A great looking website is crucial to your ministry.
If we can’t agree there, don’t worry about reading the remainder of this article.
Your church website is the first impression most visitors will have of your church. The perception they receive from visiting your site will be the impression they have of your site and probably will play a big part in their decision of whether or not to visit your church.
With that in mind, how do we build a website that successfully turns web visitors into weekend attenders of our church?
Key 1 – Have Your Information Simple and Easy to Find
I can’t tell you how many church websites I visit where I have to scroll down the page, click through the navigation and search just to find where their located and what time they have service.
That information should be prominent and above the fold (that first part of your website before the user scrolls down)
Key 2 – Remember To Include Your Address Including State
I’ve seen too many churches get themselves pigeon-holed into thinking locally, and that the only visitors they will have is from local people. Remember, it’s the World Wide Web.
There is more than one town named Springfield. There’s probably more than one Cornerstone Church Springfield. You may have already realized that when you went to purchase your church domain name.
Make sure that you make it very clear where your church is located so that your web visitors know they’re looking at the correct church. There’s nothing worse for your potential visitors than looking at a church’s site, only to find out that the church you thought you were visiting is in another state and your church is completely different.
Key 3 – Make It Simple to Contact Your Pastor and Key Staff
One general contact form on your church website is not sufficient. Most visitors want to know how to get a hold of an individual and not get dumped into a general contact form where who knows when it will get a response.
If you’re the pastor, get your contact details prominent on the site. People want to see you, and have some idea of what to expect. Put your email address on the site as a simple way to get a hold of you.
Note: If you’re concerned about spam to your church email address, don’t put the email as a hyperlink. Instead, put it in text like this: yourname[a]ourchurchdomain.com.
That way, most users will be smart enough that the [a] needs to be replaced with the email symbol and will know how to email you. This will avoid the spam bots that are searching the web for email addresses and reduce the amount of spam email you receive.
Key 4 – Make it Clear What To Expect and What You Believe
This is big and will take some effort but really be concisely, detailed with information about what a new visitor can expect when they visit your church. Think about what it will be like to be a new person and write it for them. If you aren’t sure, check out our Church Web Design packages and we can help.
Secondly, it’s simple to put a link to the Baptist Faith and Message on your site and leave it at that. The problem is that many people aren’t going to take the time to read. Have you considered taking the key elements and re-phrasing them into language that even a non-believer can relate to? It will go a long way into turning your web visitors into weekend attenders.
Key 5 – Keep The Site Updated
Churches are notorious for having out of date websites. Do you still have information about registering for VBS on the site even though it ended 2 months ago? Your visitors will see that and that lack of attention to detail will reflect that your church doesn’t care enough about visitors to update the site with recent information.
This key is really all or nothing. One way to avoid an outdated site is to not put date relevant information on your site. Just keep it vague and general with basic information that won’t change. Unfortunately, if you’re wanting to use the site for current news and information, then you have to keep it updated.
Consider our Website Concierge packages. Our team will work with you to help keep your site up to date and current through our pro-active communication to stay in the loop of what’s going on with your church.