Relaunching Your Church Website: A Content Strategy That Works

Relaunching Your Church Website Part 2

[This is part 2 of the “Relaunching Your Church Website” series, click here to view all posts]

After we figured out generally where we want to go and what we want to do, we have to narrow it down. Get really specific and think strategically.

During our relaunch conversations I spent time looking at other church sites, from small church, to mega church, from unique to plain Jane. As I browsed I thought about the content we wanted to have on our site, and I had a simple yet powerful revelation:

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS

Here are a few things that I noticed:

  • Many churches featured their recent blogs on their homepage but they only added new posts 3 times a year.
  • The church didn’t have a great at graphic designer but yet their mediocre series artwork was the largest element on the home page.
  • The biggest fail I saw? Great Stock photos mixed with the churches less than professional photography.

All of these sites could have been great if they would have played to their strengths. So here is our content strategy:

Focus on Message content

What do 99.99% of churches create each week? Teaching content. So the biggest way we can keep our site fresh and updated is by featuring our message content and making it last longer than a Sunday morning. I ended up creating a custom plugin for this that I will talk about in a later post.

Feature graphic design and photography

We usually have solid artwork for series and events, and we have a couple of killer photographers, so lets put that work front and center. If you don’t have a good photographer, hire someone to come in and get some great photos for your website and print materials, it will be the best advertising money you can spend.

Hide the blog, show it only when its used

Our lead pastor would love to blog and write articles but the reality is he is too busy to do it consistently. So instead of ditching the blog, lets just make it less prominent. Also our system for showing message content allows for blog type content that relates to each message.

Don’t post weekly events

On our old site we made a big mistake, we posted all of our weekly events in the calendar things like, gatherings, middle school events, high school events. But this leads to calendar that looks like a big pattern. Those things aren’t events, they are weekly ministries. Our new calendar only show real events, things that happen every once and awhile, nothing recurring.

What about you?
So what’s your content strategy? Is your website playing to your strengths or is your site featuring your less than appealing side?

More from this series:

4 Responses

02.19.13

So glad you are sharing this! Our church is doing a redesign, which I am spear heading, and I am in the midst of answering these questions. Looking forward to the next posts. I love your new church site. Question: did you leverage an existing wordpress template, or make your own? Also, did you build-in the responsive features yourself? I would love it if you could point me to any great teaching resources!

02.19.13

Brad… while not on the same scale or fame as the site re-builds you mentioned in Part 1 of this series of posts… our ministry just launched our new site. However, since our ministry is 100% internet based, the question wasn't so much "Why do we have this thing again?"… but more of an "Man, it's been waaaaay too long between updates."

I've appreciated your posts as we trudged our way through it our re-build. Your comment about hiding the blog if it's not updated frequently really hit home. While I'd love to be more consistent with blogging… and for the first couple years I was pretty good at it… the last couple years have been pretty spotty (at best).

The new design has, thankfully, stopped featuring that on the front page, and stashed it under the About Us menu. Now I don't feel so guilty when that part of the website is a bit too static.

Thanks for your posts.

02.19.13

I'll try your ideas, especially the bit about featuring graphic design and photography (mostly graphic design because it's more relevant to my website than photography.) This four-part blog series is really very helpful. Thanks a lot for sharing this, Brad.

02.19.13

I personally fully agree with your opinion. Hope to read more on this topic to increase my knowledge in this field.

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