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Do You Need a Web Site?

December 11, 2009 by

I’m speaking next week to a group of college pastors, and I’m struggling. The first session is about church, communication and creativity … no problems there. The second session is about web sites, and that’s where I’m stuck.

I’m not stuck because I don’t understand web sites, I’ve been involved in the technology world since we called web sites BBSs. I’m realizing my struggle is from a good tension, a tension brought from growth with how you and I, and everyone around us now use the web.

Does a ministry need a web site anymore? Could the web site be replaced with a web strategy? We have Facebook, blogs, twitter and an assortment of other technologies that keep us connected on so many levels and with so many things. Does a web site add to the clutter or does it clarify the ministry’s voice?

I don’t know. I know I watched Mark Horvath of Invisible People make a huge splash and has many people now listening to his voice on the homeless … using Vimeo, Twitter, whrrl, Facebook and most recently Ustream on his iPhone. He has a web site, but I’m not sure it’s really what drove the attention.

I see YouVersion as a tool with huge potential … more so on a mobile device than a web site.

I watch my son (17) spend more time on Facebook than any other web site. The only thing that comes close is hulu.com.

Not trying to cut myself out of the picture here (I still have bills to pay), just giving you an honest look at some of my thoughts. No answers, just questions.

Questions are good.

Post By:

Michael Buckingham


With the goal of making the church the most creative place on the planet, Michael founded Holy Cow Creative, the church’s creativity and design studio. He is also the creative director for the Center for Church Communication and Church Marketing Sucks. You can find him speaking at conferences such as HOW, Echo, and MinistryCOM. Check out his blog, Jesus Hates Papyrus, where he continues to help the church intentionally reflect Christ in how it communications.
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44 Responses to “Do You Need a Web Site?”

  • Ted
    December 11, 2009

    I recently sat in on a consultation with a ministry, and the big thing that kept coming up was “Nobody cares about your website.”
    We’ve pushed sites so hard we’ve forgotten how people find us in the first place: word of mouth and the phone book. Existing church members hang out on Facebook or the city’s garage sale site. The ‘official’ ministry site is rarely used.
    Blogs from the leaders go unread. Zero comments. Nobody cares about something that is not useful.
    Could that mean the church is seen as not useful, too?
    Ouch.


  • PastorJohn
    December 11, 2009

    I’d have to say yes, simply as a means to tie everything together. We’re training lay people to build a website and while I wait I do what I can. I post sermon texts on Scribd and on SermonCloud. We have a Facebook group and a discussion forum. We hope to add podcasts in the next few weeks. I wonder if I’m too busy to blog but its possible. We dream of doing videos on youtube. Even if we did it all, where do I point visitors? Where do I say we are on the web in a newspaper ad or a church flyer? Does it make sense to point to eleven different places where we have content or just one page that links them to all of that? Where else do I put photos of church events where grandparents can find it? Where else do I put directions, service times, maps, and whole host of other stuff? We really need one central point where it all comes together.


  • youngdesign
    December 11, 2009

    We are watching the sun start to rise on a world living entirely in the browser… it seems a little early to be removing the core site of a churches online presence.
    Ted mentioned, “Nobody cares about something that is not useful.” and I totally agree.
    So make the church websites useful!


  • Mr. Hyde
    December 11, 2009

    I think Pastor John brings out a great point. The website serves as a central hub and still performs tasks that twitter, vimeo, youtube, facebook, etc. cannot. For example, if your church wants to integrate online tithing/giving, there is no forum for that on anything other than your church’s website. Could this change in the future? Absolutely, but that is the best location right now.
    In fact, we had visitors to our church this last week that found us and worshiped because of our website (not the good ‘ol phone book, sorry Ted). It is still the best place to have a centralized location for all things “your church.” It can point to other areas, but it still serves an integral part.
    I think something churches also need to quickly realize is that there website must be mobile friendly. Too many people check out stuff on their phones. If you site isn’t up to snuff, then they probably will not bother going to a desktop later to check it out either.


