There are four church website changes (or updates) to prepare your church digitally for the New Year.
In this complex church communication world, many Pastors aren’t sure where to start with the plethora of channels and tools: social media, website, email campaigns, bulletins, etc. So why should you start with the website?
We know the world relies heavily on a digital hub — where most communication points to a website — so improving your website is critical. That way a potential guest can be please when they look at your website before deciding to attend. Or a member can get details when they forget an announcement. Or anyone can give a gift.
That’s why your church website is critical! Here are four required end-of-the-year church website changes:
- Update your Staff/Team page with critical information. Your two audiences (congregation and community) both seek information on the staff/team page; but for different reasons. Internally, members want to identify who’s in charge of specific ministries and how to contact them directly. So be simple and clear about job titles and contact information. Externally, when someone living nearby decides they may visit; interestingly, they often go to this same page! Their reason? To see if leadership looks like them and if they’ll fit in. This is why staff pictures matter! Ensure they’re current, everyone is dressed like you’d expect people to dress each Sunday, the friendly pictures are similarly cropped, and each staff person is wearing current fashion.
- Ensure online giving is set up properly. Anyone wanting to make an end-of-year gift should be able to online! This functionality exists for most Content Management Systems. Check with yours or with your Baptist Association for assistance. Then make sure your main menu has “Give” clearly listed: under “About” or as its own main menu. On the giving page, talk about security, use your church name, logo, fonts, and colors (you want them to know it’s legitimate). Keep it simple without long paragraphs. Explain how you’ll use the funds. Link to ministry success stories. It may also be a great place to post a 1-min video from your Pastor, thanking them for their generosity.
- Make the calendar dynamic. Your congregation is the primary audience for your church website. They visit to discover what’s for them! So events and a calendar are critical. One of your main menu items should clearly say “Events” or “Calendar”. On that page, list what was discussed on Sunday or in the bulletin, and link to other events (on a calendar grid or in a list). Bonus points if someone can filter for ministries or demographics (men, women, kids, students, etc.). This simplifies the results to only ones that interest them.
- Update your copyright code. Everyone visiting your website needs to understand it’s current. That’s why your Christmas announcements should be removed on Dec 26. But also why your copyright date (often in the footer at the bottom of each page) NEEDS to be changed manually to 2022 on January 1. Or even better? Talk to the person who built your site so that the coding automatically changes your date with the calendar year. It’s usually easy for them to do!