Before starting your new church website, you need to have a plan.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
(or at least plan to spend unnecessary time and money) (tweet this)
Two things that need to be planned before breaking ground are:
- General design and organization
When you begin planning your church website, it can easily become overwhelming. Below are some things to consider for each of these areas in order to help nothing fall through the cracks.
General Design and organization
Although many things will change as the website is being built, it’s a good idea to know what you would like your church website to look and feel to be like before you begin putting the pieces together. This can be a group effort, or something you outsource to someone else, but it needs to happen somewhere early on. Some ideas to get you started are:
-Websites you like (and specific things you like about them)
- Large header image
- Pictures with text
- Icons in the Navigation Bar
- Dropdown menus or not
- Sidebar or full width
-Long pages with multiple categories or information, or separate shorter pages?
-Preferences on wording for headers/navigation (ie: small groups vs community groups, giving vs tithing, volunteering vs serving, teaching vs preaching, etc.)
After knowing what design and organizational style your website will have, you can more clearly create the content needed on your website. The design and organization of your website will determine the amount of written content versus images, so it’s important to decide that before gathering what you’re going to have on your website. I’ve collected a few major sections for churches to consider and create content for below. These don’t apply to every church, but hopefully can help you think through what you do, and do not want, on your website so that you don’t have anything fall through the cracks.
About the Church
-Address/ contact info
-A short paragraph(s) of “what to expect” for people to read about your services
-Anything you want written about different ministries (kids classes/youth groups, groups that meet during the week, etc.)
-How to Volunteer
-Any events or general information you’d want on a section that will eventual highlight your church events
-Podcast (need audio, visual, and written content)
-Blog (visual and written content)
-Downloadable PDFs or other resources
-Any pictures you have of the area/services/meeting space
-Any pictures you have of people that are a part of the church (in church context)
-Any pictures of your city and nearby area (it emphasizes your heart for your community and brings familiarity to locals)
-Any other pictures you will be wanting for the areas listed above
Any Additional Ideas?
I hope this helps you get started in your process to revamping or starting a new church website. I’d love to hear if any of you have ideas to add and help make this general list even more complete.