  • David Hicks
    December 11, 2009

    I think we need to be cautious here. Sometimes we want to rush on to the next big thing so quickly that there are others that get left behind.
    The question you need to ask is this, “Is it right for the culture of those I am ministering to?”
    You wouldn’t think of adding a full praise band with lights and full media to a small country church would you? No. Neither would you encourage this group to jump on their iphone and twitter about the sermon in real time or post church event updates to Facebook. Why? (besides the fact they may not have a 3G signal) They are close knit community who live face to face. ALL information (church events, prayer needs, etc.) are spread just as quickly in the culture they live in as any “social network”.
    This is a very extreme example I know, but we need to look carefully at the culture around us. Weigh what WORKS. Websites and email may not be relative to the texting 12-25 year demographic anymore – but they still work for many 30 year olds and up. Just as the weekly Prayer Sheet and Bulletin are still a church lifeline for many senior adults.
    In church communication it may look very cluttered to us when we see our “to do list”. Monday updating the website, Tuesday spell check the bulletin, update facebook and/or twitter daily, new poster sets, new pre-roll slide sets, etc.. But to the different demographics who reside in your church it will be very UNcluttered because they will only focus on what is relevant to them. Think about the THOUSANDS of movies that are produced every year. Which ones connect with you? Which ones do you remember? Should Hollywood stop making romantic comedies just because you like action/thrillers?
    To suddenly phase any aspect of communication can be tantamount to cutting off many of your church members. Many may not even try to seek out the newer line of communication. Who wants to learn an iPhone app when the VCR still blinks 12:00.
    So does your church need a web-site?
    It depends.


  • ARJWright
    December 11, 2009

    That’s an easy answer. If the ministry is a place of reference for a specific service that they are offering – yes.
    If the ministry is more or less a person or group of people who are better utilized by engaging within the community around them, then no, they need a personally and organizationally managed social graph which will include the connections to those social networks and linkages to the mobile and personal websites of its members.
    Its not that hard of a question, just a paradigm shift for the old guard in terms of thinking differently ;)


  • Christopher Wulff
    December 11, 2009

    Agreed with John and Hyde that the function of the website has changed or is changing.
    Through all of those other tools we provide services, build community, etc. but we also need a point of aggregation, a point that draws these together to give a holistic view of who we are, and provides space for people to find our basic information, and for us to provide coordination for congregants.
    We draw in the google calendar, run the bbpress forums, have program news feeds, embed the youtube videos, stream the twitter and flickr feeds, and much more, because this allows us to show new people all the places they can find us online (or references back to where they already found us and encourages them to find us elsewhere) but also because it serves to bring everything together for congregants who find the spread of content across systems confusing.
    Just my $0.02


  • Jamie
    December 11, 2009

    This was fascinating to me:
    http://www.skittles.com
    A website designed around social media and content.


  • Mr. Hyde
    December 11, 2009

    The skittles site is interesting. Oh, and here is a click-able link for those of you like me that hate going to the address bar and manually typing it. However, I think many middle aged people would quickly become frustrated with it and abandon trying to use it.


  • Jeremy Scheller
    December 11, 2009

    seems like you need to stop selling websites and start selling web strategy.


  • Jeremy
    December 11, 2009

    I think for many churches, the website may best be seen as a one-way platform. Interactivity is often better achieved on widely-used services like Facebook and Twitter, because of their ubiquity.
    It won’t always be true. One commenter mentioned online tithing, which is still best kept in-house. It also makes more sense to me to create promotional material on the site and link to it from other services.
    Most importantly though, I think a church’s website is most useful to potential visitors. When looking for a church, I always check the website. It’s the #2 way to grok a church’s identity (#1 is actually visiting).


  • Gabe Taviano
    December 11, 2009

    To me, it’s about getting deeper than just surface level. You can attempt to do that just with social media, but usually it’s much easier to do that in one location and consistently there. Social networking seems like it’s a hobby for most people, when blogs / sites seem to be more intentional and missional.
    If someone likes what you’ve posted on your site, usually they can dig deeper and connect more there than on Twitter/YouTube/etc. And then of course there is the professionalism that comes with site design that rarely (if ever) shows up in social media. Interesting post – seems like it’s up to a subjective opinion I guess.


