I have heard many excuses for not having a website such as:
- It costs too much.
- We don’t have a web designer.
- We don’t have someone to keep it up-to-date.
- We don’t know what to put on it.
Let me debunk these myths one at a time.
- You can have a website that costs you nothing. By using a blogging platform like Wordpress or Blogger, you can set up a basic website and it won’t cost you anything. If you choose to spend an extra $20, you can get your own web address so it would be something like www.saintmonicas.org rather than www.saintmonicas.wordpress.org. If you want to set up a free website at either Wordpress (wordpress.com) or Blogger (blogger.com) check out their websites which have tutorials on setting up a site, search for tutorials, and ask around the church or community to see if you can find help.
- If you use the above options, you don’t need a web designer. Choose one of the templates they give you (many of which are free) and don’t try to get too fancy.
- While it is preferable that websites be kept lively and up-to-date, the key thing is to have correct information there for people to find. If you can find 30 minutes each month to update the calendar, you will be in good shape.
- What you need to have on a website. Key things to have: Name of your Congregation, Service Times, Address (that is easy to find), Phone number, email contact, and names of the staff. If you want to see a bare-bones website example look here: http://churchwebsitesample.wordpress.com. Pictures are always fun to have on the site, make sure you have a balance between people and buildings. When newcomers are looking for a church, seeing the faces of people is always more inviting that a picture of a building.
Most importantly, jump in! Don’t be afraid to try, don’t be afraid to ask for help from people you know including Diocesan Staff, other clergy, congregation members, friends, and family. This is an important tool for reaching people and welcoming them into your community.