Does your church not currently have a website? Is it unmaintained or out-of-date? Any church website should at least have the following basic information.
First make sure the website has the full name of the church, address, phone numbers, fax number, and email address. While it would be handy to list all of the staffs email addresses, it would be best to only list one address to minimize spam or use a generic address ([email protected] [email protected]) that would forward to a staff member. Otherwise you could implement a contact form in your website that would make it easier to be contacted and would avoid possible spam issues. To help with recognition, and add some variety, add your church logo prominently on the home page.
At the least your church website should also be useful/friendly for someone that is considering attending your church. To make it more useful it needs to include the worship times and also a brief description of each service. In addition to the worship schedule, the office schedule should also be included. Include the church’s beliefs, mission, values and participation in the Christian Reformed Church. This information not only helps describe your church, but also helps with your SEO or your rank in search engines. Include the ministries of the church, opportunities for involvement, and the church’s work in the community. This is a great chance to make your church shine and paint a picture of how vibrant and active your community at the church is. It is important that visitors can find your church, so include a map on your page along with directions from common/popular intersections.
There are also several more items that do not fall into the ‘necessary’ category, but are close. Include some photos of the church and the area, not only will this brighten up your page and add balance but will showcase your beautiful church. A page with frequently asked questions and answers will not only bring value to the website but will make the church office’s job a little easier. Including a calendar on the website will also help someone who cannot remember where the meeting is or what time it starts. Check out the Google Apps article for information on how to easily setup a calendar on the website. To ease first time visitors, a page with details of what to expect, parking, attire, nursery, and information for people with disabilities will greatly help.
It’s important to at least have the above information on your website to help identify the church and provide information for first-time visitors. Once your website has this content, you can look for the future article on taking your website to the next step in design and content.
Edit: Church Juice has published a white paper that explains seven key areas for a great website. Check it out for even more ideas when starting or revamping your site!