Communication for Churches by zhangyun


									Creating an Effective
Church Web Site:
The Ultimate Community Building Tool

Cindy Rayfield, Rayfield Creative
Marketing/Communication Specialist
July 9, 2005

What You Will Learn
About Church Web Sites
   Web site contribution to overall
    communication and community building
   How to plan and prepare a church web site
   An understanding of the web site design
   Options for developing a web site
   Costs you can expect and ideas for funding
    your site
   The importance of on-going maintenance
Why Communicate to
your congregation?
   Jesus – the perfect Communicator
    – He had a communication plan
    – He had a goal for His message
    – He knew His audience
    – He developed a connection with His audience
    – He met the needs of the people
    – He used the best methods at the time to get His
      message out
    – Jesus created Gospelflow through His
The Importance of
   Makes people feel like part of
    something important or special
   Makes community members take
    ownership in their community
   Enrolls and creates a connection so
    people give of themselves for the
    betterment of the community
   Offers something to look forward to
Church Web Sites - the
Ultimate Community
Building Tools
   Gives visitors a sense of community
   Ability to create special groups in a secure
    environment – semi-interpersonal
   Shares useful information such as church services
    and evangelization opportunities
   Brings in New Members
   Provides a place for Historical Reference/Archives
   Is Interactive completing the feedback loop
   Flexible to meet the needs of various audiences

Church Web Site Stats
   From Pew Internet & American Life Project
    – “Faith-related activity online is a supplement to,
      rather than a substitute for offline religious life.”
    – “The 64% of Internet users who perform
      spiritual and religious activities online represent
      nearly 82 million Americans.”
    – “..two-thirds of those who attend religious
      services weekly use the Internet for personal
      religious or spiritual purposes. [Of that group,]
      they are more likely to be women, white, middle
      aged, college educated, and relatively well-to-
      do. In addition, they are somewhat more active
      as Internet users than the rest of the Internet
Spiritually-Related Online
Activities Measured By Pew
   38% of the nation‟s 128 million Internet users have
    sent and received email with spiritual content
   35% have sent or received online greeting cards
    related to religious holidays
   32% have gone online to read news accounts of
    religious events and affairs
   21% have sought information about how to
    celebrate religious holidays
   17% have looked for information about where they
    could attend religious services
   7% have made or responded to online prayer
   7% have made donations to religious organizations
    or charities
Think for a moment…

   What do you like to see on a typical
    web site?
   What do you not like to see on a web

Planning Your Site

   The ADDIE Model
    – Analyze
    – Design
    – Develop
    – Implement
    – Evaluate

   So, where do you start when building your church
    or ministry web site? Ask yourself -
    – What‟s the purpose of having a site for your church or
    – Who do you want to reach?
    – What information do you have prepared for your site? Do
      an inventory.
    – How will you organize your information?
    – Do you understand many of the technical issues?
    – How much can you spend on it?
    – Who will create and take care of your site?
    – How will you know if your site is successful?

Design - Purpose /Goal of
your web site
   What do you want people to say about your
   What do you want your site to offer?
   Why should people come back to your site?
    – It changes periodically
    – Offers useful information and allows feedback
    – Gives visitors a sense of community – makes
      them feel like part of a special group

Basic Elements of a
Church Web Site
   Brochure Elements – Everybody thinks
    of these elements when building a
    web site
   Community Building Elements – Not
    everyone recognizes the importance of
    these interactive elements. These are
    the elements that make your web site
    effective, useful and makes people
Brochure Examples

   About Us
   Contact Us
   Location
   Ministries, Outreach Efforts
   Map
   List of Staff

Community Building
   Minister Schedules
   Events Calendar
   Library/Articles/Resources
    – Evangelization Opportunity!
   Forms for registration, events
   E-Newsletter sign ups
    – See Resource List

Who will use your Web
   3 audience levels in churches
    – Your Congregation
    – Potential New Members
    – Seekers

Who will use your Web
   Your Congregation
    – Level 1 – Single Level, Just the basic facts
    – Level 2 – Give me more info
    – Level 3 – Let me give you feedback now
   New Members
    – People who understand your church and
      are looking for you.
Who will use your Web
   Seekers
    – People who are not part of your church or
    – People in need of the Word of God
    – People in need of ministry resources
    – What do you want to share with them?

