The Biggest Church Website Needs for 2013

We asked a simple question: What is something you will need on your church website in 2013?

Hundreds responded and we picked the ones most indicative of the overall themes. Here is what church and ministry leaders from across the country will be implementing on their websites in the next year:

Content Organization  

Investing in finding out what catches someone who is looking at your site for the first time. Josh S.

Organization of our voluminous materials for every audience! Olga D.

A system in place to help people understand how to mature through the different steps and programs available. How to effectively reach people through the web. Carlos B.

Better content management, for site to be relevant representation of church. Shawnte M.

Information architecture to prioritize the pages and information. David E.

Getting information up front and easy to find—and everyone wants their information up front! Heidi H.

Multimedia

Sermon-specific media player. Joel N.

More photos, content, interactivity. Joshua M.

The ability to easily share site pages via Twitter or Facebook. Sam J.

Video capability for streaming our services. Mike K.

Video archives of our Sunday messages. Rick C.

More video/graphic content; less text. I guess I’ll know more after we read this white paper 🙂 Ben C.

Interpersonal Buy-In

We’ll be concentrating on getting ministry staff buy-in for help in generating fresh, engaging, content. Gail H.

Building a volunteer database for maintenance. Especially for keeping track of people with some tech and design savvy. John S.

More stories of life change. Julia H.

Online giving and better intra-church communication. Sarah E.

Building a Professional Website

Integrating our various forms of communication (we use EMMA for our e-newsletter, CCB for congregation info management, Tumblr for our blog, WordPress for our website, and most of our current information (including photos, etc.) is on Facebook. Steve P.

Moving from ‘home-made’ to a professional website. Joe F.

A way to capture and tell stories better. Krista W.

Researching how to direct people to the site, successfully convey the vision of the ministry to them through the site, and keep them engaged in the content of the site in a simple, clear, and effective way. Eric M.

Conclusion

The emerging themes are clear: Content organization and governance, increased multimedia, buy-in from other leaders, and building a professional website are the top priorities for church leaders in 2013.

Did you see anything on this list you’d like to implement in your own context?

Read more from Justin here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Justin Wise

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
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)
 

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