Church Websites 101: Plan the Site

Church Websites 101: Plan the Site

April 4, 2011 by

So you think your church needs a website. Or a new site. Or a better site. Rock on. Welcome to Church Websites 101, a quick and dirty series about how to start or restart your church’s website.

Now that you’ve got an over-arching communications strategy and you’ve found your champion, it’s time to actually think about your website. But don’t go picking content management systems or debating stock vs. real photos just yet. It’s time to do some planning.

  • What’s the goal of the site?
  • Who’s your audience?
  • What do the powers that be expect from the site?
  • How will you possibly keep the site updated with everything else you’re doing?

I know, I know, you just want to get working on the site. We’ll get there. But the more time you invest in this process now the better your site will be. The more likely it will actually meet your church’s needs and you won’t be revisiting it in a year or two.

As you plan, match goals with objectives. If your goal is to get people to visit your church, how does the site help?

Think about specific tasks and measurements. If you want the site to boost event attendance, how do you know if the site is responsible?

Remember to weigh priorities. If you want people to think about Jesus, does your nursery schedule really accomplish that?

Be realistic and lower your expectations. Everyone dreams big, but the reality is you’re going to run out of time, money and energy. So plan for it from the start.

It’s easy to dive right in and pick colors, layouts and debate a Twitter feed in the sidebar. But the more you can do big picture planning for your site the more likely you’ll come out with a site that works.

More Church Websites 101:

Web Basics: "Build a site your church can actually sustain."

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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3 Responses to “Church Websites 101: Plan the Site”

  • Jose Gomez
    April 4, 2011

    Great article. Planning your church’s websites is crucial to ultimately ending up at a successful piece of your ministry.

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  • Samuel Sutter
    April 5, 2011

    yeah – I can’t think of how many times I’ve wished I’ve done this step first for a church site – yeah, wow . so many wasted hours.

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  • Ralph Williams
    April 23, 2011

    Such an important step. Also, very important to make sure that throughout the whole process, you keep your site reflective of who your church really is. Don’t give someone a super contemporary site when you are a traditional church. We are an old church (100+ yrs) but moving forward and it was a struggle to balance that in our new church site.

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