For any church website to be an effective tool, it needs to include 5 essential elements.
- Physical address of the church and Service times listed front and center – this can be accomplished by putting it right on the homepage itself, or by having a link to “times and directions.” People who haven’t visited your church before are going to need to know where you are located, and they may not “hunt” for it. Make it clear and easy to find.
- Contact information – again, this should be right on the homepage or one click away from it. Include your church phone#, office hours (so they know when they can expect to talk to a human), your church email address and it’s also very common to include a contact us form on the page. That way, someone can ask a question a little more “anonymously” if they prefer.
- Pastor and other leader profiles – prospective visitors will want to know something about the leadership of the church. At the very least, include a picture of your pastor and some information about him. It’s also a good idea to have profiles of the other leaders, such as the Children’s ministry, Women’s fellowship, men’s group, youth pastors, etc.
- Event details – do you have a lot going on at your church? The website is the perfect play to tell about it. This will be helpful both to regular attenders and newcomers. It can become the “hub for information” for anyone who didn’t get a bulletin or misplaced it. It can cut down on calls to the office as all they have to do is check the website for details. It can also create interest in someone who is thinking of coming to the church.
- Ways to get involved – people are looking for relationships when they come to a church, and the website is a great place to let them know ways they can connect with others. Some of the more common groups churches offer are:
- Women’s fellowship
- Men’s group
- Youth group
- Senior fellowship
- College and career/young adult group
Your church can have a fantastic looking website, but if it doesn’t include the essentials, it won’t be very effective in bringing new people to your church or connecting those who are already coming.