5 Tips For Building a Ministry Site

Previously we had discussed church website ‘must haves’, and this post will touch on those topics and others in hopes of inspiring you to perfect your church’s site. Your church’s website is the most important marketing tool you have to communicate your ministry’s message to your current congregation, and for other potential ministry members. The process of creating a site can be a laborious and confusing effort, so with that in mind, here are a few tips for creating a church site that is fun, functional and honest.
Focus on UX and Navigation
Many church sites seem to focus on impressive graphics and Flash design elements that can be difficult for some users to navigate. Your primary goal with a website is similar to that old adage in the medical profession… first, do no harm! Remember that your site should be simple enough that all users are able to navigate. Site usability is not only crucial for your site’s users, but it is also a factor in Google’s search algorithm, i.e., your site will be buried in Google if it’s not crawlable.
Link to Your Site
Calling out your website in your ministry’s newsletters, bulletins and other collateral materials is important. But your site needs to go beyond that and optimizing it for search, adding social sharing buttons and even linking it with other church sites can have an enormous benefit for not only your congregation, but for potential members who are not aware of your ministry.
Responsive Design Is More Than a Buzzword
Responsive design has been a buzzword in tech and business circles and for good reason. It’s crucial for websites to be responsive because of the various devices people now use to access the web such as desktops, tablets, mobile phones, etc. Each of these devices has its own limitations with respect to screen size, so be sure that your site caters to them all. And if you thought this trend will pass or slow, think again! According to B2B giant Cisco, mobile traffic is expected to grow 10 fold between 2014 and 2019.
Keep Your Site Fresh
Consistently adding content to your site is also a key component to keeping your congregation engaged with your ministry’s activities. Most ministries have a limited amount of time and resources, so be sure to plan in advance who will be updating and maintaining your church’s website.
Adding a blog to your site can also work to give your site a fresh feel, and to give people a reason to tune in consistently. Plus, this will help to add a face and voice to your ministry’s events, efforts and online giving drives. My advice would be that if you initiate a blog, keep it updated consistently. Perhaps your posts can be scheduled for the same time each week so that your congregation comes to expect these updates!
Use Images…real images!
One of the major flaws in ministry websites is the use of stock photography. This can hurt in two ways. First, to your existing congregation members, it can be confusing when they go online and do not recognize the faces in the photos. Second, to new or prospective members, stock photos can signal that your ministry is impersonal and not in touch with the community. Your ministry’s website is a great opportunity for you to communicate your church’s message and what a new member can expect to see and experience.
These are just a few considerations for creating your church website. Remember your website is the first impression that most people will have of your church, so proceed accordingly. Please let us know in the comments section below the good, bad and ugly you have personally experienced with ministry websites.

Author: Guest

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the informative post! I’ll have to keep this bookmarked for when we redesign our ministry site in the spring.

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