Creating Your Church Website
In the mist of Covid-19 (Corona Virus), we at JDS WebDesign are hoping everyone is safe, washing your hands frequently, sneezing and coughing in your elbow, and practicing social distancing. Over the next several weeks, we are planning on blogging about how to make your website more business friendly. We will have some tutorials on our favorite plugins and features, which will make your site more efficient.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will discuss the stages of creating your church website. Whether you are creating the site yourself, or reaching out to an agency. These are some steps to make sure your design is a simple and pain free experience.
The stages will deal with pre or basic steps. Next we will discuss some planning (not design) steps. Then we will review design steps. And finally we will discuss post launch steps. While these steps could be used for any website, since we specialize in faith based organization, we will focus many on faith based organizations.
Last week we discuss basic, and this week let discuss planning stage.
Planning stage will deal with features, functionality, site map, content and target audience. While most of these items probably was thought about prior to basic issues, this is the time to write them down. So either you, if your are design your site, or your hired design agency can be on the same page as you.
Most faith based organization should have the following features. Address on the home page at the top or near the navigation (menu) along with near the bottom, with a google map link. Service(s) times near the top and at the bottom of your web site. Sermon(s) are very important, the source is not as important as just having them on the site. You can put audio, video, and both. Ministries should be on the site. Staff with recent professional photos. Donation sections, and the button should stand out. These are some basic features all faith based organization sites should incorporate.
Some basic functionality should be adding google maps link to your address. If someone is on their phone or tablet, then the link will provide gps to your place of worship. Sermon(s) can be audio or video, but should allow the visitors to start the sound. You do not want visitors to be greeted with sound, this is not an acceptable function.Donation should be an easy function, allow members of your flock to subscribe and have log in credentials. However you should have a guest feature, where someone should only have to put their name, credit card and amount.
What is the layout of the site going to be? What are your strongest points? Do you want to point out the service features of your faith based organization? Maybe you want to showcase your faith and what you believe in? Do you want to showcase your inclusion?
In some case, all of these might be important. You might have to figure out which is most important. A good web design team, such as JDS WebDesign can help you with this issue.
This is a good time to begin collecting content. Remember if you are collecting content from several different sources, then having a content writer to comply and re-write the content is very important. Content is more than putting what you do, when you do it, and why you do it. Content is the story telling element to convince your visitors to come and visit.
Who is your target audience? Most faith based organization have members, who come near and far. The message is the driving force, but the website has to get visitors interested in the message. At JDS WebDesign, we use call to action (CTA) to speak to your target audience.
Next week we will discuss design stage.
Image courtesy of Matt Botsford.
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