Who is the home page for?
There are two types of people who will come to your website: potential first-time guests who want to learn a bit more about your church before they attend, and regular attendees of your church looking for specific information about events or activities in your church. This means that you should design your home page with both groups in mind. However, I would suggest that you focus more attention on first-time guests.
What things should I include in my home page?
I believe the main goal of your home page is to be as accessible as possible to first-time guests. You want to introduce them to who you are and try to get them to come visit a worship experience. For this reason, the following information is critical. You may read this list and think it’s common sense, but you would be surprised how many church websites are missing this information.
The time and date that you meet
Make sure your worship times and dates can be clearly seen on your home page. I would add a brief invite like, “Join us for worship this Sunday at 10 a.m.” I actually recommend that you put it on the bottom of every page via the footer. It must be highly visible in a prominent location on your home page.
The location where you meet
Make sure your church’s worship location is also highly visible on the home page and close to the worship times. You can easily add a small google map that shows your location and gives direction via one of the recommended plugins. I suggest that, like your worship times, you put your location on the bottom of every page via the footer. It must be highly visible in a prominent location on your home page.
Guest-specific page and information
People fear the unknown. You should have a direct link to a page with information regarding what a guest can expect to encounter when they come to your church. You can call it “I’m New,” “Visitors,” or “Be our Guest.” Try to answer questions people may have about your church. Some sample questions might be: What is the style of your church? What clothes should I wear? What activities do you have for the kids? What are your sermons and music like? If you really want to make guests feel welcome, have your pastor shoot a quick welcome video and post it on your home page.
A calendar of events
Don’t just promote your worship experience. Promote your other events too. A list of upcoming events is a great way to do this. It shows people the variety of activities you offer. You never know what might catch their attention. This is also what your regular attendees are most interested in, so it keeps them in mind as well.
A final word of advice–try to have the look and feel of your church match who you are as a church. If you are a traditional church, you will want to have a professional-looking site, but not one that is slick and overly contemporary. Whenever possible, use photos of your actual people and your building to give visitors a true idea of who you are!
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