updating website

Updating a website is very important, and even more so if you are a church. When people visit your website, do they see event information from last year and nothing recent? How about the sermons – do you upload new sermons every week, or has it been months since a new one has been posted? This can be the deciding factor whether someone will actually come and visit your church or not.

My husband is always on the lookout for new resources and software that we can use in our design process.  The first thing he looks at is their blog. If it hasn’t been updated in months, he assumes there’s not much going on in the company. He looks for some signs of life happening, and if he doesn’t see them, he leaves and goes on to someone else. And so it is with your church’s website. If someone sees no “life” there, they will probably not come and visit.

It used to be that you just had to have a website because everyone else did. Not so any longer. People are doing a lot of their searching online now, and they expect to see fresh, updated sites.

To be honest, it can be a little discouraging to us when churches let their website go. When we first start working on the website with them, they are very excited about it and have all kinds of plans for it. Then, a common theme, is that as time goes on, they get busy with other things (undersood!) and the website goes down on their priority list. Once the site is completed and turned over to them, we provide training on how they can maintain it. However, sometimes we will look at the site months later, and nothing new has been added.

Now, there are other churches who keep their excitement and are always adding new pictures and sermons, and keeping the events up-to-date. That’s what we like to see!

What Things Should be Updated

 Sermons

We add a new sermon each Sunday to our own church’s website. This allows anyone who missed the service that day to hear the message as well as those who don’t attend a church at all.

Events

It’s very important to keep your event calendar current. It lets your congregation as well as your community know what’s going on. Make sure you list the correct dates, times and location of each event.

Pictures

Adding new pictures from recent events is a great habit to get into. Why are sites like Pinterest and Instagram so popular? Because people LOVE pictures! Do you have someone in the church who is a budding photographer? What an awesome way to get them involved and at the same time keep your website current and  updated.

Staff Profiles

Has your staff changed at all – new elders, pastor, etc? If so, make sure your website reflects those changes. And here’s a tip: when writing staff/leadership biographies, make them “evergreen.” What I mean by that is if you are stating how long your pastor has been at your church, say “he has been the pastor since 2000” instead of saying he came to the church “15 or 17 years ago.”  The year 2000 doesn’t change but the number of years he has been there will change.

Updating a website should be more than something on your “to do” list (which sometimes never gets done). It should be a priority. And the way that will happen is to assign it to someone who will take ownership of it. Don’t assume it will get updated if no one has been given that job! This can be an individual or a team, but let it be clear that it is their project.

This can be an awesome way to get people involved. Seniors who are retired and have more time on their hands can update sermons and events from their home computer. Maybe you have a young person who is a “budding photographer.” Give them the job of taking pictures at different events. The key is to make sure people know what their roles are.

Blog

This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway:-) If you have a church blog, it needs to be added to on a regular basis. This can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, but you should be consistently writing new posts to share with your readers. Otherwise, it looks like nobody’s home at your church, and that is not the impression you want to give.

How Updating a Website Can Help Your Church

By keeping your church website up-to-date, it shows you care about it and that your church is alive and active. And that’s what most people are looking for when they search for a church. They want to know you take care of what you have, and that you are involved in your congregation’s lives. Keeping updated on your ministries and events will show that.

What is the bottom line to updating your website? The goal is to give your congregation the information they want and need, and to make it inviting for new people to visit your church. Now it seems pretty important, right?

 

 

24 Comments

  1. Apolline Adiju on July 28, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    I agree with your points especially adding sermons and pictures. It brings more life to the website and attracts visitors too.

    • dlchurch on July 28, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      It’s so important to keep your site alive. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Jennifer Quisenberry on July 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    What a great idea for church community members to get involved in providing fresh content. Sounds like the church websites need a blog page on there too. Do most churches keep up with blog pages? It seems like a great activity for a small group of volunteers.

    • dlchurch on July 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Jennifer,

      I don’t see a lot of blogs on church sites. Some do, and I think those are pastors who really like to write. But many are so busy with other things. Blogs are a great way to be a little more “personal” with your readers.

  3. Candess M. Campbell on July 28, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I always enjoy your blogs. There is so much that all of us who have websites can learn.

    • dlchurch on July 28, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Candess. You’re right, these basic principles can apply to any website, not just church sites.

  4. Sonya on July 28, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    This pretty much goes for all websites, how often I’ve come across websites with out of date banners etc.

    • dlchurch on July 28, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      It doesn’t give a good impression, does it? Thanks for your comment:-)

  5. Robin on July 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Amen! What more can be said? I got in a “discussion” with my pastor (within the past year) about the need to plan, schedule, calendar, etc. In the end, and with God’s help, I showed him the perfect example of planning. When God created the Heavens and the Earth, He had a plan, an order, and something happened each day, and it was Good.

    • dlchurch on July 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Good going, Robin:-) I think many times, the website is left and assumed someone else will update it. But the only way to ensure that is to plan and delegate the roles.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Alene Geed on July 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Good information for any web site or blog. People will get turned off rather quickly if the site is stale and outdated. This HAS to be a priority for every type of business, church or organization. No ifs ands or buts.

    • dlchurch on July 29, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right, this is a good tip for any kind of business or organization. If nothing on your website ever changes, there is no reason for anyone to return to it.

  7. Brenda Niemeyer on July 29, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Agreed! There are so many poorly kept websites that show no “life.” Love how you are working to help churches change that!

    • dlchurch on July 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Brenda! We love trying to help churches have an awesome online presence!

  8. Marie Leslie on July 29, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    A blog could be a critical part of a church’s outreach program. And beyond that, these tips would help any community group grow their presence and build community.

    • dlchurch on July 29, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      You’re right, Marie. A blog is a great place to share events for the community and other things that would be of interest to them. Thanks for your comment:-)

  9. Jill Musser on July 30, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Good ideas for a church blog or any organization’s blog.

    • dlchurch on July 30, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Jill:-)

  10. Carol Rundle on July 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    In the past when I’ve worked with churches, I found it very frustrating that their websites weren’t updated in just the ways you mentioned. People in any industry need to understand that websites are NOT a “once and done” things. Thanks for posting this!

    • dlchurch on July 30, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks Carol. You’re right, it can be very frustrating when sites aren’t updated. It doesn’t give a very good impression.

  11. Kristen Wilson on July 30, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Super tips Dan and you are so right, the blog can have so much value, they can post their sermons and on a weekly or even monthly basis… WHY aren’t they, it’s killing me! ya know?

    • dlchurch on July 30, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      I think it must be a matter of time or lack of planning. All we can do is train and encourage them. Thanks Kristen:-)

  12. Paul on August 1, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I totally agree. There’s nothing worse than going to a church website and both seeing old, outdated info and not being able to find the current information you’re looking for.

    • dlchurch on August 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Paul. It doesn’t give a very good impression, does it?

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