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Your Church Website: the Face of your Congregation

John Gilman July 6, 2016

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Your church website probably isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of maintenance at your church, but in today’s age of ever-changing technology, the image you portray of your body of believers to potential visitors is just as important as the material image people see as they drive by your campus.

Simply having a presence online with a static website is no longer sufficient. You must take a deeper dive. The people who live in your community, whether they are church members or not, expect a certain level of visual appeal and ease-of-use when it comes to the websites they frequently visit, and that bar is set pretty high.

An appealing and well organized website can be an asset of high value to your church. On the contrary, an outdated and/or cluttered website can be the cause of much heartburn and detriment. The latter can portray a lack of concern for your church or show that you don’t put much of a priority in staying with current technology trends. Keep your website simple and clean. A disoriented or confusing site will often hurt more than it helps.

Your website should seek to appeal to two groups.

  • Current members – Those within your church body should be able to use your website to find updates about your church, its ministries, a comprehensive calendar with detailed event information, ways to give online and more. It should also provide current members with a link to the church management software you use so they can update information as needed.
  • Potential Members – For those in your community who do not attend your church, think of your website as the face of your church. First time visitors should be able to easily access contact information, service times, a list of small groups, upcoming events, how to become actively involved in your church and what you are all about.

When thinking about ways to make your existing church website better, or starting from scratch, you’ll need to consider a few steps.

Assess your current functionality.

Is all of your information (service times, address, mission, vision, values) well organized and easy to find? Is all information accurate and up to date? Is your calendar synched to your church management software? It’s always best to evaluate your existing site from the shoes of someone who has very little technology experience. It should be relatively easy for even the most technologically challenged person.

Fix any problems you identify.

Make sure you update out of date information. Fix any grammatical and spelling errors. If not already done, re-organize your home page and use a header, breaking down your church website into multiple areas with clear focuses.

Renovate the user experience on your site.

This is key in terms of keeping people engaged on your site. Do you have pictures? If not, add some. Evaluate your color scheme and make sure it isn’t obnoxious. Use more modern fonts. Yes, it’s time to do away with comic sans. Consider adding links for online giving. Add pastor bios, pictures of their family and a way to get in touch with each staff member via email. Last, but not least, provide links to your social media channels. Many people will choose to engage with you there on a daily basis.

A fully functioning and engaging church website brings your congregation and potential members together in an organized fashion. There should be something for both groups of people on your site. A great site makes it easy on your members to become informed and stay involved. It also makes it easy for potential members to get a firm sense of your church culture and access important information at the click of a button.

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