Your web site really sucks when you try to be fancy. Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. Front-Page-Guy with your blinking animations and scrolling text. But I’m also talking to you, Mr. High-End-Web-Guy with all that stunningly beautiful functionality few people care about or use.
No matter our skill set, we all fall victim to the insatiable desire for fanciness. I know I did. I had lots of resources. I was working in a big ol’ church with a big ol’ budget spending lots of time and money creating new features that, once implemented, were rarely used by more than 5% of our congregation. That’s right. I wanted to innovate. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be fancy. Too bad I didn’t actually create something useful.
Fancy web sites suck. So, here’s how you can keep things simple:
- Write fresh, new content and put it on your web site.
- Repeat step one multiple times daily.
Content keeps people coming back. Content meets the needs of your congregation and your community. They want to know what’s happening at the church. They want to know what your pastor is thinking. They want to know how your children’s minister feels about the latest kids movie. They want you to speak into their lives.
Sounds simple, right. So, why do so few churches do this? I think it’s because we’re all too busy treating technology and the web like some kind of novelty item. Newsflash: the web isn’t new anymore. You don’t need to experiment with it. You just need to use it, and use it well.
Look, there are a handful of churches (and I do mean probably less than 10) who have the resources in place to innovate on the web. Let them do it. Let them create the new functionality and push the limits and do the new stuff.
Let them take the risk that nobody will use it. What do you say the rest of us just cut out the fanciness and get back to the basics. If you are not updating content on your web site at least once a day, you don’t have time to put energy or resources into anything else.
Great content, all the time. Great content, all the time. Master that and then we’ll talk about that fancy new media player you’ve always wanted.