Summer is over, well at least in the Northwest it is. So time to retreat to our offices and get back to work! Today I wanted to share five quick tips that will help your church website this fall. These are small things that I have noticed on a review of some of my client’s websites that I think will help you out.
If you have any please feel free to share in the comments!Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaiton/
1) Don’t hide your service locations and times with verbiage no one can understand.
Mars Hill Church does a really poor job of showing users where their location and service times are. It took some digging, but I finally realized that in order to see what time their church service is at, I needed to go to “Who We Are” and then to “Visiting Us”. Neither one of these terms really tells the user that this is where you would find service times and directions.
Now looking at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, from the main page we see Locations & Services clearly visible. This drop down highlights their various locations, a link to a map (and service times), and the campus website. Highlighting your locations like this is a great way to reduce the time your user has to spend looking for directions.
2) Show your address, directions, and a map.
I can’t tell you enough how annoying it is to visit a church website and not be able to find the address of the church, or a simple Google Map. Adding a map to your site is a nice way to show users where you are at and allow them to get directions. You can embed a Google Map by going to: google.com/maps, typing in your church address and clicking on the “Link” button in the upper right hand corner of the map. Then simply past the HTML code into your directions page!
3) Don’t hide your contact us page and make sure we can contact you.
I find that this page often gets overlooked and get buried somewhere under the about us section. You need to think of you website as a way to connect you to your community. How do you expect people get a hold of you if they have a hard time finding your contact information?
This page should have AT LEAST a general person to contact (office manager, secretary, etc), a working email address for that person, and the church office phone number. Please, make sure your phone number is there!
In a perfect world, you would have the names, emails, and photos of your staff on this page, even a little writeup by the senior pastor would be a nice touch.
4) Kill the Dead Pages
If your church website is like most, you have a few pages with “More Info Coming Soon” or “Check Back for Updates”. Kill those, kill those NOW. Nothing is a larger turn off than having a site that looks unfinished! I would rather have a website with less pages and content than going to your youth page and seeing: “Coming Soon”.
5) Keep your events page up-to-date.
This should be a no-brainier, but sometimes we forget about that calender on our website! Go through it and make sure it is up-to-date. Service times, youth events, concerts, and prayer meetings are all things people at your church care about, so we need to care in providing them the correct information.