Squirming in his
chair...sweating...his heart thumping...he wishes he wasn't asked to create a
Simple and Effective:
Making a Ministry Web Site
By Lynn Eriksen
You have a ministry, you're on a budget, and
you need a web site to reach your audience. The good news is that it's not
hard. Here is a simple 5 step plan to help you get effective results.
Keep the Home Page Current
Your home page should contain current news
and information about upcoming events. This allows new visitors to see that
your ministry is active, and returning visitors will have a central place to
find new information.
Search engine savvy
Want to be at the top when people search the web? Changing your home page
frequently will attract search engines to your web site which can improve your
Let them discover
Don't worry about having an 'about us' section on the home page. Your visitors
will figure what the ministry is about by seeing it in action. You can have a
separate 'about us' page for those that want to know more specifics. Less
clutter on the homepage will also add clean lines that are easy to navigate
Every Story has its own Page
When you create a news or event item you'll
want to place it on in a separate page. Once this news or event page is ready
to go public, you can put a short summary with a link to it from the home page.
This tactic has several advantages. First, a summary and link from the home
page helps keep the home page readable. Nobody likes a cluttered home page.
Second, each news or event page can be found independently in the search
engines which increase your odds of being found. Lastly, having readers
navigate inside the site encourages further exploration.
Every Page is part of a List
Create an archive page
When you create a news or event item, you want to make sure to list it on a
separate news or event archive page. When it's time to change your home page
and the news or event link is removed, people can still find it by looking on
the archive page. Plus, this keeps the page on file with the search engine. If
you remove the page link from the public, you are also removing it from the
search engines as well. The content you create for your web site is important
to your current and future readers. And keeping the full content of your web
site in view can improve your odds of being found via search engines.
Keep Contact Simple
If someone wants to get in touch, make it as
easy as possible. The bare minimum is to have a single contact page that shows
your phone and e-mail address. A more advanced technique allows for a contact
form at the bottom of each news and event page. When using a contact form, keep
the needed information to 'Name', 'E-mail' and 'Question/Comment.'
Keep in touch
You may also add an email sign up so they can be notified when the site is
updated. It's an easy way to keep in touch and remind them to return to the
In addition to these simple ideas you can
also add Paypal Shopping Cart and/or Paypal Donation pages so people can easily
contribute to the cause.
These are a few simple ideas that will not
only reduce your stress, but make you fabulously good-looking. Well, let's
just say you will look really great to the person who wanted you to build the
Thanks so much for reading this page in
its entirety. I hope you enjoy the rewards of having your own ministry web site
that is effective and beautiful. And more importantly, I hope it empowers your
ministry to do what it does best, starting right now!