WEBSITE BASICS -- Types of Website Content
Calendars, announcements, news and events are all ways to feature what the church is up to each week, month and throughout the year. This information will be a big magnet to your site—only if it is kept up-to-date.
One of the best ways to feature the local church on the website is with photography. When you set aside photo pages dedicated to photography, visitors understand the pages will be slow to load and will go there when they are in a relaxed mood. Personally, I am not in favor of using thumb nails on a photo page, especially if the thumb nail opens to a huge photo that takes several minutes to display over my country phone line. If you must feature photos with huge files sizes, then of course use thumb nails. It is also recommended that you note the file size so visitors know what to expect. Better to offer photos that are just barely large enough to be enjoyed and apply as much compression as you can get away with. While a visitor takes a close look at the top couple of photos, the rest will be loading farther down the page. Clicking through thumb nails one at a time can be a chore.
Feature few if any photos on the home page for load time reasons. The same goes for other pages where photos are generally not expected.
Featuring your departments is a good idea. Keep the photos small and compressed on these pages, as you want them to load reasonably fast. Using a content managed website (e.g.netAdventist or Simple Updates) makes it possible for each department to update their own pages. Pathfinders, Adventure Club, Youth and other departments are particularly popular on a church website.
Members of other denominations will be curious to know what your church services are like. Feature a church service in the photo collection. Special music, sermon, children's story can be updated arbitrarily on the page.
Church members and visitors from afar will come looking for the latest sermon each week if it is made available at a predictable time each week. Webmasters have found that posting the sermons greatly increases the traffic to their site. Bill Aumack explains how to feature Sermons On The Web.
Some churches send out a weekly newsletter to those who sign up on their web site.
Primary Author: David Buxton