There are few things more satisfying than finishing a big project, right? It requires a lot of momentum though. Sometimes the hardest part of a project is the beginning. Starting a project can be overwhelming and paralyzing. The key to gaining traction is starting with small steps. For example, knowing the “first steps” of the church website design process may be intimidating at the start but if you start with the fundamentals, you can conquer project paralysis and take productive steps forward.
So what should those first steps be on a church website project? Whether you’re redesigning your website or building a new one from scratch, here are three fundamental first steps of your church website process to get you off to the right start.
#1-Define your purpose.
Your church has a purpose and a vision. Why shouldn’t your church website have one? You’ll want to know exactly what you expect your website will accomplish. What will you use it for? Outreach? Church administration?
Consider asking these questions:
“What will we have with our website that we didn’t have before without our website?”
“What will we be missing if we don’t get this website published?”
Setting a vision for what you want your website to accomplish is a very important first step in the setup process. It will also determine what elements you include (sermon library, events calendar, welcome video). It will also help you determine if you are on track, and where you need to adjust to stay on track.
#2-Focus on an audience.
Your church website will undoubtedly serve a wide variety of people. It should serve potential visitors looking for information and it should also serve church members looking for administrative resources. While your church website should be flexible to serve these various segments, it’s also important to drill down and focus on a specific audience. You’ll want to ask yourself:
“How will our website connect us with newcomers?”
“How will our website serve our church members?”
“When we ‘fire’ out blog posts, social media posts, and email newsletters, who are we ‘aiming’ for?”
Knowing your audience will help your church website develop good SEO practices. If setting a vision is understanding the why, focusing on an audience is understanding the who. Who do you want to reach with your church website?
#3-Build your team.
A church website requires a team of people to keep it updated and on track with its purpose. One of the fundamental first steps in your church website project is deciding who will be working on it. What skills do you need? Who will provide the vision? Where will the storytelling/marketing perspective come from? Who will provide the operations/logistics perspective?
Most church website project teams include a pastor or elder. This person will provide the vision and help lead the project from a theological perspective. They will also probably be involved in the church website welcome video and greetings to potential visitors.
Another valuable person to include on your team would be a church administrator. This person has a grip on what events the church is hosting, what signup needs the church has, and what updates need to be made to the sermon library and event calendar. The administrative person will probably be the one most active in the website setup and maintenance process.
Finally, you might want to consider adding a graphic designer or photographer to your team. This person can be responsible for the visual aspects of your website. They can be tasked with taking and editing photos, managing your homepage slides, creating a fresh logo, and putting together the welcome video.
These are just ideas to get you started. Your church website project will be unique and your team will be unique too. It’s a good practice to have someone responsible for setting and directing the vision, someone responsible for the nuts and bolts, and someone responsible for the storytelling/visual aspects.
Getting the Foundation Set
These are just the basic first steps. The website setup process can still be intimidating even after getting these fundamentals figured out. Fortunately, Five More Talents can help you simplify the process with our Ready-to-Go church website packages. We’ll simplify the process by working with you each step of the way and letting you direct the content of your church website without the frustration of wrestling with web code.