I recently visited a church website and immediately thought they were playing hard to get.
Does your website prevent visitors from even making it to you church?
Does your website home page commit any of these errors?
1. Where does your church meet?
I wanted to know where the church was.
There was no address of the meeting spot, nor even a mention of what state in the US it was in.
Of course, I was assuming the church was in the United States, but I could be wrong.
Fix: Put the address on the home page and in the footer of every page.
If you have multiple campuses, list the main meeting location and put a link to a “Where we meet” links other campus pages. Give the address / phone number of the office.
Fix: Include a map from Google or yahoo, and link to driving directions.
2. What time do you meet?
I wanted to know how to visit this church for a service.
Not only could I not find the place, I couldn’t find the time.
After 3 or 4 pages, I found a service time: 11am on Saturday.
This church’s unconventional meeting time needs to be clearly communicated in all its communications.
Fix: put your service times for your main service on the homepage.
3. How do I contact you?
In my frustration to find a location and time, I actually wanted to pick up the phone and call.
I visit the contact us page. The only listing are staff email addresses.
No phone number, no address, no office hours, etc.
Fix: Include the office phone in the footer, on the home page, and on the contact us page.
4. Are you still a functioning church?
This particular site had an animated scroll displaying headlines to various articles and announcements.
One would flash up, and about every 30 seconds it would fade into another.
They are program announcements about particular events.
I click on one and discover it was posted in May 2007.
This is August 2009.
Fix: Keep information more up to date on your website, particularly if you are encouraging click throughs for more information.
5. Login to see this announcement
I click on another of those scrolling announcements, about the 12 step recovery program that is open. The link says “Click for more info. .”
When I click, I’m taken to a page that says “You can’t see this. Login to register.”
Why do church websites need logins anyway? I can see a login section to membership information and members only announcements, but for your open to the public meetings – this is a road block.
There was no link to any login page even to create a dummy account so I could read the rest of the information.
Fix: Remove all log-in requirements for anything meant for the general public.