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Your website’s a mess and it’s time for fall cleaning

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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October is Strategic Planning Month at OurChurch.Com.  As mentioned in Last week’s post, we listed 5 specific items that your church should be doing to finish strong in 2020 and plan for 2021.

Today, we are going to talk about the specifics of the first item, cleaning up your church website.

Just like your house, office, or car, it is important to take time a couple of times a year to do a thorough cleaning of your website.

To you and the church staff, you may have become blind to some of the items that need to be addressed.  However, to visitors to your website, these items shout “I don’t care about you” and give the impression that things are done with a “whatever” attitude at our church.

Below is a 10-item check list for you to follow to make sure that your website is ready for all the new visitors you will receive during the Christmas season:

  1. Make sure everything is working on your website.  This will mean that someone goes through each page of your website, makes a list of things that need to be fixed, sends that list to the person who can fix them, then checks to make sure they are fixed.
  2. Remove all images, graphics, and videos promoting events that have already occurred
  3. Remove all links to registration for past events
  4. Remove all images of people who no longer attend your church
  5. Remove anyone listed in your staff directory who no longer works with the church
  6. Add anyone who is part of the staff who is not listed on the staff page
  7. Run a link check tool on your site and remove dead links.  After removing pages that are no longer relevant, it’s easy to forget all the places where you linked to those pages.  A free and easy-to-use tool can be found here. 
  8. Change graphics to fall related graphics
  9. Make sure that all fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas activities are in the calendar with relevant information
  10. Add online registration for any upcoming fall or Christmas activities

Doing all of this may take a few weeks, so it is best to start the process now.  Figure out who will check the site and who will make the updates.   It doesn’t all need to be done by the same person.  In fact, for the purpose of checks and balances, it is best that one person checks the site and another makes the changes, then the first person checks to make sure the updates were done correctly.

However, it is important to do all of these so visitors see excellence on your website.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. – Ecclesiastes 9:10

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What other things should be done to the site to finish the year strong?  Post your comments and questions below.

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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.

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