In today’s technological world, people will first check out a church on the web before visiting. People rarely consult the Yellow Pages first. Even senior adults are becoming computer savvy, or at least computer literate. In years past, developing and maintaining a website was incredibly expensive and was not practical for smaller churches or ones on a tight budget.
Today, those costs have significantly decreased. Therefore, it behooves the revitalization pastor to examine the church’s website and make improvements. If the website needs an overhaul, take the time to bring it about. A good website does not need to be complicated. Look at the Google home page. It is probably the most simple of any website out there. Yet, it is functional and obviously popular for what it does.
Here are some suggestions for simplicity’s sake:
- Have the worship times and locations clearly visible
- Use a simple domain name for your church
- Have a map available for directions
- Include information about yourself and your staff but do not make it look like a résumé
- Upload sermons and list the current sermon series
- Include contact information, including e-mail addresses and the physical address of the church
Make navigating the website simple. Use easy links to other pages. If someone has to navigate through several pages to get to needed information, that person will not stay on the website for very long. Forbes Magazine observes that the human brain makes a thousand computations the moment strangers meet. They explain, “And these com¬putations are made at lightning speed.
Researchers from NYU found that we make eleven major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.” Apply that idea to a website. It will not take long for someone to leave a church’s website if the sought information is difficult to find, out of date, or not available at all. In the end, people may have a negative attitude toward the church if the website is hard to navigate or if it is nonexistent.