  • nathan
    December 11, 2009

    I would say without a doubt that website are integral for churches. They not only tie everything together but they provide so many resources for current church members as well as new members that are looking for a new church home. When a prospective church member is looking for a new church home they are probably going to be googleing local churches. If your church does not come up you are missing out on a way to expand your church body.
    Church Website Design


  • Brad Reimer
    December 11, 2009

    I just sat through a webinar on measuring the effect of social media, and a good portion of the discussion centered on how electronic media campaigns are linked through your web site.
    In addition to online tithing needing to occur through your web site, any search engine marketing a congregation would engage in would revolve around … its web site. The congregation’s web site is also the location where opt-in preferences for various types of communication should be managed.
    Beyond tithing, there are other operational issues that should be managed and maintained through a congregation’s web site. I have two sons in our church’s pre-school and Sunday School programs. There is significant redundancy in the information those two programs require for registration, and managing it electronically in a secure location requires … a web site. A web site in this situation would also allow for the necessary health, contact, and waiver forms to maintained year-to-year and only updated as needed on an ongoing basis.
    All these points lead to another issue – a web site should be a powerful tool for congregant families to manage information about themselves and the interaction they have with pastoral staff, elders, and ministry leaders. It is difficult for me to envision that type of “account management” function happening securely outside of a formal web site.


  • Matt Harrell
    December 11, 2009

    I think it’s truly about goals and objectives of the organization. I mean it’s an option now; yes…to NOT have a website. But who are the people you are trying to reach or serve or whatever? Where are they? How will you connect them? What’s your overall plan for using techonology. Like Nathan is suggesting above you need somethign for all that he mentions, but you can use backend software for that. Like our software :). And then FB, YouTube, etc. for your public facing stuff. It’s all about having a plan and executing a process and constantly measuring it. If a webstie helps you reach your goals then cool. Fascinating times we’re in!


  • Michael Buckingham
    December 11, 2009

    Great conversation. Let me throw out an example: youth group website.
    They try to catch the look and feel of the youth, are clearly oriented to the youth and where are the youth? Facebook.
    That’s one of those cases that I’m asking ‘how should we be using the website?’


  • Affordable Church Websites
    December 11, 2009

    I understand what you mean about using all of these other free options such as facebook. I do still believe a church website is something that a church still needs.
    I believe this because churches may have a myspace page and such but people don’t look for a new church so much by going on myspace. If you have a good site optimised for your area you can expect people to find you that way. Lets just say your church is in mobile al. Make sure when people type “churches in mobile al” that your church site is number one. That makes your church the first one on the option table.


  • Emphatic Media
    December 11, 2009

    I think efficient use of a website as an initial point of call, could then direct people to social media.
    It seems highly redundant to be updating your Web page as well as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Vimeo etc… If the people that ARE regulars get their info from social media, rather than logging onto your website everyday.
    Churches can save themselves money each year, by not hosting a Huge site that incorporates rich media like videos and podcasts.
    This is kind of like Church Buildings. We spend loads of money on a facility to “do the work of the Lord” but we fail to engage ppl where they’re at! If they don’t find your street address, then it’s all a waste of resources.
    Likewise, if ppl don’t type your web address into the browser bar how do you expect to engage them?
    Use your website as a Billboard!


  • Evan Courtney
    December 11, 2009

    The website is the landing page.
    Something we can direct people to, that everyone can get to, without “signing up”.


  • Tim Heerebout
    December 12, 2009

    I appreciate the spirit of this post. Personally, I think a lot of the offerings in church websites are a bit behind the times. I don’t see many of the church sites having twitter, facebook, youtube, vimeo links on their front page. If you look at those leading strong online communities these days they’ve got a blog that says something worth hearing and they provide ways to connect with other people. You can do that with a simple, categorized blog, provide links to your preferred social networks.
    As kind of a side note, it’s a bit disturbing to me that one of the main reasons we think we need a website is for donations. I wonder what not-yet-Christians think when they Google your website and see “Online Giving” as an option on the front page. Does anyone else wonder if that’s just reinforcing the stereotype that churches are mostly out to get your money?


  • Michael Buckingham
    December 12, 2009

    It’s funny you mention that Tim. I used to build custom video players for the websites we developed. Now we simply create the ability through the CMS to imbed a YouTube or Vimeo video. This way it’s not just on the website but also available to the larger audience.


  • Mr. Hyde
    December 12, 2009

    Tim, its funny you should memtion that. I don’t think that it really sends that kind of a message. We encourage our members to be good stewards of their finances. I know I appreciate being able to give online and save the $28.00 or so bucks I was spending on checks that I really only used to write my tithe.
    The law of unintented consequences plays in though. I find myself wishing I had a token or a button that says “I gave online.”


  • Bill
    December 12, 2009

    You need a space in the cloud to hang your wares. If you can’t set up your own server you need to rent somebody else’s, with or without a website.


