Most church websites are lame. Why? While 65% of Churches now have a site, most of these drive little to no visitors to their churches. This is a missed opportunity, since the vast majority of people under 35 go to the internet not the Yellow Pages FIRST when looking for a church. So what good is having a church website if only the pastor and the board surfs to it? I think you no the answer to that one.
The major problem is that most church websites are not search engine friendly. And if you're is not listed high in places like Google and Yahoo, you will get no traffic. And no traffic means no guests checking out your place of worship on Sunday.
The solution to the “church website blues" is to get your website search engine optimized (SEO) so that seekers can actually find your church web site when do a search for a place of worship in your area. How do you do this? The answer is simple. Use a blog like Wordpress to run your church website. Based on our own own personal experiences as a Christian webmaster and church planter, I have had several blogging websites (including this one) using blogging tools like Wordpress that have had tremendous success attracting and keeping guests. Isn't that what a church website should be all about? Below we list several great reasons (I could have listed more) why a church should use a blog format for its church website .
Wordpress comes free with many inexpensive affordable web hosting packages. So why spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on church website designs when you have at your fingertip a blogging platform like this? Most all of the cheap web hosting providers (average cost between $4 and $8 dollars per month) give you access to Wordpress through Fantastico in their control panels. Please think twice before signing a web hosting contract with a Christian web hosting company.
Not a techie? No problem because Wordpress is a one click installation with Fantastico. No HTML or PHP knowledge needed. Writing content and putting in images is just like using your old fashioned word processor. If you need help with your blogging church website, there are tons of Wordpress tutorials and an amazing support forum as well.
The really cool thing about WP is that it functions as a content management system (CMS), which simply means that you can give it the appearance of a regular Church website, while reaping all the benefits a blog (see below) brings to the table. Wordpress has hundreds and hundreds of free templates (they call them themes) to choose from for making your church website have the exact look and feel you want.
Another reason to use WP is that it makes your site Search Engine Optimized Out of the Box. That’ means way better search engine rankings. . . which means. . . you got it more visitors coming to your church website. . . which means more guests at your services. You don't need to know ANYTHING about how search engines work because Wordpress “pings" the search engines automatically for you, letting them know you have new content and RSS feeds for them to index. Furthermore, instead of waiting weeks and even months for the search engines spiders from Yahoo and Google to index your static church website pages, your blog will get indexed in a matter of a few days.
Most church websites out there just ooze old. . . and irrelevant. Blogs are the here and now, and using one as a church website will convey newness, hipness and relevancy to the young families, the Gen X and Gen Y types you should be targeting if you want to reach people for Jesus AND see your church to grow. OK, I promised I wouldn't preach.
Wordpress plugins like PodPress make it a snap to put all kinds of multi-media on your church website without any added costs and very little knowledge needed. Imagine having all your messages neatly indexed, categorized and online for all to enjoy. I actually have a few podcasts right here on my site. Believe me, it's not rocket science. If I can do it. . . a monkey can as well :) Using multimedia like a podcasts you will geometrically grow your ministry reach. On my other Christian outreach site (see our about page) that's less than 2 years old, I already reach 90,000 people a month. Are we excited yet?
How to Get the Blogging Your Church Website? Actually all you need to do is shop around for and affordable and reliable web hosting company that has blogging tools like Wordpress. Good luck.
David Butler, the author of this article, is a Christian businessman, and has several web hosting sites, Affordable Web Hosting 4U , Bluehost Reviews and IX Web Hosting Reviews