8 Keys to A Great Church Website

With over 500 million registered websites on the WWW, you can definitely find a slew of horrifically designed websites.  Unfortunately many of those websites are faith-based organizations. With new technology available we have unlimited ways to communicate and connect to potential audiences.  The website you form could be and should be your number one communication tool.  With that rant over, here are 8 keys to have a great website.  Get after it!

1) Don’t be cheap

It is extremely difficult to build an effective website with not spending money.  Sure, you can find a template and make it work (if you are skilled), but your church is not a template.  If you are going to bust your budget, bust it here.

2) Take your time

Slow down and take a deep breath.  Before you embark on creating a website, set aside a day or two to think, research and meet with people to understand what the website needs to look like and offer.

3) Use experienced and proven professionals

I am all for volunteers and lay people using their skills and talents to impact the church, but this is not the place for their volunteerism.  Again, your website is one of, if not the most important communication tool you possess.  Use people who know what they are doing and provide great work.  Contact Me if you are interested in my group providing website design and development services.

4) Tell your story

Communicate, communicate and communicate your story.  Communicate who you are, what you do, why you do it and where you are going. Tell stories with video, word and photos that communicate your culture and uniqueness.

5) Relevant content and design layout

People are visiting your website on purpose.  Take time to think through what your audience wants to receive when visiting your website.  Make sure to use words that are familiar with non-church attendees.  Use Adults, Children, Students, Volunteer instead of Community, Zoola Land, Xtreme X and Engage. Please keep your content and design layout simple and provide people what they want within one click of the mouse.

Tip: You already know this, but make sure you have Google Analytics tied into your website for tracking. Thank you to Google, for making it easy to know what content is relevant and should be featured.

6) Be known

The worst thing in the world is to have beautiful website and receive no visits.  If search engines don’t know you, nobody will.  Take some time and explore your options.  They are unlimited, from search engine optimization campaigns to Google ads to Facebook ads to blogging to email newsletters. Optimizing your website and managing ad campaign is insanely time consuming. This is another area where hiring experienced and proven professionals are a plus.

7) Socially connected

With social media moving at a rapid growth pace, your website must be connected to the movement.  Make it easy for people who visit your website to connect with you socially.  But please make sure that well designed and high-resolution social icons are used in designed.  Enough with highly pixilated and over sized icons.

8 People click on videos

It’s amazing how a video can inspire people more than words.  Don’t get me wrong, words are great as I am typing them right now.  But, in our digital age people like clicking on videos.  i.e. – YouTube.  If you cannot produce a ton of videos then make sure you do one great church overview video.  This overview video must include the vision and mission of church and should include information on age specific ministries and what your church is doing to bring hope to world.

In summary, your website is one of the most important communication tools you have.  Take your time, think, don’t be cheap and make sure people know about your website and receive what they are looking for as soon as possible.

  • http://www.robertlanedesign.com/ Robert Lane

    Great tips! Do you have any recommendations for the video you mentioned on point number 8?

    • Tim

      Sure thing. Here is one example. http://vimeo.com/32843443

      The key is to get people interested in the heart of the church. Communicate who you are, what you do and where you are going. If people resonate, great! If not, they probably are not a cultural fit.

  • http://www.churchbuzz.org Patrick Steil

    Great article Tim, I have a few more tips to add from my website…

    1. Design the site for visitors… church members for the most part do NOT use the website… :)
    2. Design the site for search engines – if a website exists, but no one can find it, what’s the point? :)
    3. Keep up with technology… whew – good luck!

    Much more on my website… :)
    Patrick Steil
    Chief Church Webmaster

    • Tim

      Patrick –
      Great thoughts! Definitely agree. It takes a blend of inbound marketing tools (SEO, social media, blogging) to pull off a great site. Thanks.

  • http://www.justtesting.com Erik Idol

    Great blog post.

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