For the past eight years or so I have been scouting out churches and visiting them both when looking for a long-term church to either attend or intern at and to visit for other reasons (class project, seeing a friend preach, etc.). Within the past month I’ve moved once again to a new city and have been looking around for churches to attend. I’m both trying to connect with a local church to begin attending regularly and also getting to know the presbytery I’ve moved in to.
In this process church websites are important. This isn’t to say that people only visit churches based on their websites. Personal invitations, word of mouth, community presence, and many other things factor in. However, the website is where visitors get a fuller view of your church. One Sunday can’t show the width and breath of your church.
Below is a list of what people are often looking for when they visit your website. Certainly particular people will be looking for particular things, but this is the general top 1o hits people are looking for.
1. Worship service times (and style of worship is also helpful)
Others in no particular order:
3. Pictures of the building, people in worship, during community service, at various events within the church’s life
4. Social media presence
5. Opportunities for children (childcare during services & whether or not younger kids will be dismissed during service especially)
6. Discipleship, fellowship, & service opportunities
7. How connected the church is to the local community & how the church serves the community
8. How up-to-date the website is
9. Online newsletter
10. (Brief) information about the pastor/s & church staff (including direct emails)