Regarding website design, churches often make common mistakes that cost them dearly in terms of lost visitors.
In order to have a user-friendly website for your church, you need to make sure to avoid the following three common mistakes:
3 Common Mistakes On Church Home Pages
Mistake #1 // Making the site difficult to navigate
Churches often have a lot of content on their websites, and this can lead to a navigation nightmare for visitors. If your website is challenging to navigate, people will quickly abandon it in favor of one that is easier to use. Therefore, make sure that your main menu is easy to use and that all your content is easy to access.
Four recommendations to make a site easy to navigate:
1: Use clear and descriptive headings. This will help users understand what each page is about and quickly find the information they're looking for.
2: Use visual cues to guide users through your content. Highlight essential sections with visually distinct elements, such as headings, images, or videos.
3: Reduce the number of items in the top navigation menu. Organize the rest of the options available in the footer. The top nav should be for your visitor who is new. What do you want them to do? You want to reduce the number of options so they don't have paralysis by analysis on their first couple of visits.
4: Consistency starts with the home page: The experience across the site should be consistent from page to page so that users can easily find their way around. Whatever you begin to use to help the visitor navigate your home page should be used across the rest of the website.
Mistake #2 // Having a cluttered home page
Your home page is the first thing people see when they visit your website, so you must ensure that it is well-organized and easy to understand. If your home page is cluttered with too much information, or if it is difficult to figure out what you want people to do when they visit your site, they will quickly leave. Keep your home page simple and focused on getting people interested in learning more about your church.
Here are three recommendations for streamlining the home page:
1: Keep things organized. Use clear H2 headings and labels to help visitors find what they're looking for quickly and easily.
2: Avoid clutter. Too much text and too many images can be overwhelming. Stick to the essentials and use white space to break up content. Use H3 sub-headings and bullet point lists when possible. People scan more than you think.
3: Use clear, concrete calls to action. Tell visitors what you want them to do next, whether signing up for your newsletter or downloading a free e-book.
4: Make it easy on the eyes: Break up the text more. And include more visuals with people from your community.
Mistake #3 // Making the site look dated
One of the biggest problems with church websites is that they often look outdated. This can be due to several factors, such as using old design elements or using no longer fashionable graphics. If your website looks dated, people will assume that your church is outdated and will be less likely to visit or become involved. Therefore, ensure you regularly update your website's design to always look fresh and current.
3 recommendations of current design trends for home pages:
1: Use large, high-quality images: First and foremost, your homepage should be visually appealing. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by using large, high-quality images. These days, visitors are used to seeing beautiful imagery on websites, so make sure your homepage doesn't disappoint.
2: Minimalist design: Clean, simple layouts with plenty of white space are becoming more popular as people seek ways to declutter their lives.
3: Integrate personalization on content: Home pages that reflect the user's interests and preferences are becoming more common as we increasingly expect tailored content and experiences online.
FACE THE TRUTH
At first glance, these three categorical mistakes and sets of recommendations for each one can be casually dismissed. After all, they are almost all intuitive, and you probably have heard variations of each of them before. But the fact is, how many of these recommendations have you actually put into practice with your website? And what’s the excuse for not employing these best practices for one of the most critical front doors to your church?
There is so much emphasis on getting more traffic to a church website, but one of the most impactful leverage points is improving the conversion rate of visitors who actually land on your church website.
Taking these mistakes too casually can cost your church dearly in terms of lost visitors. However, by focusing on reversing just one of these mistakes and making a specific update to your website this week, you can create a more user-friendly site that will help people find what they are looking for.
Which mistake will you reverse, and how will you make the necessary update?