Church Website Wednesdays
After looking at hundreds of church websites, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I am going to attempt in a weekly series to provide tips, ideas and examples to help you better utilize your website as a ministry tool.
I’ve already written several posts about the necessity for a church to have a website. Some of those can be viewed at the links below.
Church Web Presence Checklist
Today, I am going to focus on what content should you put on the website. This is a huge topic and will take several posts, but I will start with an big picture overview.
Your website is one of the most valuable outreach tools available to you outside of the people in your church. Visitors who visit your website should be able to come away with a good idea of who you are, what they can expect from the church and know whether or not your church would be a good fit.
I’ll concede, we all want the people to visit our building before they make up their mind. Unfortunately, in our digital age, the perception is already decided BEFORE they step foot in your door.
[quote align=”center”]So what kind of content should you have on your website?[/quote]
Simple, easy to find and use navigation. I see so many sites that try to cram everything on their home page, in full text, with no pictures. We also see the opposite, nothing on the homepage, almost over simplified. Unfortunately, this is a balance in form and function.
Service Times, Location, Directions, What to Expect. So many churches lack this information. Have all the pertinent information that a visitor would need to know quick and easy to find. When explaining what to expect, be specific. Say something like, “Come in the entrance with the sign above the door, a greeter wil be there, if you go down the hallway, we have donuts and coffee. Our worship center will be to your left, people usually start showing up about 15 minutes before worship, most people sit on the right side near the back.” You won’t believe how meaningful this could be to a visitor that will feel like an insider when they show up.
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures. You can’t go wrong with too many pictures on your site. People want to see your building, see the inside, see people that attend your church. Most of the sites I look at lack in this area. I’d like to get a good idea of the church by looking at their website without having to visit.
Ministry Detail – As much as possible. Show what your ministries are doing, have recap information of past events, explain what is going on currently. This is also a good time to talk about auto facebook and twitter feeds. Having a blog for each ministry is also a good idea.
Staff Pictures and Information – Introduce your staff. They are the people that visitors will look for. Share something about the person, their history but also an anecdote about the person. Also, list where they can be found on Sunday mornings. You wont believe what that could mean to a visitor. Also, does that staff member use facebook or twitter? Have a link to their accounts.
That should get you started. We work with churches everyday to help them establish, maintain and utilize their web presence for their ministry. I’m happy to discuss the many ways we can serve your church.
Next week, we’ll go into a bit more detail about the content of your church’s website.