Is the site accomplishing its intended goals?
Ask members of your target audiences to test drive your site by giving them discrete tasks to accomplish. For example, if your site has a goal of generating more letters to state legislators, measure how long it takes a new visitor to find your site’s “email your legislator” tool.
Aim to test the website with at least five users.
There are user testing options for all budgets, even if the budget is zero.
What are your options for testing the site?
For projects that have a budget for testing, you can use online services that let you track and remotely record a few test users’ screens or reactions as they interact with your site. UserTesting.com charges a base rate of $49 per tester and FeedbackArmy.com charges a base rate of $20 for 10 responses from users. You may also be able to work with your web vendor to have them organize small in-person focus groups to gather feedback about your website.
For projects that have no budget for testing, you and your project team may be able to implement a few user tests on your own. You can email your current subscribers and invite them to stop by the office one evening to help the organization by testing the new website in-person. If you’re running out of time, you can email a select group of trusted supporters, such as active volunteers, with a limited number of questions that they can answer as they test the new site from their home or work computers.
This is an excerpt from the 2013 version of The Nonprofit Website Project Handbook.