After debating your church’s need for a website, you decide it is the next best step. So now what? Although I primarily write individual articles focused on connecting church goals to web technologies, I feel compelled to write a tutorial-themed article. In this first piece, I will take you through the planning stages of creating or revising your website.
When you think of church ministries and websites, you probably thought of one church with multiple ministries all in one website. It is a rare gem to find multiple churches partnering with one ministry; along with a good website to support it. So how do you handle this sometimes politically charged task of creating and managing a site that has multiple hands in it? Let’s examine some possible approaches to this delicate matter.
If you build it, they do not always come. The novelty of the web has worn off and the fact that your church has a website will not make you unique anymore. So how can you bubble to the top of search engine rankings? I talked about some pro-active measures you can take to get yourself known, however there are plenty of strategic decisions you can make that will give your site the high ranking it rightfully deserves.
If you are a church that was founded before the late 90’s, you probably have some printed material that you wanted to move to a website. However, your church website is not just an electronic brochure you can hand people. As many studies have suggested, the majority of website content is skimmed, not read. Because of this, the content you may have developed for a printed brochure is not suitable to copy and paste to your website. Plus there are many limitations brochures have that websites do not. In this article, I will compare and contrast content strategies for both mediums.
Your church has an awesome looking website and published great content… so where is the tidal wave of new members? Perhaps people are finding your site and are very interested, but they cannot connect with you. The primary conversion point on most service oriented websites is the “Contact Us” page. By optimizing that page with multiple options, you remove the barriers that hold some people back from reaching out to you.
Continue reading “Creating a Great Contact Us Page”
Writing content for your church website is different than any other type of writing. That is because websites are not printed material. Despite what you think, most people will not read your website; they will scan it. Fortunately plenty of research has been conducted on how people read websites, and we can use this data along with industry best practices, to craft good content for your church’s website. Plus you can do all of this while creating content that search engines will rank high. This may be confusing at first, but a few easy steps will ensure all of your audiences can effectively find and comprehend your content.
Continue reading “Writing for Your Church Web Site”
Aside from what should be on the home page, few things are harder than determining what the navigation structure should be on your church website. It is not only a technical decision, but a business decisions, and in some cases a political decision. Your primary navigation shapes how people use your site and ultimately how easily they can find information on it. By applying some basic information architecture principles you can come up with a structure that fits your individual church and utilizes common practices on the web.
Continue reading “Creating Your Church Web Site Navigation”
Many people consider owning a car a necessity in the modern world; especially if you live in the United States. You cannot commute to work, run errands, or go to church without one. Yet many people in large metropolitan areas do not own a car. They use public transportation to get to everything they need. Much like owning a car, having a website for you church may seem like a no-brainer decision. Yet for many organizations, free blogs and social media may give you everything you need.