When building a successful church website it is imperative to know the basic steps of online networking and design. A couple of basic questions that arise when planning church websites are:
1. Should you design the site yourself or pay a designer?
2. Will you write the content yourself?, pay a ghost writer or ask your church members to write for you?
To address the first question, you have to realize that if you are not a web designer you will most likely end up with a site you will not be very proud of.
The most important part of a website, is the header. The website header is the graphic you see at the top of every website. In order to create an attractive site header you have to use special design tools such as Adobe Photoshop which will let you manipulate images in order to create a unique an attractive graphic.
Your work doesn’t end with the design of a site header. There are several other graphics that require proper design, a few of them are:
Navigation buttons: These are the graphics which define the most important parts of the website. The most popular among church websites are: Home, Site Map, Archives, Volunteers, Donations, Ministry, Church Forum, Blog, Announcements, About, Contact Us, etc.
Page animations: This special kind of graphic plays an important roll if you want to capture your members attention towards a specific page or content. This kind of graphics can be designed with Photoshop, Swish or a Macromedia flash application.
Banners: These are specially useful when you want to advertise your church site in other related church sites, content networks, emails, etc, in order to attract interested prospects.
Attractive CSS (Cascading Style Sheet): This part of the design is not done through an image design tool but through a code editing tool such as Dreamweaver. Cascading style sheets let you specify the size, color, position and the way your text is displayed, making your content more attractive to church members.
Now, to address the second question. There are several ways you can generate good and relevant content for your church website. The first step would be writing down and organizing your church activities. Write a description for each and every activity, collect pictures and show important announcements.
Another way to make your church site even more attractive and useful to members is to include a forum. This tool allows church members to create discussion threads, to communicate with each other and organize events. This is perhaps one of the most important features every church site must have. Forums give a real sense of community to a site.
Add real value to a church site by having useful zones in place, such as:
A Church Membership Application, which will expedite the process of becoming an active member
A Church Volunteer system, which helps the church get more activities done and be more productive.
Taking care of a church site design may seem complicated at first, but it really isn’t if you have the right help. There are several companies out there which offer church site building services. You should choose the one which offers the best support during site construction and after the site goes live. eChurchSites is among the best companies which offers custom church website design, a variety of affordable plans, valuable service and support.