Be sure to read the previous article that covers the design of your web site.
We may not have the coolest website around, and actually there is some intentionality behind that, but we do get a lot of compliments from people. These are the people who found our site from a search engine. They are looking for specific information so they can decide whether or not to test drive our community.
When you decide what to put on your website, you have two audiences: your people, and potential visitors. You have to decide how you mix information for these two groups. However, there is some content that I believe are absolutely essential for every ministry website.
- Service Times – I am surprised how many ministries do not tell you when they get together. People need to know this stuff so they know when to come! Personally, I think this information deserves prime real-estate on your site: front page, and highlighted somehow.
- Address/Directions – Again, you’d be surprised how many ministry websites do not include their church address! I think you should take it a step further and provide directions from the major roads. Also, a good map (use Google Maps or make your own) really helps potential visitors.
- F.A.Q. – Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.), gives you an opportunity to put yourself in a potential visitor’s shoes. What questions would they ask? Describe your services: worship style, expectations of visitors, style of preaching, etc. It should provide most of the information a visitor needs to make a decision – even if you duplicate information found elsewhere. We get a lot of compliments on our F.A.Q. section from site visitors. Check it out for some inspiration.
- Staff Bios – First and foremost, a church is its people. Visitors want to get to know the people. We actually probably go more in-depth than is required, but when a visitor walks up to you like they’ve known you all your life, you find its worth it.
There are other things that you ought to include, but the above are things you need to be sure you spend a lot of energy and thought on. Also, be sure to keep that stuff up to date!
What are some things you think are essential content for church websites?