Top tips for excellent church websites
Top tips for excellent church websites
Essential information to include:
- Church location(s) – street name, postcode, pin on a map
- Nearest parking
- Contact details – a name, number and email address
- Is the church building wheelchair accessible?
- When is the church building open during the week?
- Dates and times of regular services, activities and groups
- Style of services (traditional, family service, communion, worship band)
- What’s available for young children during services?
- Special events (if in a village or church hall, what’s its location?)
- Baptisms, weddings and funerals – who to contact
Include a calendar showing services, activities, regular groups and special events. In a benefice with multiple churches include services and activities across all churches, colour coding different churches so it’s clear. Use a free Google Calendar at www.google.com/calendar
Keep the majority of photos of the building away from the homepage. Photos of people are more engaging. Ask permission before taking them and clearly state they are for the website. Free good quality images Try these websites: unsplash.com,freeimages.co.uk, pexels.com,pixabay.com and lightstock.com (“faith-focused but paid for”).
Keep it short and easy to say and spell. Include on noticeboards, banners, posters, leaflets, invitation cards and service sheets. Promoting special events Use Eventbrite for online booking/ tickets – it’s free, simple and easy to use. Add the link it creates to your church website as a ‘Book now’ link. If taking payments, contact Parish Buying at www.DofN.org/eventbrite to get reduced payment rates from Eventbrite.
Check what your existing website looks like on a mobile phone. More people now visit websites
through mobiles than on a computer, so if it displays poorly you frustrate visitors and miss out communicating with them. Using a modern website system (examples below) ensure you don’t have to worry about mobile compatibility – it just is by default.
Don’t overcomplicate your website or fill it with unnecessary content. Keep it simple and clean; white space is good in between short sentences. Never use a background pattern or unusual fonts.
Show you’re an integral part of local community life and link to local websites such as the village hall, parish council, pub, sports clubs, cafes and businesses. Ask them in return to link to your site. This raises your listing on Google.
Make it easy for visitors to give to your church. Set up a JustGiving page for projects and appeals and link to them from your website. Have a general donations page and donations via text message. Read more at www.DofN.org/txt
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Articles in this issue...
All creatures great and small!
It has been our tradition in the Benefice to hold a Service on Saint Francis of Assisi Day to which pets and their “owners” are invited.More
All things bright and bootiful
More than 430 people attended a Medieval Weekend at Bressingham Church on the 5 and 6 of August.More
It’s not just for Christmas…
A famous advertising slogan is "A Dog is for Life… Not Just For Christmas” which got me thinking about how this may apply to the church.More
Mass migration avoided
Like many medieval churches, All Saints’ King’s Lynn was a cold church.More
A labour of love
St George Tombland is a 13th century grade 1 listed building and is one of eight medieval churches in the city still in regular use.More
Saving Knapton’s Angels
This Medieval church with its unique painted Flying Angels and Double Hammer Beamed Roof has been repaired to allow future generations to appreciate its craftsmanship and beauty.More
Website systems which work for multi-parish benefice
We have been using Squarespace for over four years now, moving over to the platform from WordPress.More
Alarming our church buildings
Churches across the Diocese have been suffering from a sustained spate of lead thefts. At its height, on average three to five churches were targeted every month.More
A reflection on budgeting
Sitting quietly watching around him, the Wise Old Owl observed their faces.More
Using music on church premises
Church buildings can be used for many activities outside of regular times of worship and if any of these activities include the use of music you will need to ensure that the appropriate music performance licences are in place.More