Technology Tidbit: Your website as a doorway to the world
In the age of technology, a church website can be your greatest outreach and evangelistic tool. Today, you don’t have to be a website genius or have lots of money to create your own website. Several companies and web servers allow novices to create and publish their own site for free.
Here are a few dos and don’ts of websites to put your best face forward.
- Create a clear sense of audience: Identify specifically who you are trying to reach (ie. Intercity families with young children or single parent homes from the suburbs). Remember you can’t be everything to everyone. Skew 75-90% on your content to non-members within your target audience. Research has shown that 90% of non-members will look at your site BEFORE the come to church.
- Think Hospitality: Your home page is your welcome mat for visitors not a bulletin board. Convey who you are in about 150 words or less. Think elevator speech. Put the most important information first then get more detailed latter. Use open inviting pictures of people with smiles.
- Keep site current: update information at least once a week and remove/archive material that is outdated and/or irrelevant. This gives visitors a sense that your church is full of life and direction. Also, the design of your website is like fashion and needs to be updated every 3-5 years.
- Have more than one website administrator who is not the pastor: This is for your church’s protection as well as diversifying your content. Having different contributors will give a different feel as writing styles are different and different people are involved in different aspects of church life. It also serves as a checks and balances system so that the content on your website is your best impression to new visitors.
If you or your church would like to know more about affordable and effective websites, contact the South Central District Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Taken from “Affordable Effective Church Websites” workshop by Bet Hannon October 2015.