If You Could Only Do One Thing for Your Website…
Your website needs some improvements…whether you want to admit it or not, you know this. Touching the website can be like opening a can of worms. What if it turns out to be a huge project?
You also know that you don’t have a ton of time to work on it and aren’t really an expert in using the website anyway. Nor does your church have much staff (if any) or volunteer help that can take on website improvements that you feel you cannot handle.
If it feels like a daunting project, it’s easier to just let it be and deal with it later. I suggest that you simplify the problem. Rather tackling a major website overhaul, why not work on just one thing?
The one thing could be the one, most obvious improvement, like updating staff information and photos. It could be clearing up a glaring issue, like outdated contact information. Or it could be making an underlying change that will enable the future things you’d like to do, like podcasts or video sharing.
Try just one improvement to start with. Choosing one thing to focus on initially will help you in keeping things manageable. Save the laundry list of items until you have the luxury of a little more time (yours or someone else’s).
Are you stuck wondering what that one improvement should be?
Here are some ideas to get you thinking. Many of these might apply to the goals of your website, but for now, just pick one.
- Add photos or replace outdated photos with ones with better lighting, and that better represent your church (or the people in it).
- Get rid of tacky clip art graphics or awful visual embellishments.
- Get rid of clutter.
Fix Basic Information:
- Add your church’s name and address in the site (adding it to the footer is the easiest fix).
- Add a map or directions to your church.
- Update the list of pastors, staff or leaders.
- Add something to that empty page that’s been saying “coming soon” for years.
- Add a more substantive welcome message for first-time visitors.
- Create a “what we believe” page.
- Remove outdated announcements, publicity or other information.
Add “New” Content:
- Add a page for the latest thoughts from Pastor.
- Add a page for the latest announcements and news of the congregation.
- Add a blog feature. Whether you actually call it a “blog” or something else doesn’t matter. Even if you can’t initially commit to presenting it as anything more than “we post things here from time to time”, it’s still a step in the right direction.
- If you already have something like a blog, perhaps your one improvement is to start a new category of posts (for example, to better connect with a subset of the website’s target audience) or even a second blog feature.
If none of these ideas cause an improvement to leap to mind, consider how your church uses its website. Has nothing new been posted to the website in a while?
Move past thinking that a website is something that just exists and realize that your website is a tool for reaching people. As with any tool, you HAVE to actually USE it to accomplish anything.
How do you use a website as a tool? Share information. Engage the site’s visitors.
Find some way to be able to add new material to your website.
Just work on something. Finding that one improvement will help your church improve the effectiveness of its web presence without overwhelming yourselves.
Perhaps you still want to get better organized and equip your congregation to use the web better and more regularly. That is a goal you can work on one day at a time, but for today, just start with something.
What is one thing your church could improve about its website?
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