How to Maintain a Church Website

Church WebsiteYour church website is a great tool for helping spread the Gospel, make disciples, and connect parishioners with one another and the church. To be as effective as possible, you need to keep your site up-to-date both in terms of content and style.

Create Content and Add Value

You don’t hand your parishioners the same bulletin week in and week out, so why would you make them look at an unchanging website for months on end?

  • Create a blog: Ask Father, staff, and ministry leaders to contribute to posting weekly or monthly. Provide a rotating schedule for each author on a monthly calendar that will help keep posts on schedule. For tips on how to create a healthy church blog, click here.
  • Add weekly prayers: Find a weekly prayer here
  • Provide a weekly reflection: Find a new reflection here 
  • Add videos: Take videos with your cell phone at events. Find tips on that here.

Keep Your Content Current

We all know this. We all preach this. But I guarantee you that at least one church within a ten mile radius of your house has an event from 2013 still on their website calendar. If a visitor sees outdated information on your site, chances are they won’t come back.

To stay on track, schedule a task to do a basic twenty-minute review of your website every other week. This is a basic review—check out your calendar, your front page, and maybe one or two other pages you know are changed frequently.

Schedule a full review of your website at least once every three months. Enlist other staff members or people to closely look over each page and make sure nothing is out of place, out of date, or missing.

Design Matters

When was the last time you refreshed the design of your website? Does it reflect the culture and style of your parish? The look of your website doesn’t need to change every year, but technology changes quick and your site should be reviewed regularly.

To get started, take a look at other church websites in your area and around the country to see what trends, colors, and styles are in. Make changes to layouts to give easy access to popular information and to help parishioners navigate your site. Keep in mind that the goal is to make communicating with your parishioners and visitors as easy as possible and to provide quick access to information about your church.

If you have an older site and don’t have as much flexibility with layout or design, consider simple changes like:

  • Use only three to four colors at most and text colors that contrast well with the site’s background color.
  • Use common fonts and limit the type style to one or two.
  • Ensure all navigation hyperlinks work properly and are not broken.
  • Remove unnecessary menus and outdated information.

Those are some of our tips, what are yours? Let us know in the comments.

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Author:Joe Luedtke

Joe Luedtke is the Chief Operating Officer for Liturgical Publications (LPi). Joe specializes in Social Media and Web 2.0 and is currently leading LPi’s efforts to move into the on-line world. Joe works for the world's largest and oldest social network, religion, and believes that this social network could benefit tremendously from the the proper use of Internet technologies.