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Website Travel

Donna Hostetler, September 18, 2015

Vacations are wrapping up. The focus is on the Fall and how to get new guest traffic into the church.

Driving across a Midwestern state this summer I noticed this old motel. At one time it was probably a thriving stop along the original interstate before the toll road came along and diverted drivers to a (questionably) faster route across the state. Summer construction can cause frustration and diverted traffic!

Today, potential attendees may find your church by driving by but it’s just as likely that their research to locate a local church may be online. What keeps you on the traveled “website path” before a guest clicks off, unable to find the information they desired?  I’m often looking at church websites and wonder if someone monitors the pages, keeping them updated and “guest friendly.”

Here’s a few observations/questions regarding website maintenance.

  • First of all, is your website current in appearance, or needing a makeover?
  • How easy is your website navigation?
  • Are your service times and your location on the home page? This should be readily available.
  • Are events current? (Or long past and still online. I just visited a site with information on Easter and June’s VBS–info that was 3–5 months old)
  • Many people will visit your “About Us” info before other areas, wanting to see who your staff is and what they look like—is this information available and correct? Are pictures current and titles added?  Do you allow for some bio creativity to give insight to the personalities in charge? Alphabetizing the staff list may be helpful to congregants but frustrating for a guest looking to find the lead pastor.
  • Is information regarding age level or support ministries correct?
  • Do you use “insider” language, making it difficult for an outsider to interpret?
  • Do you have a Mobile site and does it display correctly?

Don’t let the online traffic pass you by!


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