By Jonathan Howe
Depending on who and what you read, you can find different opinions on how often you should redesign or refresh your website. If it’s a website design company, the answer is probably “six months ago.” They like the business, after all.
I don’t think you should have a timeframe for website redesigns, though. It’s an as needed event and also one that should be carried out with much planning and intentionality.
Website redesigns should be carried out strategically and to meet a need. So if your church has one of these needs, then it may be time to refresh your site.
- Your site is not mobile-friendly. This is a top priority right now. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly, responsive website, find someone to fix that right now.
- Your logo or branding changes. This may seem obvious, but if you’re going to invest in a new logo or graphic branding package, then make sure your website is redesigned to reflect the change.
- Your site is not guest-friendly. Consider the content and layout of your site. Is it mainly for guests or members? If everything is geared to members, it might be time to fix some things.
- You need to change website platforms. This redesign is typically forced. If you’re moving to WordPress or Squarespace as your web platform, then you will likely have to make design changes to the site. It’s rare that you can move across platforms and keep a consistent look and feel.
- Your site is dated. This is more of a design aesthetic than the other items in this list. But if your site looks old and feels old based on the graphics and content, move forward on a redesign.
The first question I get when I write on website redesigns is who I recommend to do this work. There are several options available to you, but choose someone who knows churches and works with them. Our friends at MereChurch (affiliate link) do a great job helping churches and can help you, too.
Does your church need a website redesign? Have you redesigned your site recently? If so, what drove that decision?
I have redesigned the church website twice in the past year. The first redesign was due to an outdated design, the web designer left the church, and I couldn’t change the site. The second redesign was because the website company was updating it’s platform and gave me an upgrade. I chose an off the shelf website, Clover Websites, that was easy to change and supported by an professional firm. I am curious to know what you mean by guest friendly website?
Good question and sorry for the lack of clarity. By and large, most content on your church website should be for guests. Members typically have a few things they need info about (events, contact info, etc.), but guests need info about the whole church. So you need to put the guest information needs above the member information needs when you’re arranging content—especially on the home page.
We are at the place of needing a re-design because we are changing our logo AND because the site is not nearly as visitor friendly as it should be. This is something I have done several times in the past using Church Square (if you are looking for a good web design host!). I would be curious to see what others have done with their websites. Anyone want to share their link? Also, what information do you consider ‘must haves’ on the site? I gather from previewing sites that ‘less is more’?
Working on it right now but have to wait for a new budget cycle in 2018 to fund it.
In the works…
Maybe that should have been added – When you have the budget for it.
It’s around 8 years since I was advocating mobile-friendly websites. In the UK, Principle Consulting Limited is expert in church website design, hosting and maintenance. I am not affiliated to that company.