Evangelization –
Reaching Seekers
   Does your web site preach to the choir?
   Offer information and resources to those in
   Teach about your church beliefs
   Understand that some might not understand
    “churchy” language
    – fellowship, ecumenism, prayer requests,

The Message
   Where do you find your content?
   Repurposing content for the web
   Remember what it is you want to say.
    What‟s your goal and who is your audience?
   Remember why people come back to your
    – It changes periodically
    – Offers useful information and allows feedback
    – Gives visitors a sense of community – makes them feel like
      part of a special group

What will you put on your
church web site?
   Start by doing an inventory of all written material
    –   Newsletters
    –   Brochures
    –   Bulletins
    –   Articles
    –   Letters from the Pastor
    –   Schedules – names of members may be an issue
    –   Photos – A word of caution about member photos
   Brainstorming will yield lots of ideas
   Ideas will grow the more you rely on your site

The Structure

   Navigation – What is it?
   KISS – 7 - 10 main links
   Clicks – rules of thumb
   Images – get software to manipulate
   No flashing, jumping, sparkling
    images, background music, please.

Develop/Implement -
Technical Issues
   Who will do the work?
    – Do you have a webmaster/designer?
    – Do you have time to do this on your own?
    – Recognizing the value of a professional
   Software Required
    – HTML Editors
    – Image Editors
   What is hosting and who will do it?
    – Hosting vs. ISP
    – Do you have a server?
    – Outsource Hosting

 Custom Site vs. Web Site
Custom Developed                         Web Site Builders
More flexibility gives you custom        More cost effective
Difficult to update yourself             Some allow login for DIY updates
In some cases you need expensive         Software usually resides on hosting
software on your computer                server and you choose a template
Cost does not include hosting and        Cost includes hosting and many
other features cost extra                extra features like calendars,
                                         security levels, secured pages
Can be expensive and usually             Several others may have your
requires a designer                      template

Web Site Builders
   Advantages of Web Site Builders (aka Content
    Management Systems)
     – Web Based
     – No Software
     – No Upgrades Required
     – Many have lots of templates to choose from and
       you get a semi-custom look
     – Ability to update yourself
     – Can set security levels

Sample Web Site Builders

   E-Zekiel
   For Ministry

Finding the Right
   Issues with volunteers
   Find someone who has a commitment
    to stewardship or ministry work
   Ask within your church
   Do a search on the Internet
   Ask other churches who they use
   Talk to vendors and exhibitors at this

   Getting people to visit your site – a
    search engine overview
    – Good keyword rich content and title tags
    – Quality links from complimentary sites
    – Word of mouth – put your link on
   Hit „em in the inbox with e-newsletters
    or e-mail reminders

   Keep your site updated!
   Do it yourself or contract it out
   Use content from your weekly bulletin
    and/or newsletters
   Check for broken links, typos
   Analyze traffic to your site
   Marketing review
Evaluate – Tracking
   Traffic Statistics Packages
    – Hosting company should offer statistics
    – Independent packages – see resource list
   Traffic Analysis - What‟s important to know from
    your stats
    –   Page views
    –   Visitors
    –   Referrals
    –   Links from other places
    –   How visitors found you
    –   Keywords they used

Costs You Can Expect

   Custom Development/Consulting
    – 20 to 40 hours at $100/hr for custom
    – Retainer for web site builder development
   Set up fees
    – From $50 to $500 depending on options
   Hosting Charges
    – From $12 to $40 for basic hosting
    – $50 to $200 for web site builder
Costs Continued
   Internet Access
    – From $19 per month
   Domain name and e-mails
    – From $12 for single name, $5 per e-mail
   Credit Card Processing (if applicable)
    – Lots of misc. fees per transaction, monthly
      statement, monthly maintenance
   Web Site Maintenance Fees
    – From $60 to $500 per month depending on work

Funding Your Site
   The money is there – you just have to find it
   Support from the pews
   Web Sponsorship Advertising – Totally fund
    your site
    – Media Kit
    – Sales work required
    – Best sources to contact – congregation and
      bulletin advertisers
    – Find a reasonable cost per linking sponsor to
      offset your costs over time

   "The Internet holds immense potential as a
    marketing tool. As an interactive medium
    that reaches around the world, it promises
    an interpersonalization of advertising. As
    mass communication becomes mass-
    interpersonal communication, marketing
    efforts become more efficient, effective, and
    extensive." -Jef I. Richards

More Quotes

   “You and your staff must understand and be
    willing to accept that a truly redemptive
    ministry and web site WILL change the
    complexion of the church. The web site will
    reach out to broken people who will arrive
    on your door-step with a [myriad] of
    complex issues.” – from Seeker Sensitive
    Church Web Sites, by


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