The web is a crowded place. There are billions of websites, with more coming online every day. Even in smaller niches such as church websites, it can be difficult to stand out. But, some sites do a better job than others of attracting visitors and accomplishing their mission. All of the best websites for churches and faith-based groups have at least four things in common. If you can take these common traits and bring them to your church website you can create a powerful tool to serve not just your community, but also the entire world.
1. Frequently updated content
Church websites that are attracting a lot of visitors and successfully serving congregations are always putting out new content. Web content comes in many different forms. It can be anything from blog posts to videos. The key is to be regularly releasing new information that is inspiring and educational.
Content does several things for a website. One, it gives search engines more ways to index the site. Because web searches on sites like Google are the most common way for new people to find out about your site, it is important to continuously be putting out new content for the search engines to present to people looking for answers.
The second thing that frequently updating content on your church website does is that it increases the engagement with your congregation. Your members know where they can go to get inspired or to find out the latest happenings in the community.
When designing your church website make sure to choose a platform that makes it easy to update your content.
2. Designed for mobile devices
Smartphones are taking over the world. Increasingly people are not going to your site from a desktop computer. Instead, they are visiting it from their tablet or smartphone. If your site is not designed to look nice and work well on mobile devices, you are going to have a harder time attracting visitors and engaging your community.
Website platforms like WordPress make it easy to create church websites that are fully functional on desktops and mobile devices. You don’t want a poorly designed website to limit people’s access to your message. The best church websites are easy to use, no matter what device you are using.
3. Gathers people
The appearance and tone of your website matter to your visitors. Great church websites are welcoming. Everything from the color scheme to the words on the screen are designed to gather people in. Just as many churches have an enthusiastic and friendly greeter by the doors before services and during activities, your homepage is greeting and welcoming people to your online community.
Part of gathering is having a website that loads quickly, is easy to navigate, and makes visitors feel positive and loved.
4. Hub for digital evangelism
The best church websites are not only an online gathering place for the faithful, but are also hubs for digital evangelism. Information technology has made it possible to spread the word faster and farther than ever before in human history.
A great site allows people to learn more about the faith. It answers common questions and helps shepherd people along the path towards discipleship. Being a hub for digital evangelism means being integrated with social media. It means having shareable content that inspires and teaches.
Part of creating a hub is thinking about the types of questions those searching for spiritual light are asking. It also means creating a place online that people are comfortable sharing with friends and family members who are struggling or curious.
The moral of our story
The best church websites are a careful blend of both technical techniques and shareable spiritual truths. If you want your church site to be both a gathering place for your congregation and a light on the hill to lead people to the safety of the gospel, you need a website that both looks great and makes people feel great when they land on it.