Church website mistakes can be avoided with these creative solutions.
You want to grow your church and steward its resources in keeping with the times. What does that look like in our digital age?
Creating a website, of course!
It’s been years since you first made your church website public. You’ve probably spent a lot of money on it and a lot of time went into creating it.
Has the site seen enough traffic to justify the expense?
If your answer is “No, not really”, you’re not alone!
A Common Struggle
I talk to hundreds of church leaders every year. When the conversation turns toward their website, I hear the same frustrations. Most of them go something like this:
“I thought this website would bring more people into the church. But not even my members use it! I don’t know why we bother with it.”
The cost and the traffic don’t match expectations, leaving many ministers thinking a website is a waste.
However, after looking at hundreds of church websites, as well as researching trends, I’ve found that most churches make the same mistakes with their site. And if these mistakes were addressed, the likelihood of people visiting it would radically improve.
Here are the most common, fixable mistakes churches make with their website.
7 Common Mistakes Churches Make With Their Website
1. Nobody Knows About It
This one seems obvious, but I’m surprised by how few ministers I talk to that don’t ever talk about their website. Making it known is easy: bring it up in sermons, post about it on social media, and put a QR code in multiple places at your church to direct people to your site.
Pro tip: Laminate cards with your site’s QR code and stick or velcro them to the back of your worship center chair.
2. It’s Too Slow
Studies show that if a page takes more than 8 seconds to load, people will move on to something else. A slow website is a website no one wants to visit.
If your site is slow, there are some easy changes you can make to improve load time. Consider changing your site theme, eliminating some plugins, or moving your website to a different host to make sure visitors have a good experience.
Website focus: 4 Important Web Page Elements Your Church Should Be Using
3. It Doesn’t Offer Value
Does your website list service times, staff info, an About page, and little else? That information is important, but it’s not going to draw people back to the site again.
Make sure to add content to your site that would make someone’s time on your site worthwhile. This can range from sermon archives to blog posts and everything in between.What value does your church website offer? Regularly update content so even those in the ‘know’ will want to read it: blog articles, sermon archives, and resources. Click To Tweet
4. It’s Outdated
Does the site look like it hasn’t been updated since 1999? Do you still have an announcement for the 2018 Summer BBQ on the landing page? Make sure to regularly remove old content and add new content.
To easily update your site, check out popular website builders like Wix or Squarespace. They both offer templates that result in a website that is both beautiful and functional.
5. You’re Not Leveraging Social Media
Does your church have an account on any social media platforms? Are you posting links to your website on those platforms?
The trick is to not post everything about your church on social media. Reserve some announcements, pictures, and other content for the website, then link to that content on social media. That way folks have to visit your site.To encourage website visitors, don’t give away every great image on social media. Instead, post a ‘tease’ to social and direct followers to your website to view more images. Click To Tweet
6. It’s Not Mobile Friendly
Over half of everyone checking your website will do so from a smartphone or tablet. If your website isn’t responsive to the size of the screen, people won’t come back.
Again, going back to templates from a website builder: before choosing a template, make sure to test it out on your phone. That way you can be confident that it will look good on any device.
7. There’s No Online Giving
If your church uses an online payment processor, adding that to your site would incentivize traffic in your direction.
Questions to Ponder
Below are a few questions to help get you started on the path toward a better church website:
- What mistakes listed above does your website make (if any)?
- How would you describe your church website? Try to describe it in 5 words or less.
- What purpose does your website serve? What purpose would you like it to serve?
The Work Is Worth It
You may be looking at your website and feeling overwhelmed by all the work that needs to be done. But rest assured the work you do will help point someone in need toward their loving Savior. Take heart! Your effort will reap eternal rewards.
Looking For More?
At ChurchTrac, our desire is to be a resource for churches. So much so that we hosted a webinar on Why Nobody Visits Your Church Website. We cover all 7 mistakes, offer ideas to address those mistakes, and so much more!
Don’t have time to watch? We also put together a free guide you can download filled with helpful ideas and questions to ask as you take your church website to the next level.