web design

The secret to making a good first impression with your website (Part 1)

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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It’s all about design, right?

To make a good first impression on your church website, you must have a great church website design.

Well, maybe not…

Back in the 90’s and even as recent as 10 years ago, much of the look and feel of a website was determined by the template or theme.

But today, the look and feel of the website is determined by the CONTENT.

That’s right, the images, graphics, and text is what will make a visitors first impression.

For example, go to www.ourchurch.com.  When looking at the homepage, the only “design” aspect determined by the theme (template) is the location of the logo and the menu in the header.

Everything else on the page is our content:  All the images, graphics, & text are content.

So this means…

To make a good first impression, be intentional about the content you have on your website.  – Mark Steinbrueck

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Don’t just throw a few random images and poorly written text and call it “done”.

There are 10 tips I want to share with you about creating good content for your website.  

The first 5 are listed below.   I’ll share the second five tips next week.

The first 5 tips about creating content focus on images:

  1. Only use high quality images:  Using low quality, blurry, or grainy images give the impression that you don’t care that much about your website or your visitors.
  2. Only use images that are the correct size:  Just like using low quality images, using images that don’t fit well into your site gives the impression that you aren’t concerned with quality.  If you are like that with your website, visitors will wonder if you are like that with everything.
  3. Make sure you have the rights to use the images.  Don’t just pull images off of Google.  You don’t want a demand letter showing up in the mail because you are breaking copyright.  If you want to use images from the internet, use reputable stock image websites like pixabay.com,  picjumbo.com, or unsplash.com
  4. Stock photos:  If you use stock photos, don’t use cheesy looking stock photos.  Also, if you are going to use stock images, it is best to overlay text over the image, so the image is simply a reinforcement of the text.  The text should be short, not a full paragraph.
  5. Real photos:  If you use real photos, make be sure the whole picture looks good.  Make sure there isn’t a child picking their nose in the background, a teenager making some kind of odd facial gesture, or an elder stuffing their face with donuts.

Check back next week for the next 5 tips on creating content that will make a good first impression.

If you are interested in discussing a new church website, please contact me here.


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About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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