- GPI news
- Special fundraising events
- Volunteer needs and meet-and-greet events
- “Thank you” posts following events and fundraisers
- Important donation requests
2. Using a simpler CMS system: Migrating to WordPress
You already know we’re a big fan of using WordPress. Which is why we recommended that GPI transition from their static HTML-based site to WordPress for the following reasons:
- User-friendly management: GPI needed something that would be easily accessible and suit different levels of technical knowledge. With its WYSIWYG interface, WordPress is the perfect fit for many organizations looking to have multiple non-technical users help maintain the site’s content.
- Multiple users with permission levels: This will allow GPI to add multiple users who can act as editors and authors. These people can quickly and easily contribute to their growing blog content.
- Flexibility & extensibility: In the future GPI can add plugins and use integrations as needed.
Using WordPress also enabled us to widgetize content so that updates were no longer manual and would be consistent. We created custom menu options to allow staff members to update critical parts of the homepage without knowing any HTML or CSS.
Another advantage of WordPress would be taking advantage of plugins to make it simpler for GPI’s non-technical staff to maintain their site. For example, the Beaver Builder and Ninja Forms plugins would allow staff members to use drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editors to update page content and forms.
3. Streamlining information & simplifying navigation
GPI’s previous site contained a wealth of information but suffered from a lack of organization. Pages were simply added on to – making them overly long, complicated and often redundant.
The key to contemporary, effective web design lies in making sites that are intuitive and simple to navigate. The user experience (UX) should lead visitors to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
We started by identifying 3 types of users that would visit GPI’s site and zeroing in on what they each wanted to do:
- Donors – GPI has a number of options to support their organization, including shopping programs, employee match programs, fundraiser drives, etc. We wanted to make it easy for potential donors to find ways to support GPI’s mission.
- Adoptors – GPI regularly lists and updates a third-party site with greyhounds available for adoption. This service needed to be front and center on the site.
- Volunteers – The importance of a robust volunteer program in a nonprofit can’t be understated. GPI has a variety of ways for individuals, groups, and families to get involved helping in their day-to-day tasks as well as with special events. These opportunities needed to be easy to find.
Based on these three audiences, we helped GPI reorganize their new site into three corresponding main “buckets” that were accessible from prominent buttons on the home page and links on the main menu. This made it easy for each of the three primary visitor types to get to what they needed.
Next, we divided other content under two new categories “Learn” (for visitors to read FAQ’s and find local greyhound resources) and “News” (for GPI to post their quarterly newsletter and blog).
The rest of the home page’s design followed this categorization. Since the heart of GPI’s mission is helping greyhounds find loving homes, we gave top billing for a “dog of the month” and a widget showing the most recently added dogs available for adoption. We added widgets for Recent News and Upcoming Events so that visitors could see at a glance what was going on and get involved.
4. Making event information easier to find
Previously, GPI listed upcoming events on three different pages. In the case of an important annual event, there was no way to call special attention to it:
To answer this concern, we created a new “Event Calendar” page:
We added an event feed to the home page as widget to let site visitors know about upcoming events.
5. Making Rainbow Bridge Memorials easier to create
The Rainbow Bridge is a special section of the GPI site for owners to leave memorials and tributes to pets who have passed away. This section of the site has been updated for almost 20 years, with around 100 greyhound listings every year.
The GPI team requested a more efficient way to create these listings, which included the dog’s name, racing name and number, date of birth and date of death.
To make these memorial pages aeasy to update and maintain through the WordPress dashboard, we implemented them as custom post types with custom fields and menus. GPI staff can now create either a regular posting that has the dog’s name and race number or a sponsored tribute with additional information and pictures:
A Nonprofit Website that Works for You
It was our goal to closely collaborate with the GPI team on this website and logo redesign to give them exactly what they were looking for. We value giving our clients a great experience and leaving them with a product that meets their needs uniquely.
Find out how we can help with your next website project. Contact us today to get the conversation started.