Is Your Church Website Mobile Friendly?

I have a tiny computer in my pocket. I bet you do too. I won’t lie, I’m super excited about that. According to an Internet trends report by Morgan Stanley, by mid 2013 more people in the U.S. will have the Internet on their smartphones than desktops. In many parts of the world, the smartphone is the only Internet because over the air technology is all the country really has that is even close to modern.

So what does that have to do with church marketing you ask? Everything. More people will be surfing the web on their phone than on their desktops. Yes smart phones can display most websites at a scale, but how much fun is that? Tiny text and drop down menus make me leave a site pretty quick. We can fix this tiny, zoomed out view by building media responsive websites.

What is Responsive Design?
Technically it’s fluid width content and site styles. It’s making content 100% of the available width and letting the text wrap to fit the screen size. Phew, that was easy right? OK seriously, you want a great looking site, blocks of content left, middle and right, dynamic sliders, recent sermons on the home page and the list goes on. So how do you get an amazing dynamic site that is equally amazing on a smartphone?

Great sites that work on all devices have a clear focus on the content, what’s important, and priorities. All sites and churches will have different needs, but I can guess that communicating who you are, when you meet, and how to get there are at the top of your list.

So first off, work backwards. What are those top key things and how does a user get there? What are the top five most popular pages on your site now, and how do people get to those pages? Really getting into the weeds with your content, site analytics, and knowing your audience will be critical in your planning.

Responsive Sites in Action
Visit these sites, and resize your browser window (sorry IE9 and under users, IE does not support media queries and just displays the desktop view)

Notice on all four how not only do they squeeze to fit, but the content re-wraps, images adjust and menus update to fit the finger friendly needs of a smartphone.

So how do you get to responsive design?

Read the rest of Matt’s article here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Adams

Matt Adams is a full time web designer for factor1, a digital creative agency located in Tempe, Ariz. He and his wife have twin boys and spend more hours cycling than most sane people can imagine.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

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