The pitfalls and possibilities of building a website for your church.
Veteran website designer, videographer and motion graphics artist Chris Thurman (MinistryMade.com) relates seven common website pitfalls and four ways to make improvements.
Relying on inexperienced volunteers “who took a class in college” or are “good with computers” to create and operate your church website instead of turning to qualified website professionals.
Or on the other hand …
Paying professionals to operate and update the website when church volunteers and/or staff can actually do this pretty well.
Creating separate ministry websites to disseminate information and do outreach rather than using better, existing tools from Facebook, Twitter and Google.
Maintaining an inward rather than an outward focus—with the emphasis on “us” and use of “Christianese” rather than a focus on outreach and language that is accessible to outsiders and the unchurched.
Forgetting that for people in their 20s and 30s, your website is actually the “front door” of your church.
Failing to consider and address target audiences or create the digital resources (podcasts, small group tools, online registration forms, events calendar, etc.) they need.
Not committing to regularly updating the website.
Continue to assess and identify new features your website needs, such as more information for potential visitors, including podcasts of services; details of service times and what people typically wear to your church; information for parents about children’s programs—what’s offered and how things work.
Assign only one staff person to be in charge of managing the website, even if this person is not tech savvy.
Be ready to change your platform or access providers to save money and/or improve quality.
Learn from best practices. (Thurman points to 60 church websites to illustrate: bit.ly/Web-GoodExamples.)