You know that your church needs a new website, the trouble is some people are not as convinced. Maybe you aren't the decision maker, but there are probably some things you can do to help make it happen. If you want to make a compelling argument for a brand new, or newly improved church website, we've got your back. Here are some pretty convincing reasons and all the information you'll need to make the case to your coworkers!
Technology Changes Quickly
As crazy as it sounds, many people who come to us at Ekklesia 360 haven’t changed their website in as long as 8-10 years! Because technology changes so quickly, it is really important for churches to reevaluate their website every 2 to 4 years. For large churches with an average weekly attendance of 1000+, we recommend reevaluating the website every 1.5 to 2 years. If you wait longer than that, your church website is going to look outdated, which can be a total turnoff for potential visitors.
In order to keep up with ever-changing technology, some elements you can add when either building or revamping your website include:
- Not just images, but it's time to use videos.
- Current social media feeds and their current logos.
- Up to date photos, links, and events calendar.
- An online giving platform.
- Online registration and volunteer sign-up forms.
Your website should strengthen the mission of your church. If your website is behind the times, visitors to your site will assume your church is too.
Pssst. Don't forget to get your free Mission Online Assessment if you want our strategy to give you more reasons to pitch to your staff about a new website!
Your Church Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Not only do you need a church website, you need one that’s mobile friendly. If you have your doubts about the importance of having a mobile friendly church website, you might want to consider the fact that 80% of people who use the internet own a smartphone—and they likely do their on-the-go searching on their devices. If your church website can't be pulled up on a smartphone, that site visitor probably won't be an actual visitor anytime soon.
People Want A Better Site
An astonishing 94% of internet users have stated they have a hard time trusting a website that is poorly designed. Some of the elements that have caused visitors to mistrust, or to reject a website altogether, include:
- Layouts that are too busy and complex.
- Content that is hard to read.
- The site looks boring or lacks color.
- It doesn't load quickly enough.
This last bullet point is super important. Many people will abandon your website if it takes too long to load. Unfortunately, website users don't generally adopt the old adage that "patience is a virtue." When they want information, they want it now! Technically speaking, a website is considered slow if it takes more than 10 seconds to load. Clearly, the faster your website loads, the less chance you have of someone abandoning it. Mobile users generally expect a website to load in three seconds or less.
If you have heard anyone in your congregation say any of the following, it's time to take the hint and get a better site:
- "There is a lot of incorrect information on our website."
- "I don't really tell anyone to go to our website, it looks like it's from the 90s."
- Our church website is so frustrating - I can't find anything on there."
- "I Googled our church website and I still can't find it."
- "We have a website?"
If your congregation is being a little more direct and is asking you to please build a website, or they are asking for a better one, it's definitely time to rethink the whole church website thing.
Show Your Team the Data
We live in a data-driven world. Businesses, non-profit organizations, and churches can all benefit from data because it helps them to actually "see" if they are meeting goals and what kind of impact they are making. Since the numbers usually don't lie, using data is a great way to try to convince your church that the website needs an overhaul. Fortunately, collecting this all-important data can be relatively easy, especially with the following tools:
- Heatmap software - this amazing analytical tool can actually analyze the behavior of your website visitors and show you where the most engagement is taking place on your site. The data is represented by colors, so if several people are clicking or scrolling on certain parts of the website, it comes up as a hot spot and will be highlighted in red. Areas that are dark blue, which is the coolest color on the heatmap spectrum, are those with the least engagement.
- Google Analytics - this is how you can know how many visits your website is getting, what your bounce rate is, and what visitors are searching for once they hit your site. GA will tell you all of that and more.
The importance of using these data-collecting tools help you find out which areas of your church website you may need to improve.