Website Structure

Structure #3 – Programs By Life Stage

This structure works well for:

  • Nonprofits that organize their programs by life stage (such as “Early Childhood” and “Adolescence”)
  • Organizations that would rather not maintain a blog (although we strongly recommend you do so)


Programs by Life Stage Website Structure

When using this structure, be sure to:

  • Use Clear Life Stage Names – Since life stages are the organizing principle in this structure, it’s crucial to use language that’s accessible to all of your visitors. Once you’ve developed the names of each life stage, run them by members of your target audience (or even friends with less knowledge of your field). Doing so will help ensure they’re clear to all of your visitors.
  • Avoid Including One Program Page in Multiple Life Stages – This is most problematic if you have a program that spans multiple life stages. However, it can be very confusing for visitors to see the same page in multiple locations in your navigation. To solve this issue, we recommend picking the life stage where the program begins and making that the home for the program. You can always link back to the program page from the content within other life stages.
  • Consider Breaking Large Programs into Multiple Pages – If your program is too large to live in one distinct life stage, you could break the program up into a series of individual pages. For instance, instead of one gigantic “Afterschool Care” program page that spans multiple life stages, you could create individual pages called “Early Childhood Afterschool Care” and “Afterschool Care for Adolescents” to place each within their respective life stage. This also allows you to more concretely outline the details of the program since you don’t have to cover all of the life stages on one page.
  • Adjust the “Get Help” Page Name to Fit Your Audience – Be sure to adjust this language to whatever will resonate with your audience. You could try “Get Support” or “Get Services” if those are a better fit. Just try to keep it fairly short so it doesn’t crowd your navigation.
  • Clearly Highlight Next Steps on Program Pages – On each individual program page, make it clear to your visitors how to take the next step if they’re interested. This could include filling out a form, sending you an email or giving your offices a call. Regardless of what the next step looks like, make it clear and consider a prominent button or call to action so your visitors don’t miss it.