Church Website Navigation for New People

photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc

photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc

“Let’s be honest, our website really sucks.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Our website is great, or so I thought. So, I clarified. “What do you mean?”

“I couldn’t even find the service times,” he continued.

I looked at our site on my iPhone. “Look here. Didn’t you see it on the front page?”

“It wasn’t there. Look, I don’t know what Fused, The Uprising, or The Mat are. I’m looking for something for me, but I don’t know what is what.”

That’s a good lesson for us all. Words mean things. Each word is part of a larger community and you really need to be part of that community to understand those words.

I’ve been a part of my church for about 12, almost 13 years, so I was there when Crash and Access combined to form Fused and the first time our recovery ministry read the passage in Mark where a paralyzed man was lowered on his mat in front of Jesus, so I know that’s what “The Mat” means.

My friend doesn’t have that history and that’s perhaps instructional for all of us, who do church tech. We can easily forget that not everyone knows what some words we use mean. That could be technical in nature. In this case it wasn’t. It was just a matter of having a description beside the ministry name, even a couple of words.

What tweaks could make your church’s site more useable to people outside the church? What’s so obvious to you that isn’t to everyone else? Share below and we’ll talk about it.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div. has been a tech volunteer with Quest Community Church in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of TrinityDigitalMedia.com, llc. He became part of the technology in ministry team when his church’s attendance was around 200 in one Sunday service and has witnessed it’s growth to 5,200 average weekly attendance in one Saturday service, four Sunday services in one online and two physical campuses. He literally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines.