10 tips for Web sites that work
By Ken Johnson
Don’t settle for less than excellence anywhere in your church. When it comes to your church Web site, follow these ten tips to be sure you’re always at your best, even online.
1. Address your target audience on your site. For example: “Welcome church guests” or “Welcome site visitors.” Address them all.
2. Make sure your content and graphics are relevant to your Web site’s theme. Don’t use a picture of a race car on your church Web site.
3. Alert visitors by mail when you add new content to your site. This will remind them to visit the site.
4. Create a way for visitors to contact you on each page. Include your e-mail address, fax number and phone number.
5. Make sure that at least 50 percent of the content is original, not boiler plate.
6. Offer your visitors incentives for revisiting your Web site. It could be devotionals, Bible studies, music, or other items.
7. Create a FAQs section that could include your “Mission Statement,” your “Vision Statement,” service times, Bible study times and places, information about small groups, and directions to the church.
8. Make sure that all of the navigational bars are clickable. People will not hang around long if things don’t work and/or take too long.
9. Make sure that your site is visually acceptable and “user friendly”.
10. Organize the site in a logical sequence. Tell them about the church before you invite them to come in.
Free Web Site Evaluations
Are you wondering if your ministry’s Web site is reaching your community? On April 27th, churches around the world can participate in Internet Evangelism Day, exclusively designed to encourage your church to use the Web as an outreach tool.
To prepare for this event, organizers of Internet Evangelism Day have developed a free, online tool that evaluates your Web site’s outreach potential. Users go to their own ministry Web site and then answer 55 questions from the tool’s questionnaire as they browse through the site. A customized report is immediately displayed online.
If you’d like to use this tool to evaluate your Web site, go to www.internetevangelismday.com. The site also offers free downloads to help churches reach their community more effectively.
This article “10 Tips for Web Sites That Work” by Ken Johnson is excerpted from www.churchcentral.org, January 2008