10 Things To Include on your Church Website

Earlier on today, I caught myself over hearing a conversation about Church websites, and what should really be included on them. As these people seemed to know what they were talking about, I thought I would share the ideas about Church websites here.

Here are the list of things I heard that should be included on a church website*:

  1. Make sure you include an in-depth history of the church as well – for new comers.
  2. How long have you had a Church newsletter / magazine for? Include all of them on the website. As scanned in, PDF downloads.
  3. Include a list of things your church frowns on. You don’t want the wrong people coming to your church.
  4. Lots of images are good! Need an image? Google has it!
  5. Ensure it looks really good on a big screen. That way it looks really very pretty.
  6. A step by step theological guide explaining why your services are structured in the correct manner.
  7. Make sure you include a photo of the smiling lead minister and his / her smiling family.
  8. Flash animations. They look pretty.
  9. Blessed with creative musicians? Include their tunes on the website. Have the tunes playing automatically as the website loads. Include affiliate links to Amazon were the songs can be brought. (Thus creating TWO income streams)
  10. Ensure you have links to Social Media accounts. Don’t worry about updating them.

Is there anything else you would include?

Please bear in mind this was what we heard, so of it may not be totally accurate!

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How Churches Can Use Facebook Pages.

A while back, I posted “How Churches Can Use Facebook Groups“, it seemed a little popular, and as our Church in now looking into using a Facebook Page, I thought I should write a follow up to the previous post that is focused on how Churches can use Facebook Pages.

To start with, lets look at what Facebook say a page is:

Pages allow real organizations, businesses, celebrities and brands to communicate broadly with people who like them. Pages may only be created and managed by official representatives.

The suggestion being that a Facebook page is focused around news or content about an individual / organisation, an organisation such as your church.

If you’re not sure why you should be thinking about this, pastors.com reports that:

80% of people check out your website before attending your church. The second place they visit is your Facebook page to view pictures and dialogue between church members. In most situations your Facebook page is much more telling than your website.

If you’re thinking of starting a Facebook page for your church, or are looking for some extra hints, tips or ideas, you may find some below:

  1. Compared to Facebook Groups, Facebook Pages can be quite locked down. You can control who posts, set language controls, ban users, take a moment to explore the settings page and see what happens.
  2. Dont overload people, don’t post too much too often. You can schedule posts to go live on your page, therefore you can sit down, write a few posts, and then schedule them to go live over the course of the next few days / weeks.
  3. Remember to avoid “Churchy language” that non Church people may not understand.
  4. Get help. Find people to help monitor comments, update the site, and do anything that may be needed.
  5. Remember, if your Page gets more than 25 people liking it then you can choose a shortened address for your Page in the form of www.facebook.com/yourchurchname (you will also be able to use the address fb.com/yourchurchname). This is very useful for putting on publicity and much easier to pass on by word of mouth.
  6. Dont forget you can use the Pages App on your phone to update the page.
  7. Update your Facebook page, when you update the website. Use a wordpress plugin to auto update Facebook when your news or blog pages are updated.
  8. Think about when your posting, some people are more likely to check Facebook during the day than others.
  9. Post about things! Post about upcoming events, sermon podcasts, news items, Bible verses, Bible verses against arty backdrops, Church notices…. anything that may be important and interesting. Remember that schedule feature? Use it to post handy reminders about upcoming events, or any thing the Church may need to be reminded about!
  10. Make it up as you go along. Don’t get worried about what people think. If you get bogged down in rules you may avoid experimenting with an idea that may work really well and connect with people. Be creative.

Any more ideas?

For more info see  churchmarketingsucks.com, pastors.com, and fiec.org.uk.

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10 reasons why you shouldn’t have a church website

Trigger Warning for gentle satire.

Picture the scene. You’re there at church, and some bright spark turns around and suggests that you should have a church website. Instead of rejecting the idea completely, here are ten reasons why you should say no:

1. Someone would need to build it.
2. Why would people go to a church website, when they can just come to a Sunday Service?
3. Someone would need to update it.
4. We can’t ask the obvious people who always say yes to things to do another job!
5. We’ll need to arrange a committee to decide how it will look!
6. Don’t we need photos for something like that?
7. We’ll need to decide why we need a website.
8. We have a Facebook group, why do we need anything else?
9. Faith comes by hearing. In person. On a Sunday morning. Not via a MP3 recording!
10. Having a website may upset the person who puts together the church notice sheet.

Any more reasons to say no?

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Ponderings and questions after watching #cnmac13 from afar.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve blogged about various topics I’ve taken away from The Christian New Media Conference (#Cnmac13), both from being there in person, and by watching the hashtag on Twitter.

