How to build TRUST on 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.
How do you build trust on your faith based organization (church)website? It is very simple. Place yourself as the visitor, and think about what would make you trust a website. Security, Accessibility, and Reliability is the major reason for trusting a website.
To check off the box of security, make sure you are updating your plugins, theme, and core (if you have a WordPress site). Make sure you have your site back up (not on your server, but on a cloud or other services…check out my blog on ManageWP).
Secondly, secure a SSL (Secured Socket Layer) Certificate. In your browser (to the left of your domain name), you want a secured lock. You do not want the words NOT SECURED to the left of your domain name. Most hosting companies offer free or inexpensive SSL. You can check out my blog post on the plugin Let’s Encrypt for another option.
Showcasing your staff, and with a directory providing office phone number and email. Make sure the images are professional, or at least not 10 year old picture. Provide contact information (address and times of operation). Display service times (even if you are not open for corona virus, these times should be consistent with your live stream service).
Have a prayer request board. Request should allow anonymous subjects. Do not mentioned individuals names on the prayer list. Man these request and approve (display) or reject (send back to submitter with reason) within a couple of days.
Social platforms. Display your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts. It takes about 5 minutes to open up these types of accounts. Set up a social media policy, only allow information about events, photos of upcoming events, and special presentations on these platforms. *I am not an attorney, so I would recommend consulting an attorney on what can and can not be placed in a social media policy.
Be consistent. Blog (have your sermon on your website), or write about current events. Provide your belief on tough subject. Be consistent. Showcase testimonials. Have new members to provide their thoughts about your organization. Let seasoned members discuss why the keep coming back. Make sure you are providing a sense of community in your testimonials.
Showcase why you are different from the church down the street. If it is ministry based, then outlined all your ministries. If it is community based, then displayed what you are doing in the community. If you are reaching out to today’s youth, then display how you are addressing issues concerning today’s youth.
Lastly, be honest. Some responses are not going to be received well. But if it is your faith, then your flock is going to respect an open and honest response. Just explain it is your faith…and do not place it on the back of your website hidden on a blog post. Make sure all information is easily accessible.
Image courtesy of Greyson Joralemon.
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