How to Choose a Website Designer for your Church or Ministry

CHRISTIAN CHURCH WEB DESIGN CHECKLIST
This web design guide will provide some simple steps for designing or redesigning your church website. It’s no longer good enough to have a static, unchanging church website. Today, effective church websites must be visually appealing, regularly updated, and engage the visitor.

EVALUATE YOUR EXISTING CHRISTIAN CHURCH SITE 
What are the successes and failures of your existing Christian church website? Get opinions from people in your company or your circle of friends. Explore design, ease of use, etc. Write down three successes of your website and three failures or things that need to be changed. Then write down your goals and dreams for your new church web site.

BRAINSTORM NEW IDEAS
What new elements or features are missing from you present website or from your plans for a brand new website. Brainstorm with others and write down five to ten new ideas. Ask church web design companies for ideas as well.

RESEARCH WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR WEBSITE 
Explore why people are presently coming to your church website if you have one. If you don’t have a statistics tracking system with your web host, have one recommended to you by a Christian web design company that specializes in website statistics. Once you’ve researched why people are coming to your website, record those reasons and write three new reasons why you’d like people to come to your website.

DO YOU HAVE A STRONG WEBSITE DESIGN?
Is your present church website memorable? Does it have any WOW factor when a visitor first sees it? Does it accurately represent your church or congregation? Write down 3-5 words or phrases that describe the design, style colors, or feeling you’d like your new church website to portray

WHAT ARE OTHER CUTTING EDGE CHURCHES DOING?
What can you learn from other leading church websites? Is your present or desired site on par or better than other church websites? If not, why not? Your church website needs to look up to date and open for interaction 24/7. It can’t look empty and abandoned. Are other websites or other church sites coming up in search engines when you do searches for your church name in Yahoo or Google? If so, you’re going to need to invest in search engine ranking marketing and/or keyword marketing. Contact a church web design company that specializes in Internet marketing. Ask for examples and results of websites they’ve promoted online and check those results yourself. Most web design companies don’t specialize in Internet marketing, so if being found in search engines and having Christians and non-Christians being able to find your website easily is important to you, then take the time to find a company that can help you achieve this.

TARGET AUDIENCE
Clarify exactly who is your website’s target audience? Is it just for you and your church staff, or is it for your congregation or primarily for people looking for information? Decide who is the target audience of your site and make all decisions based on the needs of that target audience. Try to determine the needs of that target audience so you can design your church website to meet those needs. List 3-5 needs and write a description of your ideal website visitor including age, sex, location, hobbies, activities, education, spiritual knowledge and spiritual interest level, etc.

WEBSITE CONTENT

The content on your website is likely the main reason why most people come to your site. It’s certainly one of the main reasons why your church website will or will not appear in search engines for particular search phrases. Go through all of your content. Is it outdated? Does your content meet the needs of your website’s target audience? Plan to add new content to your website, whether it be photos or text, every month, if possible. Your written content should be short and easily skim-readable, and in a font size that a 50 year old can read.

COMPONENTS
Is your church web site taking advantage of components like, a discussion forum, poll, survey, guestbook, chat and more? Strive to build relationship with your website visitors using interactive tools like these. Make sure your site is hosted with a good, affordable Christian web hosting company.