I know that many churches have little-to-no budget to have a professional web site. Some larger churches have someone on staff that manages their online presence. So what can you do if you’re a congregation of 500 or less, and no means of having a professional website? What will you do?
You could have a volunteer do it, if you’re fortunate enough to have someone in your congregation with that skillset and the willingness to do so. I’ve seen some excellent sites built by volunteers and I’ve seen others that could use improvement. I’m a professional web developer with over 10 years of experience. I can provide a church with a user-friendly, professional web site to help them reach individuals outside of their congregation, and communicate better with the present members. Here are some of the things I would recommend for any church:
- Professional design that looks comparable to other sites on the web. We are all visual people and no matter how great the message of your church (0r your site) may be, people won’t stick around to read it if the site looks unpolished and/or elementary.
- Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) to reach the lost and communicate those in your congregation. So many people spend a fair amount of time on these sites, and your church should have some kind of presence to engage people where they are.
- Effective search engine marketing so that when people search for a church in your general geographic area, your site will come up. I suggest that any church should not waste money with Yellow Pages – that money is better spent on Google AdWords.
- Podcasts for your pastors messages. Many churches post MP3s of their messages on their site and I would suggest that any church continues to do that. But I recommend any church also set up a Podcast with iTunes, so subscribers can automatically get the new messages.
- Blogs for the pastor and/or others in leadership of the church to share their thoughts and inspirations. New, fresh content is key to a good search engine ranking, and even if someone only posts something once a week, it can have a dramatic effect on the ranking of the site.
I am looking for some churches that I can work with to help them create their first site or enhance their current site. I won’t do it for free, but I can do it for a fraction of the cost that an agency would charge. If you’re interested in learning more, take a moment to contact me, and tell me more about your site and church’s unique situation.