You have probably heard the saying “quality over quantity” for a variety of aspects of daily life. It could not be more applicable for your ministry’s website. Your ministry’s website can have all of the bells and whistles possible, but if it doesn’t have quality, easy-to-find content those bells and whistles mean nothing. On the other hand, if your website has too much content without the most important necessities, potential visitors will become overwhelmed.
Here at Worship Times we know that it can be hard to sift through what information is a necessity for your ministry’s website, what information can be sent to the background to play a supporting role, and where everything is supposed to live on the site itself.
Let us share some tips about the most critical areas your ministry’s website should have and some tips to get everything organized properly!
Most Critical Areas and Pieces of Information
Now, keep in mind this list is not exhaustive in any way. It should be used as a boilerplate to get started. In theory, your website (at the absolute minimum) should have all of the areas and pieces of information listed below. Every ministry is different, so don’t be afraid to use some creative license to make it look and feel like your ministry! Just keep it easy for visitors to be able to find the information they desire.
- Homepage: You’re probably already thinking “Well, duh.” However, I can’t tell you how many websites I visit, and the “homepage” is a list of blog posts, random information, or is completely non-existent. Think of your ministry’s homepage as the cover of a book. The cover of a book shares the most vital information in a pleasing manner to a passerby. You want your website’s homepage doing the same thing. Your website’s homepage should have some sort of media (typically a photo or video slider) to make a personable connection with visitors. It should display your ministry’s name front and center, potentially list your ministry’s mission, two or three quick links to pages with more information (history, staff, and a contact us page are good defaults), with your worship time(s) in clear, large fonts so it can be seen without a ton of effort. It should also look pleasing, calm, and inviting! Humans judge books by their covers, so make sure your website is presentable! Do these simple things and you are already in a better spot than a majority of ministries around the country!
- An Organized Navigation Menu: Another important component of your website and homepage is your website’s navigation bar or top menu. Your navigation bar is – usually – at the top of your website and is where you list all of the pages on your website. Think of this as your book’s table of contents. It should be easy to navigate, well organized, and should avoid confusing language. You have to be strategic in how to organize information to make sure the vast majority of visitors can find what they are looking for. If they can’t find what they are looking for in the first or second place that they look, chances are they will just stop looking altogether.
- Footer & Ministry Location: The footer plays a similar role to your navigation bar. It is like the final message at the end of your novel. Your footer is displayed on the bottom of every page that a user can possibly see on your website. This makes it a great area to put information that anyone could need in just a few seconds. Always put your ministry’s location, social media links, worship times, and possibly some upcoming events within the footer. This is very common on all websites, and there is a reason for this: it works! With your ministry’s location and worship times a visitor knows when and where to join you. With more people using social media than ever, links to your ministry’s social media accounts become another vessel for visitors to connect with, and upcoming events help reduce frustration when visitors are looking for your calendar.
- Worship Times & Calendar of Events: I am going to sound like a broken record here, but your website should list your ministry’s worship times! Your website should also have a dedicated page for a calendar of your ministry’s events. Typically, an item in your navigation bar titled “Calendar” or “Upcoming Events” or “Events” does the trick. Also make sure that your calendar is up to date! What is more frustrating for a visitor to take the time to visit your website, find the calendar, see an event that they would like to attend, and then miss it because the calendar was not up to date? With the events system used by us here at Worship Times we can help you have events schedule themselves for up to years in advance! There is no reason a calendar should ever be out of date! Let us help you get back on track!
- Contact Us Form: A simple contact form is almost like having a Swiss Army Knife on your website. Having a simple link to a contact form in your site’s navigation bar or footer is an easy, yet effective way to place the support of your ministry in the hands of visitors and members alike. You want to make sure whenever a visitor or member has a question, needs support, or wants to make a connection with your ministry that they can do that at their own pace. A contact form is a perfect way to accomplish this! Set it and forget it. When a user submits a message, you get an email in your inbox to assist with whatever their needs are. Here at Worship Times we can get everything set up for you!
- Search Feature: Sounds simple, but a simple search feature is invaluable. All of our websites at Worship Times have at least 1 search ability located in the navigation bar or the footer. Allowing visitors to search through your website can aid in making the process to find the information they are looking for a million times easier, literally. Typically, a search feature should be placed in the footer or navigation bar because industry standards typically place them there and they are available on every page on your website. If your website does not currently have a search function, add one today! This is one of the biggest mistakes we see on all websites, yet it is the easiest to fix.
What About Everything I Haven’t Listed?
I have not included MANY things on the list above, including your website’s content. Without a story – your content – it doesn’t matter how good or bad your website is. Your ministry is going to be what attracts visitors to join you! A website is just a way to display that information to them.
Here at Worship Times we realize that knowing how and where to display information on your ministry’s website can be difficult. Our team has tens of years of experience working with ministries small and large to create beautiful, functional, and easy-to-use websites.
Let our team handle adding these critical pieces to your website so you can focus on running your ministry! Have some more questions, or are you ready to get started? Contact us today and we can help you get the ball rolling no matter where you are. We are only a single click away!