  • bondChristian
    December 12, 2009

    I think most importantly church websites need to adapt to the social media (oh, how I hate that term) world. Right now, most websites are static sites – broadcast mediums. No one wants to be preached at, even if it’s from a church site. Instead we want to interact.
    Also, the interactiveness has to be based on content production. If you’re pumping out content, then you have a reason to share with other sites, to tell people to visit and interact on the site. I think that’s the thing most church websites are missing: the extra content. If that’s missing, then yes, you might as well forget the site and just use email lists and facebook pages.
    -Marshall Jones Jr.


  • Thanks Michael for this interesting post. For many of us beginners in this stuff, it’s quite a challenge to keep pace with the rapid changes in technology. That’s why it pays to have a more experienced guy as your mentor.
    Jose


  • Joe Dodridge
    December 14, 2009

    I am a collegiate ministry director and I have to say that our website has been helpful in attracting new students this semester. We use Facebook and Twitter for events and updates, but our website has allowed people curious about our ministry to explore what we’re all about.
    I know of some new students we’ve had this year who joined our ministry because they first found our website, learned more about us, and then decided to try us out.
    On the flip side, I can confidently say that most of our regular members do not use our website. Our website has been more effective as a billboard on the web – allowing new people to learn more about us.


  • Michael Buckingham
    December 14, 2009

    This is exactly what I’m talking about:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elo7WeIydh8
    Their entire site…on YouTube. Brilliant (especially for a tv agency).


  • Frank C
    December 14, 2009

    Websites are very important tools, but there are two basic types–a “business card” site that rarely changes, and dynamic sites (varies from occasional to heavy update frequency). Since content is king, the commitment to keeping a website updated is critical–whether it’s a single person who acts as a reporter and goes out & gets fresh content, or for pages updated by the various page owners.


  • Drew Goodmanson
    December 14, 2009

    Michael – Good post, I think one transition we have encouraged clients to look at Internet Presence Management rather than just putting up a website and hoping it is enough. Often the presence (YouTube, Facebook) should lead them to actions an organization seeks and can communicate most clearly on a website.


  • Stephen James
    December 14, 2009

    If you are a church startup (plant), than I wouldn’t want/expect a large site (what have you spent your money on?).
    Every church though should have a domain with at least a one page landing page–much akin to personal branding sites out there that only link to Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and a resume.
    I’d much rather see good graphical branding + social networks than a custom dynamic site for a church aimed at GenX and Millenials.
    Linking to social networks can be disorienting to the unfamiliar. Facebook is NOT intuitive to new users.


  • Sean Salter
    December 15, 2009

    No. Absolutely not. Churches don’t NEED a website.
    Online Strategy. The end. What is that? Well it could be a lot of things, or simply one, and none necessitate one of those big, clunky, long loading UGLY church websites. Most church marketing companies wouldn’t know the first thing about designing a functional usable site anyways, so IGNORE these people. They’re just going to blow smoke up your end, regurgitate what they read in a book written 6 years ago, or simply design you an UGLY site like the majority of church sites look now days.
    News flash, people don’t even look at websites for major motion picture releases anymore. Why are they going to look at yours?
    I read several people mention tithing. . . really? You want your witness to non-believers to be that you are there with your hand out? Your members are that lazy? Not to mention the modern day teaching of tithing is completely unbiblical, and really a HUGE turn off to non-church goers, but I digress, teach your false doctrines lolololol
    Its all about aggregator sites, utilizing facebook NOT twitter, NOT blogs, and rich media, whats rich media, hehehe, well its the future, for now. . .
    Here is the thing, technology and the web is evolving so FAST you are NEVER going to keep up, and if you can? You’re obviously making enough money to cure homelessness so why are you wasting it on the web?
    Focus on making church service so darn good that people go running out your doors to tell all their friends, because at the end of the day, you all visit SoCal and don’t leave until you have an In-n-Out burger not because you saw them on the web, or even saw a TV commercial, but because a friend raved about a Double Double and a Chocolate Shake.
    Get a facebook, post your service times there, interact with people, go where they are. Jesus didn’t sit on his butt and wait for the masses to come to him, he went out to where they were, so don’t sit on the world wide web and wait for them to stumble upon your website just by chance through the lottery of google. Go out and FIND them, rich media, banner ads, FACEBOOK. and the old staple and most reliable, actually having an engaging, engrossing, and authentic church.


