What Makes Great Websites for Churches?
Step Three -
First: easy to update.
Second: visitor friendly.
Third: clean, clear and uncluttered...
Features of a great website, if you have the resources:
- An easy to maintain website, one that someone in the church office can update, one that does not require special skills to update
- Websites for churches need to be welcoming for potential visitors. You should have a picture of the pastor on the front page so potential visitors can see what he looks like.
- A "Virtual Tour" to show those thinking of coming to your church what to expect and how to get into your church. (including where to park, how to find the entry door, pictures of greeters, worship music, children's ministry, the main message)
- People need to be able to find your church, so you need a mapquest or google map on the front page with driving directions.
- Clean, uncluttered and attractive layout.
- An easy to find search tool.
- A simple and logical menu system.
- Audio (and preferably video) recordings on the website. For two reasons: So that people thinking of coming to your church know what the pastor sounds like, what he teaches (style and substance). The other reason is to spread the gospel message.
- An integrated email/calendar system.
- An integrated church or pastor blog.
- Online forms so that people can enroll in your events on the web. And a PayPal account so they can pay online too.
- The Gospel Message.
- Pictures of your church body and service times (on the front page).
- The ability to take donations online (for your missionaries, for your programs and for your church).
- Facebook/Twitter account integrated with your website announcing events and services
- Live audiocasting, videocasting and podcast of your services.
- An email newsletter and integrated signup form.
- A way to allow people to "subscribe" to changes to your website.
Most of these things can be done using free, online resources. The only limitation to implementing these features on your website is your ministries ability to maintain them.
For example, it makes no sense to put a church calendar or blog or a facebook on your website if no one updates them. An email newsletter won't do you any good if no one writes it. Audio or Video broadcasting and podcasting makes no sense if you have no one that can run them.
That is why I firmly believe in not implementing lots of changes at once. Train your staff in one change (per department) at a time.
I am available for consultation on implementing your web presence in an orderly time frame. Mike@PritchardWebpages.com