Most people will visit your church website before they’ll visit your church. Therefore, it’s important to look at your website from the perspective of a visitor and eliminate things that will scare visitors away.
What will scare a visitor away?
1) A free web address
If your website has a free web address like fbc.wordpress.com or freesites.ourchurch.com/fbc it screams, “We care so little about reaching people in our community that we’re not willing to spend even $10/mo for a domain name and web hosting.”
2) Old announcements
If your website still has that announcement about Easter on it, it tells people you’re not very consistent with your communications and there’s probably not much planned for the future.
3) Prominent requests for donations
Many churches make it possible for their members to give online. Nobody will be offended by a “Give” button or “Donate” page. But if it’s the biggest or most prominent button in the header, the first item in your navigation menu, or prominent on your homepage, it sends a signal – intended or not – that getting money from people is really important to your church.
4) The infamous animated dove graphic
I don’t need to explain this one, do I?
5) An all-text homepage
Images give life to your website. If you have no images on your homepage at all, it gives the impression that your congregation is boring and lifeless.
6) No address or service times
The best way to keep people from visiting your church is make it hard to find out when and where you meet. Your address should be in the header or footer of your website, so that it’s on every page. Service times should be prominently listed on your homepage.
Long-time Christians use a lot of words and phrases that are completely unknown outside of the Christian universe. If you use Christianeese words and phrases on your website, it tells unchurched people that if they visit your church they are not going to understand what’s going on or what people are talking about.
If you feel like you’re entire website will scare visitors away and you’re ready to scrap it and start over, check out church website design services or DIY church website builder.