The church website is still one of the most useful ways to draw in new visitors and reach the community. While social media gets most of the press these days, it’s important to revisit your church website from time to time to make sure that it’s meeting your needs and matching up with your goals for both inreach (within your church) and outreach (into the community).
Here’s a list of 25 features of a power church website:
- Simple and clean design that is easy to navigate and nice to look at.
- Tools to customize and change the appearance of the site on a regular basis.
- Content Management Software (CMS) that is easy enough for the 65 year old non-techie volunteer to use.
- Simple interface that doesn’t require needing to know HTML or CSS programming languages.
- Ability to add or remove pages and customize them at any time.
- Built-in photo editing so you can easily edit images and place them on your site.
- Web-based CMS that allows you to edit your site from any internet connection in real-time and see your changes immediately.
- Ability to customize colors and graphical features throughout your entire website simply and easily.
- CMS that constantly auto-saves so that you never loose your edits as you’re working on your site.
- Ability to handle everything from language settings, date formatting, and search engine options to additional design settings and even your site’s statistics.
- Ability to easily add any resources you want to your site: Embed or upload videos, add documents, link to anywhere.
- Customizable media player capabilities that allow you to organize audio and video and share online.
- Photo album capabilities that allow visitors to view albums as a slideshow, full screen, and even download photos.
- Clean and simple online calendar capabilities.
- Form creator tools to create forms for your visitors to fill out for everything from the contact us page to event registration.
- Optional password protected pages of your church website.
- Social media integration features.
- Podcasting and video embedding capabilities.
- Mobile website functionality so that your site is viewable on all devices.
- Search engine optimized site pages so that all search engines find your site content.
- SEO URLs and additional optional features.
- Robust amounts of storage online, with backup features so your data never gets lost.
- High-availability servers with optimized databases and automatic media conversion.
- Statistics functionality that allows you to see site stats including Google Analytics.
- Customer service that includes the ability to speak to real people over the phone.
Whew! That’s quite a list. I have to admit that one of our site’s newer sponsors, Clover Sites, offers many of these features and helped in making this list. If you’re looking for a better solution to make your church website stand out and become easier to manage, I highly recommend that you check them out.
Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, church technology PR consultant (http://lhpr.net) and founder of the blog ChurchTechToday (http://ChurchTechToday.com), Technology for Today’s Church.