  • nathan
    December 15, 2009

    I cannot say how wrong Sean Salter argument is. I attend lifechurch.tv and the internet and their website are a very integral part in their ministry. They minister to over 30 countries 8 times a week using there website. I understand what sean is saying that a lot of churches do not ABSOLUTELY need websites. Ministering to people can be done without a website…true. But when you can reach so many more people with a website why not have one. Modern church websites are not “big, clunky, long loading” websites anymore. Most church websites that you get from a reputable church website company are more visually pleasing and functional then 90% of other websites out there. As for tithing online, I choose to tithe online instead of having write out a check, bring it to church, put it in one of those little envelopes and then put it in the basket. I simply just use my debit card and its done in 10 seconds. Facebook is a great way to advertise and inform people about your church but it lacks the functionality that a website can bring to the table. Can facebook stream your sermons…No.
    Having a church website gives the congregation a home to come to whenever they want, if they cant make church one Sunday or they are out of town, easy, just watch it online.
    There are significantly more pros to having a church website then their are cons. Especially when they are so cheap these days.
    Nathan
    Atlas Church Media


  • Sean Salter
    December 15, 2009

    Well, I don’t have a dog in this cat show. I’m not trying to pawn off my company to make a quick buck. I do the marketing advertising thing in a different industry that is also in the business of story telling. . . and its moving into a very different direction. The trends are shifting.
    People are on the web, and they aren’t there to look at your site.
    They go for online shopping, social media, music, entertainment.
    How many non-pastoral men really truly want to come home after work and log onto there church website? How many mom’s do? How many kids do?
    The key point I am making is this, for most churches a website is NEVER a necessity. It is for an online based media church like lifechurch.tv, but thats a niche, not every church is goal is to be that, thus the website isn’t needed, at least not the traditional website with multiple pages, menus, yada yada yada.
    Now days your web presence has to move with the trends, live in the now, grow, expand, evolve, adjust, be customizable, interactive, stream video, audio, update content. . . and this is done cheaply? Ha, hardly
    Why build a site that does all the things the web can already do FOR FREE. . . youtube, facebook, wikipedia, biblegateway, amazon, itunes. . .
    Aggregation sites are YOUR future.
    Now, quick church marketing Gurus, research it, study it, regurgitate what I say, and claim it as your own revelation.
    And don’t EVEN get me started on tithing online. . . since tithing is in NO way biblical for the christian. and the fact that churches now have the ability to further this false teaching . . . well. . . yeah.
    Aggregation sites. Rich media. Traditional Web site, not needed.


  • Jermayn
    December 16, 2009

    I see a lot of people saying you dont need a website (central portal or not) and then the others saying you do.
    I am going to be a little different and say something in between is the best option.
    Have a website that you fully SEO and advertise on your bulletins, flyers, business cards etc and from that have in a minimum your twitter and facebook accounts (which you can join together) set up along with anything else you may need or want.
    However if you have a facebook, twitter, blog etc. It needs to be regularly used/ updated either by the senior or some other person. No point in having a facebook account if no one updates it.


  • Andy Wittwer
    December 16, 2009

    The great thing about the interwebs is that it’s all scalable. It might be sufficient for one church to just have a twitter account where the background displayed basic information. On the other hand, it seems to me that a large church could never post all its information on a facebook page, not to mention some of the functions of a fully fledged website. I understand the argument that you can do everything across all the software as a service sites, yet usability is a hot topic for anything online; jumping from one website to another to find the information is unlikely, unpractical, and unsimple. I haven’t seen a comment about analytics yet – it’s not difficult to tell whether your site is being utilized. Our site consistently receives enough hits that I couldn’t imagine pulling it down.
    As an aside to Mr. Salter – Tithing is a Christian’s response to God, not to the church – it’s not about law (which you’re correct about), it’s about love. Whether you think it’s an appropriate topic for the church to teach, it’s appropriate for the Christian to do.


  • Sean Salter
    December 16, 2009

    Tithing is not for the Christian, it’s for the Jew.


  • Brad Reimer
    December 16, 2009

    I think we’ve let “tithing” get in the way of discussing “giving”. I’m not offended that the March of Dimes or the National Wildlife Federation ask for financial support through their web site. If my church has a well thought campaign in support of a specific community mission opportunity, why shouldn’t my church have a place on its web site where interested members of our community who don’t attend my can go to offer financial support?
    Further, as a good steward of money, online giving – even with transaction fees – is the most cost effective means for a congregation to handle receiving financial support and getting it to the congregation’s bank.
    A separate point is that I don’t come home and surf to our church’s web site for pleasure – but to Andy’s point above, when I’m searching for the location of the day school’s basketball games this Friday, while I’m at work I don’t want to have sort through a whole group of unrelated sites with unrelated content to find the one piece of content I need.
    His point about web analytics and site optimization should also be considered with a high degree of discernment – if you can’t measure it directly, you can’t fix it directly. A dedicated web site is where a congregation will have the most visibility to what is going on with the Internet life of the church and the most control over how to optimize that life.


