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4 things to remember about the audience of your church website.

One aspect of your church website that needs to be considered is audience. Who is your site for? Well research shows a vast number of people will look at your website before they visit your church. It's your new front door! What about your existing church goers? Well they are a bit more forgiving. Let's look at this in a little more detail.

Regulars

Your regular churchgoes are most likely to know how to use your site, and will probably dive in to the menu system or click a link. Make sure the information they might be looking for is readily available. Oh yes, and if they feed back to you that something is missing or not up to date? It's ok to ask them to help edit your site!

New visitors

This group of people will get their first impression of your church from your site. The landing page (also called Home Page or Front Page) will be really important to these folks. Think about what images, words or messages you want to get across to them. Make sure the landing page is simple to read and attractive. Ask a few outsiders to check this page and ask them what the key informaton is that they might be looking for. Spend time on this. You will be amazed what vital (and annoying) information might be missing. Avoid jargon that is specific to church members - see below.

Christianese. Avoid this!

There is a whole set of words that we only use un church. Avoid adding content here that assumes people are already part of your church, especially on the landing page. You'd be amazed how many words you use that are technical, theological or just church specific. Even words like redeemed can be totally alien. If there are some really important words that mean something to your church, then there is an argument for exploring these more throoughly on your blog. You can always hyperlink words through to that part of your site. Another type of language to avoid is that which assumes people are already in the club. For example "Ask James for more information." Who is James? Unless you have a photo profile of your key staff, and you can hyperlink to that page you should avoid this kind of wording. You don't want to come across as a clique or club.

People expect accuracy.

Make sure that within the team who look after your website, someone has the job of checking for accuracy every once in a while. Times, dates, locations, frequency of events - this is all important. Check that your major events are all there and also that any changes to regular events are appearing as a newsflash or noticeboard.

One more thing - what about people who are totally brand new? Have you considered writing a page especially for them? Here is an example.

 

4 things to remember about your audience

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