Last week WFX came to Charlotte. Right in our backyard! What a great time. In fact, if you weren’t there, you missed out on many seminars, workshops and a very informative expo.
I returned today to my office to pour through the contacts we met. There were so many great Pastors, technical support and media directors that we met, and now I’m looking forward to following up with them all. They had hearts for the Church and for the Kingdom.
However, I did hear similar frustrations as I had discussions with many people at the conference and on the expo floor. Over and over I heard the same things:
1. Churches have gone the “inexpensive route” with website templates. Don’t get me wrong — there are a lot of great companies that offer inexpensive, well-designed website templates for the church. But words of caution comes from many that I talked to.
• If you set up a website using a template, and then decide later that you don’t want to pay the monthly subscription fee, you lose your site. The fine print will tell you that THEY own your site (and the infrastructure that contains your content). You cancel your subscription, they remove everything.
• The templates, although very nice in some cases, don’t look like the church — and can cause issues when the community clicks on your website then comes to your church. Be careful! This can look like you’re not authentic.
2. Churches have issues with Content. Templates can give a false sense of “doing it right” — the website looks good but the content is all wrong.
• Make sure you know the basic information that needs to be on your site — and where (according to eyetracker technology) it should be located.
• Have a creative development team that will be leaders! Make sure they are also editors. People don’t want to read a lot on a website anymore.
• Know your church’s “brand positioning” and make sure your content emphasizes it!
3. Church leadership sadly know that their website isn’t all that good and they don’t know how to shift the development away from a well-meaning member in the congregation.
• If you’re one of “those people” in the pew, consider telling the Pastor you would like to step aside. If you’re doing a good job, they’ll beg to have you back. Or ask if you can help make the transition to an outside source who better serves the church market.
• Pastors, take leadership! This won’t be easy, but if your website isn’t doing the right things well, you need to change your website and/or developers. In the long run it’ll be best for your church.
• Ask some questions of the person doing the site: Ask about the analytics package and how it effects the content, or what are the core benefits that your website are emphasizing. We can also meet with your team and demonstrate how we will set up the initial website but utilize people in the church to maintain it.
If you don’t have a great website, it comes down to 2 things — either your design isn’t good or your content isn’t relevant. At PinPoint, we will walk you through the process that insures the content is relevant and “positioned” well, and that the design allows the most amount of people to find and view the content.
It’s been a good week at the WFX — we clearly understand these issues after hearing about them from the church. Now lets start working together to solve these critical issues! Contact me today.