Setting Up a Website and Email

CEA can support your group to get a website domain, website builder subscription, and custom email addresses for your group at no cost to the organisers. To get a website or email address for your group, work out which of the options below will best suit your group, then contact CEA’s Groups team on groups@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

Should you get a website and custom email?

  • Many groups get by using only Facebook, Meetup.com, and a Gmail address for their group, so your group may not need a website or a personalised email address.

  • If your group is part of a national group, you could instead see whether it’s possible to have a page on your national group’s website and to have email addresses using the national group’s domain.

  • By creating a website and email addresses, you are committing to keeping your website up to date, checking your email regularly, responding to any messages. Local groups are often the first impression people have with the EA community, so it is important this first impression goes well.

  • If there is a point when you no longer wish to update the website or check the email addresses (e.g. the group is dormant), please contact groups@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

Choosing a domain

If you decide to get a website and/or custom email, the first step is to get CEA to register a domain for you.

  1. Find an available domain name - Work out the domain you want e.g. easomewhere.org, easomewhere.com, or effectivealtruism.<yourcountrycode>. Then go on GoDaddy to see if the domain is available and inexpensive. Most domains are <$20 USD per year. CEA is willing to pay a maximum of up to $200 USD/year for a domain.

  2. Contact CEA to register this domain- After finding an available domain name, contact CEA’s Groups team on groups@centreforeffectivealtruism.org to let us know what domain you’d like. We generally prefer for CEA to own the domain because this makes it easier to revive the website and email addresses if a group goes dormant and the logins are lost. We can usually buy the domain for you within 2 working days.

Hosting email addresses

There are two options for hosting the emails:

  1. Multiple email addresses using your registered domain

    • CEA can create multiple email addresses using your registered domain (e.g. info@easomewhere.org, yourname@easomewhere.org, cityname@easomewhere.org), through the mail server Migadu. Migadu is low cost, but it isn’t set up for bulk emailing (i.e. via MailMerge like MailMeteor). To do bulk emailing, use a Gmail account, or use a service like Mailchimp instead.

    • You can use your existing email client (e.g. Gmail) to send and receive from these email addresses (instructions). If you already have a domain, CEA can host your email addresses.

  2. Hosting email addresses yourself

    • You can pay to host your email addresses yourself and then apply for funding from CEA to pay for these.

    • Some groups use Google Workspace (formerly Google Suite) as it has more functionality than Migadu. Google Workspace costs about $6/month per user. This can add up if you aren’t a registered non-profit organisation and you have many different email addresses. Nonetheless, CEA can give groups funding for a few Google Workspace accounts. This also allows you to use Google Docs using those emails, which Migadu emails don't allow for.

Building a website

Step 1: Choose a website builder and buy an account.

You can buy an account by applying for a Groups Support Grant from CEA, using one of the “General Groups Funding” templates to get the money from CEA to pay for this. You may also wish to apply for other group expenses in the same application.

Website Builder Options

Even if you have web development experience in your group, we recommend groups use website builders that only require a low level of skill to maintain content and security. This is so that the website stays up to date and stable over many years. The options we recommend are:

    1. Squarespace

      • Squarespace is a visual editor (so you can edit the website without knowing any coding) that is very popular with EA Groups. Squarespace has many excellent themes you can pick to select the look of your website. Sabrina Chwalek from EA Brown has recently made a Squarespace template for EA groups to use, and we will post it here when it's ready. There is a limited ability for users to change the layout and look of the pages after the theme is chosen, so there is less chance that editors mess up the look of the page! So Squarespace pages are a little less flexible, but they often look very good on all devices.

      • Squarespace’s personal plan (currently 12 USD per month when paying for 12 months) may be suitable for simple websites with one or two editors. If you want extra features such as Mailchimp integration, or have several editors, you can choose the business plan (18 USD per month). You can always upgrade if needed. If you are a student, apply for a subsidised student account, which gives you 50% off your first year.

    2. Wix

      • Wix is another visual editor, which is probably slightly less popular than Squarespace, but much more modifiable. This means it might be a good choice if you have specific desires for your website and have an eye for design. EA Cambridge built their website on Wix, and are happy to send you a duplicate of their website for you to modify. Contact dewi@eacambridge.org.

      • The combo plan (currently 8.50 USD per month) is probably sufficient for most groups. You can get 50% off premium plans if you're a student.

    3. Webflow

      • Webflow also has a visual editor so you can edit the website without knowing any coding. You can either build your website from scratch using a standard Webflow template or by modifying this fully customisable EA group template, which CEA’s Groups team can send you once you’ve created a Webflow account. Webflow is more flexible than Squarespace, but is harder to use. We recommend only using Webflow if you think Squarespace or Wix won’t suit your purpose, and if you're a bit familiar with HTML and CSS.

      • Choose Webflow’s basic account (currently 12 USD per month when paying for 12 months), or a CMS account if you are expecting to host a blog (16 USD per month). If you are a student, you can apply for a highly subsidised Webflow account (90% off!).

    4. WordPress (Not recommended) - Some groups also use WordPress. WordPress has more security issues than Webflow, Wix and Squarespace though, so we don’t recommend it.

Step 2: Build your website!

Some tips:

    1. Have a look at other group websites for inspiration. You can find websites from other groups on the EA Hub.

    2. A variety of editable images and logos can be found here.

    3. If your audience is English speakers, we recommend you only host a small amount of general information about EA, and about the international EA community. Instead link people to your favourite EA pages. This way you have less information to update and maintain.

    4. If you are translating content into your own language to put on the website, CEA can provide advice and connections to help. Contact groups@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

Step 3: Contact CEA's Groups Team.

Once your website is ready, and CEA owns your domain, contact groups@centreforeffectivealtruism.org so we can help you connect your webpage to the domain for your group.