church website guide

Good church website guide

Are you hoping to build a good church website or maybe improve an existing one? Here’s some tips to consider when planning your next project in order to make a good church website.

A good church website, tells the truth

If your church has a regular attendance of 50 don’t exaggerate things to make it sounds like you have 500 (or even 100 for that matter). This is not a good start to creating a good church website. The words and figures you place on your site will be taken as truth. The last thing you want is visitors experiencing one church online and another church in reality. This will instantly turn people away firstly because it’s not what they expected but also because you misled them. This principle goes right across the board from worship style and dress code to pastor bio’s. It’s very temping to make things sound bigger and more professional but resist the urge, it won’t work in the long-run. Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.

Navigate is key

The most critical part on any website is the navigation, if people can’t find information easily they will leave. Think about the main menu on your site, groups into sections of relevant information. Do all the major aspects of church life such as home groups and kids ministry have their own page which people can access in 2 clicks? It’s really quite simple but too often overlooked, make your menus clean, clear and concise and your half way there to a good church website.

Cover all the bases for potential first time attendees

Many visitors to your site will be regular church attendees but the majority of visitors will be people outside of your church family looking for information. What time does the service start? Is there a ministry for my kids during the service? What should I wear? These are the questions people ask. In order to put potential visitors at ease answer these questions in a clear and organized way. Word your answers in such a way that people feel welcomed and put them at ease about visiting. The best way to do this is by creating an ‘I’m New’ page on your site. A good church website will always attract people to attend church.

Fresh Content is your friend

One of my biggest pet-hates is out-of-date websites. There’s nothing worse than visiting a site month after month and nothing changes. I’m not suggesting that you change the design of your site every month but consider a new banner image on a regular basis. If users see a fresh image on the homepage most of the time they will wonder if anything else has changed. From another point of view, always update the important information. If your Sunday services moves from 11am to 10am, update your content. If you have a new pastor, remove the old one immediately and replace him with the new pastor. As I said earlier people take websites as truth, if you want a good church website it’s critical that all the information is up-to-date and reflects the real church experience.

Make it Social

The greatest online tool for a church other than it’s website is it’s social media activity. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to easily inform people of what’s taking place in church life. Make the most of these free resources, link your website to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Display feeds from those social sites on your own homepage. Through smart use of social media you can connect with thousands of people which would never normally interact with your church. A good church website doesn’t start and end at your domain it will extend to your social media activity too.

Stephen Costello

Stephen Costello is a designer and writer from Belfast, Northern Ireland. A graduate of the Ulster of Ulster, he has spent the last 10 years crafting his skills in various design/development roles. Away from the design, Stephen heads up the creative team at Grace Generation Church.

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