Comparing DIY Website Builders for Nonprofits

Website Builders for Nonprofits

In today’s digital age, having a compelling online presence is crucial for nonprofit organizations to effectively communicate their mission, attract donors, and engage with their target audience. Essential to that online presence is a website. However, many starting and small nonprofit do not have the resources to hire professional web designers and developers. That’s where DIY website builders come in, empowering nonprofits to build their own websites without extensive coding knowledge. However, there are several well-known website builders and it can be hard to decide which one is right for your nonprofit. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast four popular DIY website builders for nonprofits: WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify.


WordPress is a versatile and widely used content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. It offers a self-hosted option ( and a hosted option ( There is a lot of flexibility with WordPress that you don’t get with other builders, offering complete control over design and functionality. There is a vast library of free and premium themes, plugins, and integrations available, making it highly customizable. In fact, there is a popular saying “There is an app for that”, in WordPress, just about anything you want to do, there is a plugin for it. 

Even though we champion and use WordPress, we would be doing nonprofits a disservice if we didn’t mention the drawbacks to WordPress. WordPress does require a steeper learning curve compared to other builders. There is also the issues of managing updates and security. The more plugins you have, the more you have to update. If you fail to update your theme or plugins, your site is vulnerable to getting hacked. Luckily, many hosting companies (and other web designers) now offer affordable plans where they take care off the updates for you so you have peace of mind and your time back. 


Squarespace is known for its sleek and visually appealing templates that cater to creative industries. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, making it user-friendly for nonprofits with minimal technical expertise. Squarespace provides reliable hosting and handles maintenance and security. It also integrates with popular fundraising platforms, simplifying the donation process.

There are some drawbacks to Squarespace. Though we did mention the templates they have can have a sleek design, there is a limited number of them. Also the drag-and-drop editor can be every limiting in what you are trying to do. This is all to say that your design choices can be limited. Also, Squarespace has limited third-party integrations compared to WordPress, which may hinder advanced functionality for some nonprofits.


Wix is a beginner-friendly website builder that offers a drag-and-drop editor. Nonprofits can create visually appealing websites without any coding knowledge. Wix provides reliable hosting and takes care of security and maintenance. It offers a variety of nonprofit-specific features like donation forms, event registration, and email marketing. 

In truth though, unless you are putting together a very basic site, Wix can easily get complicated. With our experience with WIx, the drag-and-drop builder is not intuitive to mobile design. You are limited to what you can edit on the mobile version of the website, making designing on WIx feel very clunky. Also, some functionalities may require paid add-ons.


While primarily known as an e-commerce platform, Shopify also caters to nonprofits looking to sell products or merchandise for fundraising purposes. It offers several themes and customization options specifically designed for nonprofits. Shopify provides secure hosting, manages updates, and integrates with various payment gateways. However, for nonprofits that don’t require e-commerce functionality, Shopify may offer more features than necessary, making it potentially more complex to manage.


Choosing the right DIY website builder for your nonprofit depends on your organization’s specific needs and goals. WordPress offers the most flexibility and scalability, making it ideal for nonprofits seeking advanced customization and functionality. Squarespace is a user-friendly option with some suitable templates. Wix is an platform great for creating quick and basic websites. Shopify is a viable choice for nonprofits focusing on e-commerce and fundraising through product sales. Consider your nonprofit’s priorities, budget, and technical expertise before making a decision.

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Chris Hughbanks
Chris Hughbanks

Chris is the owner of Hughbanks Design, a Houston web design and digital marketing company.