I’ve done a lot of research into church websites and I’m not trying to be mean, but the vast majority of them are in need of a serious makeover. Fortunately there are resources available today that can turn any church website around and into a powerful tool that can be leveraged for your ministry. And ChurchThemes.com is just such a tool.
Aside from having built a couple of stellar WordPress templates for churches, they have a running blog that offers great insight into what elements make for a powerful and essential church website.
Take for example a recent article they’ve written called Content Your Church Website Must Have. That article highlights 10 core pieces of content that you might think is just a given. But it’s amazing how many church websites fail epically by neglecting some of these essential pieces of their website.
1. Location – people want to know where you’re located
2. Services – people want to know what you offer
3. About Us – people want to know who you are
4. What To Expect – people want an idea of what to expect
5. What We Believe – people want to know what you believe
6. Leader Profiles – people want to know a little bit about the leadership team
7. Ministries – people want to know what ministries you have
8. Events – people want to know if there are events happening, and what kind
9. Sermons – give people a sampling of your Sunday morning sermons
10. Contact – people want to be able to get ahold of you if they must (the phonebook is not a common feature anymore)
I’m going to go a step further and say not only does a church need these 10 core elements, but they also need to be easy to find on the website. With the sheer volume of options available on the internet today, a visitor is not going to waste valuable time digging through your website to find what they are looking for. If your church website does not make it easy for them to find what they are looking for, they’ll be gone in a flash.
A second point I’d like to challenge you with is to try to view your website objectively. This can be difficult because sometimes we fall so in love with the design of our website (“It looks so pretty” or “It does really cool things”) that we forget to ask if it’s functional. Ideally you want a website that is both beautiful and functional. And that’s what ChurchThemes offers.
But sometimes I will come across a church website that is really slick with lots of movable sliders and a perception of “simplicity.” But it takes me five minutes to figure out how to navigate it. And that’s because I was trying. Most people won’t try. If your website is difficult to navigate, you’ve lost them already. Never compromise functionality for trendiness.
Important announcement: My church website training course is right around the corner. The course is set to launch on Monday, August 4. It is video based and designed to teach you how to get a church or ministry website step by step. You will love it! I promise. And the course will be using a theme from ChurchThemes so that you can have an amazing website set up in a week. Subscribe so you don’t miss out. (And share this post with all your friends in church leadership.)
Question: What other features do you consider to be essential for church websites? You can leave a comment by clicking here.