In today’s world of smartphones, iPads and laptops, let’s agree on one thing: before a visitor sets foot in your church, the odds are incredibly high that he or she will first look at your church’s website.
There are many reasons why this happens. They may need directions. They may want to know how large your church is. They may not be able to attend in person and want to view your services online. But more than likely, the visitor wants a glimpse of what’s inside; what to expect when they arrive at your front door.
The “fear of the unknown” can be a powerful deterrent to potential visitors. With an engaging, professional, and innovative website, visitors will feel comfortable getting in their car, driving to your church, and walking inside. A quality website will put aside those fears and breakdown any barriers allowing visitors the opportunity to connect with your ministry. And expanding the Kingdom is what it’s all about. Right?
A church website needs to accomplish three main objectives:
1. Help people find a church to attend —online or in person
2. Inform potential and active church members of current ministries and events
3. Provide spiritual content that helps people grow in their faith
See how your church website stacks up to these objectives. Once you’re on target with these objectives, check to see if your site follows the basic design standards required for every website.
Effective websites meet the following design criteria: A) clean and uncluttered (not busy); B) informative by providing helpful content; C) causes the user to interact with the website; D) engaging and interesting; and E) provides solutions via product, content and/or multimedia.
You don’t get a second change to make a first impression. For many people that first impression is a church website. Spend some time on your site and see if it follows these basic objectives and criteria for effective design. Your church will have greater ministry impact as a result!
[Editor’s Note: Jason will be one of the presenters at the eConnect Conference held at Group Publishing January 29-31, 2014.]