9 Ways to Ruin Your Church Web Site

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1.) Use animated gif’s

Honestly, they’re just tacky.

2.) Don’t include your service times

Yes, I made this mistake once. A couple people called the church (on a Saturday when nobody is usually there, but luckily someone was making copies for Sunday School the next day) and asked the service times because they were not on the web site.

3.) Skip the “What We Believe” section

Doctrine is important. Just ask Mark Driscoll, the pastor of Mars Hill Church. He and Gerry Breshears wrote a book about it. I’m in the process of reading it. I highly recommend it.

4.) Forget to put your location

You’ll need the address and a map. There’s more than one First Baptist church in the world. In fact, I bet we have multiple Calvary, Faith Temple, and Grace churches. What do you think? I know I’ve personally been searching for a church in Texas and found one with the same name in Maine. It’s easy to forget things.

5.) Use the church web site for political statements

Certain things are okay. Backing the Bill of Rights is good. Defending marriage is good. Freedom of Religion is of the utmost importance. Just be wise in what you put on your church web site. Make sure it is nice and legal in your jurisdiction. And if you’re in an area where Christians are persecuted, you might want to be careful of what you put on your web site (or if you even have one) to begin with.

Just be smart about it. It’s up to you to make sure your web site is helpful, legal, and not detrimental.

6.) Don’t use graphics or bullet points

Graphics and Bullet points make text easier to read. They make web sites more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable. Use graphics on every page, but not to excess. Use them in moderation and use them consistently.

7.) Rarely update your site

Regular updates are important. People in the community want to know what’s going on in your church. Prospects are more likely to come to events if they know when they’re happening. If you’re doing something awesome for the Glory of God — put it on the web site so people can see how God is working and make his name famous.

8.) Assume web sites are only for younger generations

We recently had a retired couple come to our church because they saw our Thanksgiving feast on our web site. They not only came to church, but they brought a couple covered dishes for the potluck lunch. How awesome is that?!? We loved worshiping God with them and they really knew how to cook too!

A lot of elderly people have computers to keep up with their kids, grandkids, and friends. I know a lot of people who didn’t grow up with computers who use them regularly.

9.) Use boring headlines

Headlines catch people’s attention. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t use them. Check out copyblogger.com‘s advice on Creating Headlines. They really know what they’re talking about. It’s not targeted to churches, but it’s easily adaptable.

A good headline could draw in a prospect from google or somewhere else. Other people might also link to your page if you’re doing something cool, so make the headline count.

Any other ideas? Let me know in the comments!

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