Developing content for your church website
One of the most difficult tasks when building a new church website is developing the content. What pages should you create? What should you say? What should the tone be like? These are all good questions that will take some careful thought and consideration.
One good place to start is creating a list of goals for your website. This can bring some much needed direction to the project. To help get you started here we have put together a list of common goals here.
Once you have set some goals for your website, a good next step is developing a sitemap. A sitemap is simply a list of pages that will appear on your website. A sitemap provides an excellent checklist of content that must be written. You may even consider creating all the pages from your sitemap before you even begin writing. This way you can browse around your new website and get a feel for how it works. Then simply update each page as you write the content for it. Here is an example sitemap to help get you started.
- Home (a brief introduction about who you are, what you believe, when you worship, etc.)
- About (an optional extended version of who you are, your history, your council, etc.)
- Our Beliefs (what you believe, creeds and confessions, federation you belong to, etc.)
- Worship Services (when and where you worship, invitation to join, what worship looks like, nursery info, dress)
- Our Pastor (your minister's name, a brief bio, photo, and contact information)
- Bible Studies (a list of bible studies, catechism classes and youth groups)
- Mission & Outreach (any ministries and outreach initiatives that your church supports or is involved with)
- Sermon Archive (a public archive of past sermons)
- Calendar (a calendar of events happening at your church)
- Contact (church address, mailing address, phone numbers, emails, etc.)
This works out to roughly ten pages. Depending on the theme you choose it might make sense to group these together into sections.
In addition to the content found on the various pages on your site you will want to set some common page elements that appear on all pages. This will include things like social media links or the address to your church building. Unfortunately there is no standard way of doing this. Every theme offers different levels of template customization. Here are a few items we recommend trying to include in your page template:
- Your church name or logo if available
- Your worship service times and location
- Links to your social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- Link to your private member login (Church Social)
- Link to your live stream
Give some consideration to what visuals you want on your website. Do you have any photography that you can use? Do you have a photographer in your congregation who could take some photos of the building (inside and out) and potentially even some members? It is always great to see photos of real members of your church, but understand that not all people will be comfortable with this.