WEBSITE BASICS -- A "Good" Website is Essential
Your website has the ability to reach over TWO BILLION PEOPLE right now! Yes, communicating your presence and message via the Internet has an awesome potential and a lot of advantages over traditional media. However to effectively reach these people, it is absolutely essential for a church or ministry to invest effort and resources into producing a "good" website. There are three primary reasons for having a "good" website that will be effective in its mission:
1) A good website connects you with more people. Virtually everybody today expects to find you and learn about you through your website. Instead of looking up your church or ministry organization in a phone book, the first thing most people now do is check to see if their favorite search engine, like Google or Bing, can find your website. If they can't find your website, they may think that you no longer exist; or more likely they will find someone else's church or ministry website that caters to their need.
2) A good, well-designed website enables your site visitors to have a positive experience in easily navigating around the site and quickly finding what they are looking for. In contrast, a website that is poorly designed and difficult to navigate will quickly send the visitor elsewhere on the Internet.
3) A good website has excellent search engine optimization characteristics so that it draws many surfers to your website, and thus provides a golden opportunity to appreciably expand your outreach, both locally and worldwide, even to the ends of the earth.
Two Billion Plus Potential Site Visitors
According to the Internet World Stats, the number of Internet users at the beginning of 2011 was over two billion. That's an increase of 4 to 5 times as many users compared with the year 2000, and the rate of growth continues to increase rapidly. More than 78% of the North America population now uses the internet, and half of them use it several times a day. Having a good website is now a necessity, not an option. Your website has a potential visitorship of over 2 billion people! Make the very best of this potenial by having a "good" website.
At a minimum, a website can provide vital contact information by phone or e-mail, and can also supply directions and a map on how to get to your church or ministry if you have physical facility.
Connecting with Church Members
Most church members, certaily in North American and Europe, are now Internet connected. More and more church members and friends of a congregation have an expectation that their church will provide the information they need on the church's website, for example a calendar of events, news features and contact information. Don't disappoint your congregation members and friends by having only a mediocre website presence on the Internet. Make every effort to produce the best website you can with the resources available to you.
Connecting with Potential Visitors to Your Church
A good website helps people who are looking for a new church to become acquainted with it prior to making a physical visit to the chut=rch facility. Many people's first impression of a church is no longer accomplished with a drive-by or a drive through the parking lot. That important first impression is now made via the local church web site. The better the website, the more positive that first impression will be.
Remember that Nicodemus had his famous visit with Jesus late at night. People who are not willing to show up at your church or to attend a ministry function may well be paying you a visit late at night via your website. Through a good website you can give potential visitors the chance to check out your church or ministry with confidentially and late at night, if that is what works best for them. If they like what they find on your website, they may be willing to drop by in person or make contact by phone or e-mail.
Websites are relatively inexpensive, an excellent investment, especially considering that hosting costs are usually only around $2.00 per week or less. A really good website can answer almost as many questions as a good secretary, and be on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. You can also reduce or eliminate the need for postal service mailings using e-mail distribution systems.
Print up thousands of glossy brochures to hand out, and the chances are good that by the time they arrive from the printer some of the information will be out-of-date. So back to the printers. Website changes can be made at no cost almost immediately. A great advantage of the electronic Internet media.
Pictures Are Worth A 1000 Words
Yes, pictures are worth a thousand words. You can't put those pictures in the phone book, but you can put them on the website. Use this convenient graphical communication feature to good effect on your website!
Primary Author: David Buxton