As I have mentioned in the past, one of the favorite parts of my day is speaking with folks looking for a new church website design.
They have great ideas and are excited about all the possibilities of their new website.
Many people have looked at other beautiful and successful church websites and found aspects of those sites that they want on their website.
A lot of the time, the folks I talk with have the budget for most of what they want for their new website.
There is one problem…
There is no plan on how they are going to update all the parts of the website.
Nothing is worse than going to a church website in January, and seeing promotions for their Christmas Eve service. Or in August, reading about the 4th of BBQ.
Why does this happen so often?
There are 3 primary reasons that websites are not kept up to date:
- There is not a web team responsible for the website. Every church should have at least 2 people (3 is ideal) to be in charge of all the decisions and updating the website. This can be made up of staff or volunteers, but there needs to be a defined web team.
- Those on the web team don’t have time to do their job. Just because you have 3 people on your web team doesn’t ensure that everything will get done on the website. Make sure that the people on the web team have time in their schedule to specifically dedicate to updating the website.
- There aren’t defined responsibilities for those on the web team. Make sure that every aspect of the website is assigned to someone who is on the website. Include details like what pages they are responsible for, how often they will check or update those pages, and that they have the tools & resources to do their job. If you don’t do this, everyone will think that the others on the web team are going to get everything done on the website.
So when you start planning your church website, only include the items on the site that you know you will be able to update. So…
- Don’t add a blog unless you know exactly who will be blogging on a regular basis.
- Don’t add an eNewsletter until you know who will be creating it and sending it to those on the recipient list.
- Don’t add a “weekly sermons” feature on your site unless you already have the audio or video equipment to record it, have someone to edit it, and someone who will regularly add it to the website.
I’m not suggesting that you don’t strive to add these things in the future, however, don’t end up with a site that is too big to be managed well. The bottom line is…
When building a new website, only include features that you have a plan in place to keep up to date.
What are other suggestions that you have to make sure that your website is kept up to date? I’d love to hear from you, so please post your comments below.
If you are interested in discussing a website for your church, school, business, or ministry, please contact me here.