  • Dave Bourgeois
    December 16, 2009

    Great post, Michael, and great comments. To me, it all comes down to strategy: before you decide if you need a web site, you need to determine what your goals are for being online. For example, if you want to be online as a way to grow your congregation, you probably want to be sure that you have a way for search engines to find you, which means your probably want a web site. If your strategy is reach a target demographic and share the gospel, then you need to research that demographic and determine the best way to reach them, which may NOT include a web site. In all honesty, it seems that most organizations need a web site of some sort to legitimize themselves – the question really becomes what sorts of time, effort, and money should be spent on it.
    I have written on this topic in my blog a couple of times over the past few months, you can find those posts at http://genesys11.com/lessonsfrombabel/tag/web-20/.
    Dave


  • Dave Jackson
    December 17, 2009

    The church’s website HAS to be the hub. End of debate
    As a musician, I knew many people back in the day that were making a living from mp3.com Then the site got sued, then they were sold, then a lot of musicians had their income taken away. If these musicians were pushing people to their website where they could capture email addresses, and sell music through their wbesite they would’ve been able to keep on going without mp3.com (but they didn’t).
    Your website should be the hub to all your social media extensions. Then if facebook goes away (mp3.com was Huge, I mean HUGE, and yes it can happen) people will still know where to find you.


  • Arvell Craig
    December 18, 2009

    Wow. There are many comments here.
    Not sure if it’s too late.
    But here’s my 2 cents.
    Every church needs their own website.
    Because that is the one property THEY OWN.
    There is not telling what the web will be like in the future. Every 2-3 years there’s a new site.
    Who knows if Facebook or Youtube will be around in 5 years.
    But if you have your own site, your own domain, your own brand – you want be swayed by the future of other sites.


  • Tulsa Podiatrist
    January 18, 2010

    Arvell,
    Your exactly right! Many social media websites may not be here in the future but the internet is definitely here to stay. A great church webpage can really benefit a church not only to its current members but also to its new and potential memebers!
    Thanks!
    Tulsa Podiatrist


  • Andy Wittwer
    February 10, 2010

    Mashable published an article today that reminded me of this thread – it frames a website as the Hub of an organization and social media as methods of capturing leads. Worth a read in regards to this conversation I think … http://mashable.com/2010/02/10/business-web-presence/


  • Ignacio Sanchez
    February 17, 2010

    “Oh!!!!… the irony” Interesting, those advocating websites are irrelevant have unwittingly expressed their opinions/thoughts on…..yes, ladies and gentlemen ” A Website! “.
    After all a website is only a tool which can be refined with many moving parts or as simple as a proverbial hammer, but to suggest it’s in any way optional in this day in age where information is disseminated whether good or bad would be to suggest information is irrelevant.
    There will never be a substitute for face to face personal interaction but any tool to facilitate contact is a plus and should be in the toolbelt of any organization vying for interaction.
    To leave out this venue of interaction would be to diminish an ability which “The World” would happily replace with it’s ungodly doctrine which is in no doubt part of the four corners of the earth we as christians are meant to evangelize even if that corner is in
    our back yard.


  • Luke Gerrick
    February 18, 2010

    I read most of your comments above (there are quite a few people with strong opinions.) I recently became involved with a ministry and web design and realized that its true. No one really cares! Well, as far as web presence goes. Yes, web strategy has its place, but content is still king no matter what a web page is for. At least 80% of traffic will be direct traffic from those that already know the site exists and/or go to that church. The content and usefulness are what make a church’s website worth the effort. Being able to tithe online (especially recurring donations) and shopping in the church’s thrift store or bookstore. Bible studies and discussion boards are great too. Also, as in all communication, who is the audience? I agree that having one place, instead of eleven, is a great idea. Having a calendar for church goers and visitors to see isn’t something to look up on facebook. I think we get too focused on marketing that we forget to minister. A church’s webpage should reflect the ministry and provide interactivity.



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