More than likely, the first contact someone has with your church will be through your website. Your church’s website is now its front door. And it should go without saying that your church actually needs to have a website.
It doesn’t have to be flashy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A simple, clean, mobile-friendly site with relevant information and consistent colors and fonts are really all you need. That may sound difficult, but with the templates offered by either WordPress or Squarespace, a quality website is within reach for any church.
While the visual aspect of the site is important, there are always ways to improve the site when it comes to the content you place on the site. Even if your site is plain from a visual standpoint, there are things you can focus on to improve overall impact of the site:
1. Make sure the information is current.
Nothing says “we don’t care” like going to a church website expecting information for Easter and finding the Christmas cantata information from four months ago still on the homepage. Keep the site current. Someone should check the site at least weekly to ensure content remains accurate and current. Times and dates of church events can change. Remember to keep the website up to date.
2. Website content should be created with the guest in mind.
Proportionally, guests and potential guests will use your website more than members. They don’t have the information memorized and aren’t getting a bulletin or an email with information each week. They are new to the church, and the website is the most valuable information source for your church that they have access to. So refrain from using insider language or acronyms that aren’t explained in your text online. Make it easily understandable for anyone who visits the site. Also, consider a call to action on the homepage specifically for guest information.
3. Make sure staff bios are updated and have adequate information and pictures.
When people show up to your church, they want to be familiar with the people they will see. They will expect to see the pastor preaching. If they have kids, they will want to recognize the children’s minister or student minister. It helps them to know who to look for and what to expect before they even get out of their car in the parking lot.
4. Ask your receptionist what information people are asking about.
Whoever answers the phone or responds to general email or social media will have the most insight into what people want to know about your church. They probably answer the same 5-10 questions every week. Maybe it’s the Wednesday night meal, maybe it’s the time of a specific ministry, maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, look for a way to include it on the website. By doing so, you take away a barrier guests and members may be struggling with as they desire to connect more deeply with your church.
How have you improved the content of your church’s website? What would you add to this list?