What should be included in your church website?

Last week, I was invited to discuss the future of Faith Based Organization websites.  As usual, I was greeted with what features should be on our websites. Call to action messages, which makes your flock unique.  Easy to located donation/tithing button.  Location and map with in bold print, services times.

These few typically will answer the question of what is needed on my site, but one of my attendees was not satisfied with my response.  Their website had all these elements, but still was not reaching out to their target flock.  A quick glance, and I understood…what was needed.

Secured Connection

Your church has to invest in a Secured Socket Layer (SSL).  Stop think visitors are not looking for the lock.  Folks are not donating on a “not secured site”.  Why would they risk the possibility of getting hacked?  Would you.  Most hosting companies will offer to secure your site for free or a few dollars.  Make the investment.

If you are not sure if your site is secured, does the domain begin with http or https.  You need the https.

Clear Communication with content and images

Stop having your message represent the 1990’s. Generation X is here. They are really computer literate and want to have your content represent what they are looking for. You need to make sure your message is clear and concise.

You should be very welcoming to visitors.  You content and images should move someone to want to visit. Stop letting a church member take all your photos. Hire a professional. Place the images on your church’s website. Get some action shots.  Get some shots of smiling and welcome flock.  This is very powerful in how one will decide if they will come into your doors.

Content is king!!! Content is king!

Easy to navigate

An easy way to determine a professional from a novice web designer is architectural intelligent.  How is your site map displayed? What is a sub menu?  Can you tell new pages from recent pages?  Was this site well thought out?

If you need to add a new page, then you will need to rethink your site map. The new page might need to be on the main menu, and something on the main menu could find it self as a sub menu.  Planning and making sure to not have your visitors think.  Navigation menu, should not make someone think…or ask, where is this or that page.  Search bar…should not be used, or really eliminated.

Social Media

Unless you are trying to get a flock of 80 year olds, you will need to use some form of social media. You should have a facebook, instagram, and twitter account.  This could be a ministry.  Create a policy to ease your fears, and make sure who is leading the ministry understands it to the fullest. Post only things related to events or activities. Use it to post items from your bulletin.

Stay away from current events. Only the senior pastor should make comments about current events.  Allow senior pastor or elders to present the organization’s position about controversial issues or topics. Use the ministry to drive generation x members to your flock.

Podcast or video of Sunday Services

Again this needs to not be a bored teenager in your church.  Hire someone.  Get some a decent camera.  Use youtube or vimeo.  Take advantage of Facebook live and have your services lives.  Tell your flock, and make sure you have your donation link really close.

Mobile Friendly

You need to have a website which works on phones (android and iphone), tablets, lap tops and desk top computers.  The reason is folks are getting information on all of these devices, so why are you limiting your audience.

Image courtesy of Matt Botsford.

 

JDS WebDesign is a Web Design and Brand Marketing Agency located in Marietta, Georgia.  We create AWESOME on line presence for Faith Base, Non Profit and Influential People/Organizations.  To learn more about me or how I can help you and your organization, let’s schedule a 15 – 30 minute coffee.  I can be reached by clicking here..