Christian Web Hosting
Common Web Design Mistakes Churches Make
- Starting with the church building
- Many church web sites begin the homepage with a history of the church building. This approach shows the webmaster has forgotten that the Church is the people, not the building. So don't begin the web site with "St Hilda's was built from red brick in 1908".
- In fact, unless your church building is a significant attraction to visitors, there is probably little reason to have any historical information about it on the web site at all. If there is something that you want to include, move it into a "Church Building" section.
- Incomprehensible statement of belief
- If your denomination or network has a 'Statement of Faith' or 'Doctrinal Basis' then it is tempting to include it on your web site. But these documents are rarely written with non-churchgoers in mind, and are unlikely to help your users find out what the church believes.
- A better way is to create a "What we believe" page which contains a simple explanation of what it means to be a Christian. Then, if you still want to include a more formal statement of belief, simply provide a link to the relevant page on your denomination's web site.
- Out of date content
- It is a good idea to include news of upcoming events and service details. But it isn't sensible to keep displaying this on the web site after the date has past. Keep your web site up-to-date.
- Special effects
- Some 'cool' features of web sites, such as scrolling text or innovative menu systems, are just irritating. It has been shown that most users ignore all these special effects, and will leave your site if they can't find what they want quickly. So keep it clear and simple or else leave it out.
- Long download times
- Web sites filled with graphics may look appealing when you view them on your own computer, but when users access them they can take ages to download. Unfortunately, most people won't hang around on a slow web site.
So if you want people to find out more about your church then make sure that the web site runs quickly. The best way to do this is to avoid too many graphics. Photos are fine, and they help to show who you are, but if you have lots then place them on a special "pictures" page so that people can choose whether or not to view them.