The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

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Home Page > Internet > Web Design > The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

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Posted: Jul 13, 2009
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The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites

By: Alistair Kent

About the Author

Alistair Kent
Founder of www.yourchurchontheweb.com

(ArticlesBase SC #1033417)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ – The Seven Deadly Sins Made By Church Websites





Having seen thousands of church websites from many denominations and throughout many countries, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly! As a result I thought I’d draw up a list of the most common church website mistakes.

It’s obviously been done by an amateur. Most churches will try and find a member of the congregation to produce a website for them. Normally to cut costs. No problem with that, but if you are serious about attracting visitors and communicating effectively with your members then you might have to pay someone to do a professional job. If your design looks shabby and amateur, then that is what people are going to perceive about your church if they haven’t experienced it in person. It doesn’t relate to the unchurched. Your church website should first and foremost be written with the unchurched person in mind. Now that may shake the foundations of most church websites, but we must understand that although we obviously want to relate to church members, the church is not an exclusive community. So many church websites are full of Christian jargon resulting in unbelievers being confused and alienated. And whilst we’re talking about wording, make sure that your content is well written, with no spelling mistakes or bad grammar. Write your copy in conversational terms and use lots of words like ‘you’, ‘your’, ‘I’ and ‘our’ to make it personable and engaging. It’s not easy to navigate. If your page links are hard to find, not grouped together carefully or not consistent on every page, people will quickly become frustrated and it won’t take them long to browse away from your site. So often church web designers pay more attention to graphics, animations and other ‘eye-candy’ that the site becomes overloaded with various elements competing for attention. Your church website may look fantastic with lots of eye-candy, but it can easily become like a merry-go-round – brief excitement, appeal and attractiveness, but actually doesn’t get you anywhere and leaves you in a spin! People will browse your site for a purpose, so you need clear signposts for them as they navigate your church website. The type size is too small. This is one of the greatest mistakes across all types of website, and unsurprisingly makes our list of church website mistakes as well. Anything between 12 – 14 pixels should be about right, depending on the typeface you use. You might want to try adding a little line spacing also, to make it easier on the eye. Rather than cramming in loads of words and reducing the font size, make your text shorter. The information is out of date. Latest church news from last month (or dare I even say last year) is old news and portrays your church as being ‘behind the times’ and ‘irrelevant’ (two main objections that unbelievers already have with church without us making a further rod for our backs). You simply have to put the time in to keep your church website up to date. Designate someone to supply and update the news section or discipline yourself to write short blogs every few days which will keep the site constantly fresh and alive. The church building is more prominent than the people. The church isn’t your building, the people are. Yes, pictures of your facilities are a good reference point and are relevant for people to get a ‘feel’ of your facilities, but don’t plaster them all over the home page. Rather, have pictures of people – ideally your own people. Get someone handy with a camera to take loads of shots of different people in different situations (natural, not posed) and select the best ones to go on your site. (Remember to get permission from everyone before you upload them.) Religious music starts playing or stereotypical images appear. Don’t impose your taste of Christian music on your website visitors – even if you think it is ‘anointed’. Research shows that most people find music played automatically as annoying. Have it available by all means (if it’s relevant, of good quality and legal!), but not set to play when the page loads. On the graphics front, if your church website has a ‘rotating cross’, a ‘dove flapping its wings’ or any other similar images/effects, then your site is very out of date. What may have worked 10 or 15 years ago certainly doesn’t work now.

For more information on how you can create a great church website that avoids all the seven deadly sins listed above, then visit www.yourchurchontheweb.com.

Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/web-design-articles/the-seven-deadly-sins-made-by-church-websites-1033417.html”

(ArticlesBase SC #1033417)

Alistair Kent
About the Author:

Alistair Kent
Founder of www.yourchurchontheweb.com

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Source:  http://www.articlesbase.com/web-design-articles/the-seven-deadly-sins-made-by-church-websites-1033417.html

Article Tags:
church website design, church websites, church website mistakes

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