Again, I kept a watch on what people were saying on Twitter, but I guess this time I have more questions than answers. Here are some quotes from what I saw on Twitter, which stood out and made me ask questions.

“To begin with, there were a few tweets about humanizing the gospel.”
What does humanizing the gospel actually mean?

“There should be more of a partnership between local churches & the web”
Are there any good examples of this happening? Or do we simply mean a decent local church website? What would that look like anyway?

“Church online can be one, catholic and apostolic but cannot be holy. We need to be in embodied relationship to others”
I’m confused by this. I guess it depends on what Church looks like – if a Church online is focused on peoples relationship with each other and God then why not? If we’re seeing the difference between online and offline relationships becoming blurred, and if God can make offline relationships holy, then why cant he do the same with online relationships?

Does our concept of what constitutes church need to be re-imagined?
I’m presuming this could be the opposite view point to the above? But even if it isn’t: What the heck constitutes Church anyway?

(Sorry my system for keeping track of them wasn’t sensible enough to keep hold of usernames as well, if you’d like to be credited with anything , please give me a shout.)

If you have any answers for my questions, I’d love to hear from you below.

Married. Dad.

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Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

10 Things To Include on your Church Website

*Trigger Warning for Satire*

Earlier on today, I found myself in a conversation about Church websites, and what should really be included on them. Here are the list of things we had that should be included on a church website*:

  1. Make sure you include an in-depth history of the church as well – for new comers.
  2. How long have you had a Church newsletter / magazine for? Include all of them on the website. As scanned in, PDF downloads.
  3. Lots and lots of photos of everyone. Don’t worry about any child / vulnerable person protection policies…
  4. Lots of images are good! Need an image? Google has it!
  5. Have “podcasts” available of your sermons. Don’t worry about having them available from iTunes, as people will come to your site anyway.
  6. A step by step theological guide explaining why your services are structured in the correct manner.
  7. Make sure you include a photo of the smiling lead minister and his / her smiling family.
  8. Flash animations. They look pretty.
  9. Blessed with creative musicians? Include their tunes on the website. Have the tunes playing automatically as the website loads.
  10. Ensure you include input from everyone you know within the church. After all, the church is a group of people – they must all have a say in the website. Right?

Is there anything we’ve missed out?

Please bear in mind we are not experts and some of this advice may be well out.

Update – Some extra suggestions from Twitter:

  1. Include directions from 50 miles away in every direction. After all, visitors may not know where your city is. (@gods_toddler)
  2. And ensure the “Latest News” section and “Forthcoming Events” are months out of date. (@grahamsoton72)
  3. And don’t put in service times – after all, churches all have their services at the same time (@grahamsoton72)
  4. Include only your church name on the website. Don’t include your city, state, or country unless it is a part of the name. (@MrChurchGuy)
  5. “To view the information on this page, first please enter your email address here” (@edaross)
  6. Don’t standardize design across pages. (@ubinam_rosarium)

Anymore?

 

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Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

10 Ways to get your Church Website Talking

So. You have a Church website.

Fantastic. This means you have information about your Church, where people look for it.

Question for you. Does your website feel a little bit like an online brochure? That might be fine for what you’re trying to achieve, and if your website serves your church and the community it serves, then fantastic.

If you’re been pondering ways to get your website talking, your churches story shared online, and maybe some two way discussion started; then this list is for you:

  1. Blog. Like this. It can be a place to share  news, local stories, videos, weblinks etc…
  2. Video. Video can get reactions from people, who may not be interested in reading a written article.  Just dont fall into the trap of putting a powerful video online, and expecting lives to be changed because of it. Give your visitors the chance to ask questions / follow up on the video.
  3. Contact. Make it easy for people to get in touch with someone from the church. In fact make it really easy for people, to get in touch with you. Try having a form that people can type directly into.
  4. Do you have a Facebook Page?  Is your church on Twitter?  As well as linking to these pages, its also possible to embed your Facebook / Twitter updates into your website. This gives your website some fresh content each time you update Facebook, giving your site a fresher feel.
  5. A number of charities are starting to look more seriously at Google Plus, with some interest in the “Search plus Your World” feature, which links your Google search results in with what people you know are talking about on Google Plus.
  6. Diaspora… you could host a private hub… (maybe for the adventurous types)
  7. Local news / Local Information. Is there any way that you could provide information for the local community?
  8. Run a poll. See what people think. Ask a question during the service, and encourage people to answer it online. In fact, could you encourage people to answer the poll on their smart phones during the service?
  9. On that note, could the preacher encourage questions via Twitter?  Possibly using your churches own #hashtag?

These points are in no particular order, and some are a little more…out there then others.

  • How does your church share its story online?
  • Do you have a tenth tip to share?

Originally posted on The Big Bible

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Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

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