The Function: A good Web site can be your best employee. Not only is it on-call 24/7, 7 days a week—it will actually tell each customer the same thing! (Seriously how many employees can really do that?) If properly designed the site will serve as a hub of information for both your general constituents and consumers purchasing your products. It should serve as a means to accomplish your company’s goals, whether they be to bring exposure to your brand, sell a product, or attract people to your ministry.
The Focus: One of the most common mistakes made by new Web site “owners” is trying to cram too much information onto a site. First you should determine who your main audience is. This is where many ministries become scattered. Determining who you will be ministering to specifically will help determine the look, feel and personality of your site.
A site that contains too many branches of information can be confusing and chaotic. Viewers should easily be able to determine who you are, what your ministry believes in and does for the community.
The Format: The Web site should be formatted with both the functionality and focus in mind. A clever layout that allows the user to easily navigate through all features and components is a must. If the user isn’t able to find the information they’re searching for within the first fifteen seconds, they will lose interest and leave the site.
From a design perspective, the site should be branded to correspond with the rest of the ministry in look and feel of other promotional pieces if possible. As trends and options are expanding, the site should be designed in such a way to make this growth easy.
The Future: Every ministry is looking to the future. Where will you be in 5 years? In 10? In 15? Keeping the future growth of your ministry in mind as your organize your Web site is vital to optimizing your system from the beginning. When selecting a start-up package, make sure the services offered will enable you to exponentially add elements to the site at a later time as your client base and revenue increase. Your Web site will be required to grow as your ministry gains constituents.