It’s time to launch a new website for First Trinity. It’s been two years since our last major redesign, and as is always the case, we’ve outgrown the existing structure. Here are some of the resources that are influencing the latest version of the website:
- Church Website Improvement Checklist
A great list of common mistakes, missing information, or unnecessary/unhelpful features.
- 10 Easy Ways to Keep Me from Visiting Your Church Because I Visited Your Website
Tony Morgan shares some common pitfalls that might turn off a guest (or at least him).
- 2 Church Website Pages to Help First Time Visitors
Originally published in 2009, the advice for a page dedicated to first-time guests is still spot on.
- 10 Commandments of Church Website Ministry
While they use the cheesy “10 commandments” lead in, there’s still some good information for designing a website strategy.
- New Research Reveals Why People Visit Church Websites
Good information about what people are actually doing on church websites, and how often they visit them.
- Four Ways to Improve Your Church Website
Nice succinct list of things to remember when creating your website
- Less Clutter. Less Noise. by Kem Meyer
Great book about simplifying your communications and saying more by saying less.
Some of my goals for the new site:
- Guests are the first priority. Lots of members use our website, but we’re going to be intentional about targeting guests first and foremost. The front page in it’s current form tells a story as you scroll down. The basic outline:
- Two quick facts about us in visual form. The first is that we provide relevant teaching for your life today and that you don’t need to know everything (or anything!) about the Bible to come here. The second is that we want to pray for you, with a link to submit prayer requests to our prayer wall.
- What we believe. Rather than an itemized list of doctrines, it’s a more personal call to the guest. A “read more” button will lead to more standard theological beliefs like Communion, Baptism, etc.) The four key points:
- God is for you.
- We aren’t perfect.
- God has a plan for you.
- Check us out from the comfort of home. (Listen to sermons online to find out more about what we believe.)
- Be our guest at worship, highlighting the service times and a brief description about each, including how many people typically come to that service. There will also be a link back to a page with more information about our services, including some sample services.
- Our current sermon series topics. Rather than “This week” being highlights, we’ll list all of the topics in a particular series. This saves us from updating that page every week, but it also gives people a broader sense of what we’re talking about. I’m unsure if it would be a turn-off to see we’re on the last topic in a series, causing them to not visit. Subject to change.
- Address, phone number, “get directions” link, and an embedded map.
- Ad for Lifetree Cafe (subject to change)
- Provide regular content updates that teach and build community. Maybe it’s a short devotional about the message topic from the previous week, or a longer post that explores what we believe about a particular topic. We can share some ministry success stories, similar to the Bi-Annual Report articles written by others or something else. I’m not sure exactly what all we’ll include, but I think something regular might be helpful.
- Identify a better way to promote ongoing ministries and events.
- Outline a clear “next step” path to spiritual improvement on the website, connected with what we’re doing at Launch and other classes.
The new site will be ready sometime this summer. There might even be a sneak peek here at some point…. Stay tuned…