Is Your Website Ready for Lent?

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Christmas and Easter may be your church’s busy days of the year, but Ash Wednesday is your church websites’s busiest day.  It actually makes sense if you think about it.  Most parishioners know (or should!) when Easter Sunday mass is and Christmas masses tend to follow the typical Saturday and Sunday mass schedule, but not Ash Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday masses try to accommodate the working schedule of Catholics, so many parishioners find themselves on Shrove Tuesday trying to figure out when mass is is being held the next day.  Of the church websites that my organization manages and our Parishes Online website, we typically see a 5-fold volume increase starting on Shrove Tuesday.

Let’s help our parishioners get to mass on Ash Wednesday.  There’s two simple, but unfortunately often over looked, tasks that your website administrator needs to do:

First, are your Ash Wednesday mass times updated on your website?  Let’s make sure the website we’re responsible for have their mass times updated and make sure you include Ash Wednesday mass times as well.  Don’t just put Mass Times for the weekend and then a more generic “Holy Days” or “Week Day Masses”.  Ash Wednesday technically isn’t a Holy Day of Obligation and a more general descriptor saves you a little work in updating the site after Ash Wednesday, but it can cause some confusion with your parishioners.  Plus, your website will get some added SEO benefits by having the words “Ash Wednesday” on your site depending on what a person searches for.

Second, don’t hide your mass times schedule.  They’re the number one reason parishioners go to your website.  To see the other reasons, check out this blog post.  Put the mass times right on your church’s home page.  Don’t hide them down on menu level 4, put them right there on the main page for everyone to see.

Let’s all make sure our website is updated, accurate, and ready for Lent!

 

 

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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.