Six Effective Changes to My Church Web Site
Over the past several months, the leadership at my church has decided to make some adjustments to the church Web site. Some of these changes have been drastic and some have been relatively minor. I’ll mention what I consider the six most effective changes they’ve made, as I think that the principles behind the changes may be helpful for anyone with a church or ministry Web site.
1. The Twitter Feed on the Home Page—This has proved to be a fantastic way to keep our community updated. While only about 25 percent of the community is on Twitter, almost everyone has access to the Web site. When our church tweets an announcement, a reminder of something from the message last week, or a teaser for the coming week’s service, it’s fed right to our home page for all to see.
2. The Latest Announcements Video and Grow Videos—We have some talented amateur videographers in our community, and good video has been part of the weekly services and communication strategy for quite some time. Just recently though, there’s been a more focused effort to get these videos on the church Web site. The latest announcement video is available right at the top of the home page. In addition to this, there is a new page called Grow on which our pastor has started to post short videos focused on spiritual growth.
3. The Sermon Podcasting and Sharing Options—If you check out the Teaching page you will see that we’re incorporating audio, video, images, text, and sharing options like Twitter, email, and Facebook. There’s also an easy way to subscribe via iTunes. This has been a huge option for members of our community to watch a sermon that they missed or share a sermon with their friends and family.
4. Constant Contact Archive and Signup—Our church has used Constant Contact for a few years to send out weekly email newsletters. Just recently, though, we started embedding the most recent newsletter and linking to the previous two newsletters from the church Web site. You’ll see that there is also a way for you to sign up for the email newsletter right there. This has been a big help for communication.
5. Online Giving—Some people have been asking for a way to give their tithes or offerings online for quite some time. A few months ago the option was added to the church Web site and it’s been a big hit so far.
6. Volunteer and Staff Administrators—Since we’re using a content management system, it’s easy enough to give individual staff members power over their particular pages so that they don’t have to filter changes through the one person at the church who knows how to program Web sites (namely me.) Over the last few months, the Children’s Pastor has done a complete overhaul on her pages and the home group director has done the same.
In addition to these six, there are a few more changes that are on the roadmap for the near future. They include pastoral blogs and a Search Engine Optimization overhaul (that I’ll be managing). Check back and let me know what you think.
Nick Zerwas is part of a church in Lincoln, CA called Emmaus Church Community. His company, SnapShot Web, powers the church Web site—emmauscommunity.org.
From: www.youthministry.com web site. January 2011