So you think your church needs a website. Or a new site. Or a better site. Rock on. Welcome to Church Websites 101, a quick and dirty series about how to start or restart your church’s website.
We’ve been talking big picture website ideas for a while. It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. This series could go on forever with tips and ideas, but this week we’re going to hit some practical tips quickly. Ready? Here we go.
The old slogan that content is king is still true. People come to your website for the content. So make sure you have something worth coming to. This goes back to your plan and your call to action, but remember that content is what keeps bringing people back to your site.
Online Copy is Different
Don’t just copy and paste from you bulletin or brochure. You need to rework the copy. You should be using bullets, bold text and subheads to make it scannable. Your website is not a dumping ground for every bit of copy your church has ever created. Be intentional about what goes online and then rework it so it works online.
Don’t stress out about search engine optimization (SEO), but don’t forget about it either. You want your site to be findable. The easiest way to do SEO is to use tools (like WordPress and plugins) that do SEO for you.
It’s OK to Link
This is an old one from the early days of the Internet, but it seems to persist. It’s OK to link to the rest of the Internet. Don’t worry about folks clicking away from your site and never coming back. Don’t make your site a ghetto that no one can ever leave. Linking provides value and it’s how the Internet works. Embrace it.
Your website is going to need some good imagery. We won’t rehash the age old stock vs. real photography debate, but you’re going to have to. There are positives and negatives to both. Stock can be cheaper, but you run the risk of sharing a visual spokesperson. Real is more authentic, but you run the risk of real people leaving or screwing up. Whichever way you go, invest some time and money into good imagery. It’s what captivates people and draws them in. Just don’t use spinning barrels.
More Church Websites 101: