Top 10 Ways to Keep a Web Visitor from Being a Church Visitor

July 13, 2005 by

Tony Morgan of Granger Community Church in Granger, Ind. shares his list of Top 10 Easy Ways to Keep Me from Visiting Your Church Because I Visited Your Website, including such gems as:

  • Avoid telling me what’s going to happen at your church this weekend.
  • Make it as difficult as possible for me to get directions, services times, or find information about what will happen with my kids.
  • Use lots of purple and pink and add pictures of flowers. (reminiscent of our Why Do Men Hate Church? entry)

Some entries in his list are probably open to debate, including his suggestion to avoid pictures of the church building (the church is people, not buildings) or the pastor and spouse on the main page. I can see arguments going either way, though I’d hate to make a definitive statement to never have a picture of your church building or your pastor and spouse.

(link via eQuip)

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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6 Responses to “Top 10 Ways to Keep a Web Visitor from Being a Church Visitor”

  • Brian Baute
    July 13, 2005

    Given our pastor-centric and building-centric church culture in the West (especially in the US), I absolutely think picturing those on the front page should be avoided at all costs. Front page screen real estate is valuable, and what is given placement there speaks volumes about our priorities.

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  • Pudge
    July 14, 2005

    Not disagreeing, but does it speak volumes?
    True. The priority isn’t to be pastor-centric or building-centric and we don’t want to build that up as our main thing. However, what intially gets people there may not be what keeps them there.
    I guess my point (or question) is…what does it really show by putting these up there? Will big buildings, personal people, and things of the such attract people to your church? People do reach people you know…
    Again, I am not saying I actually believe this. I think most motives have to be looked at in their context. Just a thought I guess. Just think about how many organizations use “bait and switch” just to get you in the door and then show you really why you need their product. Maybe it works…maybe it doesn’t?
    All this to say, I think to claim one way or the other…may be to risky. Instead let’s use our resources for what they are. Some attract people and some are used to keep people there. As long as we stick to our God given vision…what’s it matter?

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  • Anne Jackson
    July 14, 2005

    We are in the process of redoing our website (currently at but our new site is being hosted/tested at and on the new site (as well as old) we have pictures of our staff (most of them) because it’s nice to put a face with a name. Definetely not pastor-centric though, as our pastor hates even having pictures taken. :)
    On the new site, when you click on directions/times, we show a picture of the church as the header image. figure we might give them an idea of what it looks like :)
    we studied our webstats for the last year to see what people sought out the most – directions/times, registering for events/calendar and message archive (video/audio). So we made our front page very basic and with those “needs” in mind.
    you can compare the two and see the big changes we have made. we just want to make sure we are communicating the truth about who we are, not only on the website but all across the board.

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  • Anne Jackson
    July 14, 2005

    BTW, I will let you know the new site is still in testing and is not the finished product so if something looks weird or doesn’t work – that’s why. We hope to put it up at our normal domain in the next week.

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  • kevin
    July 18, 2005

    It’s probably worth noting that Tony’s list rails against pictures of a pastor & spouse and a church building on the home page. He doesn’t say anything about not having those pictures elsewhere in the site. I think having a picture of your church building on a directions page would be a pretty smart idea.

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  • Tony Morgan
    July 18, 2005

    Good thought, Kevin, regarding the building picture with the directions to your campus. That makes a lot of sense. Additionally, I think it makes sense to have pix of your teaching team on the site with a brief bio. That way people can get a sense of the credibility of the person they’re going to hear speak/teach. My only point is to avoid making that the primary focus on the main page of your site.

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