Designing a church web site can be a complex process. Here are some of the questions we think you should be asking.
Before you get to thinking about your web site I suggest you consider who is going to maintain your web site? This will be key to what comes next. If you are just looking for a site that does not change then you may be very limited in the number of people who you can reach with it. That is you are probably just thinking about a site that advertises your church and where it is. If you are thinking that your Clergy person should be updating it then you need to consider their own competence to do it (they may need some support here) and how long will they be around? If you are a denomination that changes your clergy every few years then you will need to either employ another clergy person who can maintain your web site or find another solution. There are few sadder things on the Web than abandoned web sites.
If you get past the who will look after it stage then you need to think about some things to get started.
- Who is this for generally?
Are you intending to provide an online magazine for your existing churches?
Or maybe you want something that advertises your church to attract people to join you. If this is what you want then you will need to think if these people are existing Christians or people who are not yet Christians. If not yet Christians then are they nearly at the point of coming to faith or a long way from it – etc. Hopefully, you get the point, this isn’t a blog about evangelism.
- What will, therefore, be the most wanted response from your web site? Do you want them to contact you? Do you want them to sign up to an email list? Do you want them to attend your church? etc.
- Do you have any logos or colours already picked for your church and if yes are they suitable for the Internet?
- Who is this for specifically?
Try to come up with an idea of the person who you want to reach with your site. Give that person a name and describe them in as much detail as possible. If they are 18, for instance, this might make a big difference to the design of your site or which social media platform you choose to use (or even if you want to).
Answering these questions will help you make other decisions later. Like what platform should you use (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, etc) or should we have one hand coded from scratch (this will be expensive but opens up a great number of possibilities).
We can help with all these questions and more if you are trying to get a church web site off the ground.