Almost every organization, whether big or small, now has an online presence; a church should be no different. Websites for churches are becoming more popular as a way to keep existing parishioners up to date as well as attracting new ones. If you’re wondering what makes a good church website, read on for our top 10 tips.
1.A beautiful and functional website design
A good church website should be not just pleasing to the eye, but also easy to use. Key considerations include the color scheme, navigation bar, and use of photographs. All of these can impact upon whether a website looks modern or completely outdated. A website designer will also be able to ensure that a website is also accessible to those with various disabilities. For example, adding invisible “tags” to images in the background code to allow for computer narration software to explain to a blind person what is being displayed on the site.
2. Responsive website design
This is not a unique to a church website design but is still an important consideration. More and more people are accessing websites through their cell phones and tablets and a responsive design ensure that the website will look just as good on the phone as it does on a computer. It’s a crucial design feature for all websites in this day and age.
3. Statement of Beliefs
For those new to the area, or simply new to exploring religion, it is important that your church’s beliefs are on the website. It is important to be concise and clear in stating what your church believes.
4. Service times
It’s likely that visitors, both new and old, will want to be able to view service times. Especially so at key times in the religious calendar. Remember that if the service times change, for any reason, that the website should be updated to avoid any confusion.
5. Staff information
Think of your website as the door to your church. You would greet guests at the door and introduce yourself. You should do the same on your website. Introduce, with pictures, the staff that plays an important role in the church. The introduction doesn’t have to be long, a simple biography and their role in the church will suffice. The inclusion of pictures will also help new visitors identify who they may wish to speak to when they arrive.
A critical piece of information, that some websites overlook, is the location! It may sound simple but the inclusion of a Google Map with your church marked on it can prove very useful to new visitors. At the very least the address should be in a prominent location. Consider providing instructions on where to park and how to access the church if it is not obvious to newcomers.
7. Contact information
This is a must have on a website for a church. You could consider providing an email address or, even better, a contact form in which people can send straight from the website. There are many reasons why people may wish to contact you and it’s important, in our connected society, that they are able to do so.
8. Sermon recordings
If you don’t already record your sermons you should consider doing so and uploading them to the website. This will be of benefit to those who couldn’t attend on a particular day and also for those looking to find out more about your church’s sermon style. Another potential idea could be to live stream sermons if there is demand for this within your congregation.
9. A blog
A blog is a great way to keep everyone in the community updated with the church’s news. Don’t worry if you’re not a technical wizard; a website designer will be able to make it easy for you to access and update.
10. Social media
If you don’t already have a social media presence you should consider joining some of the more popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Once you’ve joined these networks, buttons can be placed on the church website to link to the profiles. Sharing buttons can also be added to blog posts so that people can easily share the news with their friends and family.