Categories
Web Traffic

It’s Easy To Use Church Websites To Go “Fishing For Men”

It’s easy to use church websites for outreach.

But, one of the biggest mistakes I see small churches make with their websites is believing “if we build it, they will come.” In other words, they build it, launch it, then sit back and wait for the masses to arrive.

And, of course they don’t.

Categories
Tools & Resources

Church Website Design Tools: 3 Cool Finds

Church website design and content creation is made so much easier with the right tools.

It’s been awhile since a post was published here pointing to some cool and useful church website design tools. Well, the last couple weeks I’ve come across a few services I’ve added to my own toolbox. What I love most about these tools is:

  • they’re made with non-techy, non-designer peeps in mind, and
  • they offer creative techs a quick, easy option for squaring away design tasks.

I hope my new cool finds help make your church website design and content creation work easier and a lot more fun!

Church Website Design + Content Creation Tools

Get Web Font Information

WhatFont Tool

While doing some research online last week, I ran across a couple great looking blogs. The designer’s font choices were fantastic! I just had to know what fonts they were using.

Now, I’m a huge fan of Web Fonts. So, I was excited to find a cool tool that makes fast and easy work of chasing them down.

WhatFont Tool in action
WhatFont Tool in action

The WhatFont Tool (in no way affiliated with MyFonts or WhatTheFont) enables you to quickly and easily find out what fonts are being used in a Web page.

Once installed, in literally one click you’ll get the font’s information. Web Font service detection is also available. And, you can share your favorite discoveries on Twitter.

The tool is available as a Bookmarklet (which I tested in Firefox). Chrome and Safari extensions are also available. At the time of this writing, Adobe Typekit and Google Font API Web Font services were supported.

When I tested the tool on a Web page where Web Fonts weren’t present, the tool simply didn’t activate.

Convert HTML to WordPress INSTANTLY

Theme Matcher

So here’s the problem: your church has a static website. You want to add a blog to it to increase traffic and engage your visitors.

Naturally, you want to use WordPress to manage it. But, you have neither the desire nor the budget to completely redesign your website in WordPress. On top of that, there aren’t any WordPress themes that even come close to matching your current static site.

Your only option is to settle for adding a blog that looks completely different from your main website, right? Wrong!

In three easy steps, Theme Matcher will take your static website and automatically generate a WordPress theme that matches your existing church website design.

[content_box title=”Watch Theme Matcher in action!” align=”center”][tvideo type=”youtube” clip_id=”8zRk71K2SUY” width=”632″ autoplay=”false” controls=”false” fs=”true” rel=”false” modestbranding=”false”] [/content_box]

The target users for this service are:

  • Non-technical webmasters wanting to add a WordPress blog to an existing site
  • WordPress developers looking to save time and get a head-start on client projects
  • Designers who create HTML templates, and want to fast-track creating WordPress themes from them
  • Freelancers migrating websites from another system to WordPress

There’s no cost to use the service to generate a theme. You’ll pay only when you’re ready to download the theme you generated. Here are your options:

Theme Matcher Pricing Options for Church Website Design
Theme Matcher Pricing Options

One thing to note: in a perfect world, all automatic HTML-to-Wordpress conversions would be absolutely perfect and require no additional revisions. But, since we don’t live in a perfect world, how well a website converts depends in large part on how well the existing site’s HTML code is written.

Theme Matcher doesn’t allow for a lot of flexibility when it comes to selecting content and optional sidebar regions for conversion. So, the better the code in the existing site, the fewer the tweaks in the new theme.

On several websites I tested, the service worked brilliantly. On others, where the code was poorly written, I was able to generate a good working theme. But, a bit of CSS editing would have been in order.

Amazingly Simple Graphic Design

Canva

The fun starts when you sign up! A 23-second tutorial shows you how to use the service. And, it’s insanely simple!

After that, you can take the Starter Challenges (there are five of them to get you warmed up). Or, you can jump right in and begin creating your first masterpiece.

Even if you think you’re not creative, you’ll have one whiz-bang of a time with this tool! You can create graphics for podcasts, Twitter and social media, presentations, posters, Facebook covers, blog post graphics…the list goes on.

Start with a design template and edit, or roll your own from scratch with an image or colored background and text. When you’re all done, you can share it on Twitter or Facebook, download it, or send a link.

Many elements are free to use. Premium images are $1 each or you can upload your own.

[tvideo type=”youtube” clip_id=”XqYti78riU8″ width=”632″ autoplay=”false” controls=”false” disablekb=”false” fs=”true” loop=”false” rel=”false” showinfo=”false” modestbranding=”false”]

For me, the most difficult part of using this tool was choosing from among all the options. Gracious! With more than 1 million images  and more than 100 fonts, you could really go buggy mixing and matching (perfectionists, you’ve been warned!).

Got any cool church website design tools in your toolbox?

Tell me about them. Share a link in the comments below!

Image Credit: Florian Richter | Flickr cc

Categories
Web Content

Website Idea #2 – Add A Google Map

Getting people to your church can be hard work. You would be surprised how many church websites I see without a directions/location page! But even worse are the churches that only put their address on their location page.

Today I want to encourage you to use http://www.google.com/maps to create a custom map and directions. This quick and easy update, you literally paste the Google Map code into your CMS, will give your site that extra little feature to highlight where you are located.

Take a look at a great example from LifeChurch.tv:

A map to lifechurch.tv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a great example of what you can do to! I love that they list service times, a Google map, and contact information! Do you have a great example of a location page? I would love to see them!

Image Credit: heiwa4126 | flickr

Categories
Web Traffic

Church Website Ideas: Google Business Listings

The most common question I get when talking to pastors and church website staff is: “How can I get my church to show up on page one of Google?” This is a very reasonable question and there are a lot of tactics on how to get your website to show up on the first page of Google. I am not going to write an entire article on SEO strategies or anything complex. One thing that is often overlooked is that with very little effort or skill you can get your church website to show up in the Google Business listings area of a search result.

Categories
Tools & Resources

Bottom 3 Reasons to Use Google Docs

This week we are reviewing the bottom three reasons to use Google Docs. G-Docs (that is what we call it in the hood) is an online service that allows you to manage documents online. We are talking about spread sheets, word documents, presentations and forms. They are not the only player in this game: Microsoft, Adobe and a sleu of small non-epic groups like Zoho, Ether Pad and Think Free offer similar products. So after waxing about the top three reasons to use G-Docs last week we present the least of these.

Categories
Tools & Resources

Top 3 Reasons That Google Docs Will Help Your Ministry

Here are the top three reasons that Google Docs will help your ministry team get the word out to your church. None of these ideas are new to the web, but Google has founded a joint effort to allow you to collaborate, publish and access your docs from anywhere online. Give it a try on your next project and see how easy it is to create and manage content for your team and the families of your church!

Categories
Web Content

Make Your Church Website Better Today

This was a post I originally made on my business website simplechurchmarketing.com. The idea was to get some basic information to pastors to help them with the no-duh type stuff most web designers are familiar with. Over the next five days I will be expanding this original article, exploring each aspect in more detail.