Once you have identified a brand for your church, you can work on establishing a web presence for the church with a website. The website serves as the front door to your organization, as most people will come into contact with this before anyone else. The message, colors, fonts, graphic, and images should all synchronize with the experience people have when they come to your facility.
But before you pick a web host or decide on photos and graphics to use, do some planning. Taking the time to strategize about the purpose of the site will allow you to build a system which servers your church. You should look at a website as being an employee who serves as the front door to the church 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Who is your the target audience?
The site should perform some key tasks that help the church reach the target audience you have identified in your branding process. Your specific audience will have some unique qualities to how they respond to your messaging but there are 3 basic audiences every church should consider in addition to the specific ones.
- The non-believer
A church should always seek to make it easy for a non-believer to get in. The website is an extension of the church so it too must make it easy for an unchurched person to find the answers they might have. Simple things like service times, information about how to dress, and where to take kids are basic questions these people would be asking.
- The church shopper
This person is looking for a new church for a variety of reasons. They know about church and have specific requirements they are looking for and will drill deeper into the experience the church provides. They want to know what the messages are like, what the core beliefs are, what emphasis there is on kids ministry, and what types on activities the church offers to connect with others.
- The church member
These are the people who already attend your church. The website should serve them by providing information and serving their needs. Their questions are going to be about details for activities and they will need to get access to things which make their experience more convenient such as giving online. Making the sign up process for events and volunteering is a powerful way the site can serve these people.
When a website is able to serve these 3 audiences well, it will add value to the church. The look and messaging of the site can then be implemented to reach specific audiences unique to the church.
One of the biggest mistakes churches make when building a website is designing for everyone. When you force yourself to focus on a specific type of people you are able to strategize. A strategy allows people to get on board with the clearly presented vision and the church is able to be effective in reaching the people it is called to reach.