Church site questions

  1. Who is the primary target audience of the site?
  2. List all the user-friendly strategies you can find on the site.
  3. Place yourself in the mind of a non-Christian who finds this site for the first time. What is your reaction? Now conduct the same exercise for a typical church site that has not been written to take account of non-Christian visitors. Even better, find a non-Christian prepared to test the site with you.
  4. Is there a specific ‘I am new’ type link?
  5. If the church site is mainly for non-Christian visitors, with a separate members section, does this separation work?
  6. Would the site make you feel more able to ‘cold-call’ the church – i.e. to take the big step of attending a church activity on your own?
  7. Do you receive the impression that this is a friendly relaxed place which would welcome you if you did visit?
  8. Are there photographs of people on the home page? How does this help? Compare the site with another which has only a photo of the building. Which works better, and why?
  9. Does the site navigation system tell you ‘where you are, where you have been, and where you can go’?
  10. Is it easy to find out what activities there are – for men, women, teens, children, mums and toddlers.
  11. Is there an email newsletter which would be appropriate for outsiders or inquirers, to give news of activities from time to time?
  12. Are there any life stories of members? Are these preachy and full of jargon, or easy to understand and relate to.
  13. Is there any specific reference to the gospel? Is it gentle and enticing, or over-detailed, doctrinaire, forbidding?
  14. Is there use of humor? Cartoons? Jokes? Or at least self-deprecating informality?
  15. Is the site kept up-to-date? Is it obvious that there are new and current events being highlighted?
  16. Does the site give the impression that the church is engaged with the surrounding community, rather than isolating itself?
  17. Does it explain clearly how to find the church building? By road, public transport, routes from out of town? Parking? Is there access for mobility-disabled? A loop system for hearing disabilities?
  18. Compare this church site with the others showcased on our page, and with others you know of. Although each is outstanding in many ways, could they each learn from each other and improve further? Make a list of ‘must-have’ and ‘highly desirable’ features which should ideally be on any church site.

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