It’s a busy time with your church’s Christmas festivities but you should have time for a simple church website fix before the end of the year. Why? This one improvement will make your website instantly better.
Your church website should be the center of all your communication. Most churches have correctly moved from relying on a printed bulletin and moved their members to trusting the website. If you haven’t, that would be a church website fix that isn’t so simple — but will help inform your congregation AND attract your community in the long term. Your website is that important.
However, during COVID, many website homepages (the first page when someone arrives at your church’s URL) became a bulletin board. Like many churches in the past had in their lobby. Originally, it looked organized until someone decided to post a random printed announcement. Then a business card was tacked on. Then a post-it note. Soon old things got covered with newer things. Finally, the clutter became an eyesore that became difficult to take in. The bulletin board soon didn’t make sense.
Hopefully, that clutter was taken down. But, sadly, was added to your homepage. Why? So everyone would find it in the “lobby” of their church website. Random announcements like “watch online” and “important dates”.
Indeed, your homepage needs one simple church website fix as we end our busy Christmas season. Here it is: Calm your homepage down.
The research tells us that a homepage (gleaned from analytics across the internet) is where most people don’t stop for long. So, stop putting a lot of content on it hoping that someone will peruse through the clutter. Most people spend only 2 or 3 seconds on the homepage. Not to find information, but to discover the organization of your website (the main menu) and find the content on an inside page.
Therefore, calm everything else down. Have the menu as the key item on the page (to the right of the logo at the top), and use the top portion of the page (above the fold) to show who you are and what you’re known for. That usually is a large image (called a hero picture or video) with a few words that start telling a story about your church. And why someone would want to attend. Then one or two important links — to take someone to another page for what they need.
If you have two buttons, don’t have them equal. Make one primary (more contrast or larger) and the other secondary (perhaps a link rather than a button). For those buttons, think about one of the pages that most members would want (staff page, event listings, or calendar) and make that the primary button. Then make the secondary link/button something else your congregation might want. Or direct it to the community’s needs. They’re looking for something that says “New?” or “About Us”.
Then calm everything else down. Clean up the digital bulletin board look! Allow whitespace and establish the look of your inside pages — and keep all of them clean, easy to scan, and organized.