Vibrant Churches: The Importance of Mobile-Friendly Websites
The more current and mobile-friendly your website, the more likely you will be able to grow your church and facilitate discipleship through e-ministry.
One size does not fit all in terms of church websites – except when it comes to having accurate information in a mobile-friendly format. For the first time in history, there are more searches done on mobile phones than computers. This is bringing a revolution to web design because the websites of yesteryear are not as easy to navigate and read on the go, on a small screened phone. In fact, this spring when Google announced significantly different, new smart-phone friendly search engine preferences, the announcement inspired commentators to call this update “mobilegeddon” or the “mobilepocalypse.” Many organizations, nonprofits and churches are scrambling to adjust their websites or create a mini-site with the most essential information.
Why should this matter to a church leader?
Staying “current” has a double meaning these days. The information, first and foremost, needs to reflect current service times, ministry opportunities, prayer request processes and event information. Outdated information reflects poorly on the church, possibly the denomination and ultimately the Kingdom. Even the most basic of websites can foster community, encourage spiritual growth, meet practical needs, and carry God’s truth around the globe.
Secondly, current implies the importance of leveraging technology to the church’s fullest advantage. Church communication consultant Steve Fogg says, “If your church website isn’t mobile friendly, people who are searching out churches in your area will find other churches first if their sites are more mobile friendly. Imagine how hard you would work to help someone who was lost on the way to finding your physical campus.”
According to search engine metrics, at least half of the visitors in the pews at his home church visited the church website first, thanks to visibility provided through search engines looking for key words and relevant content.
Since the website is the virtual front door to your church, it is important that the content changes shape on a mobile phone – a term known as ‘responsive design.’ Before speaking with a developer about reconfiguring your website, he suggests you check out the seven lessons he learned when developing his own responsively designed website.
United Methodist Church Communications also has resources to improve your web ministry efforts, knowing that web ministry is any -- and every way -- that your church can or could reach out to members, visitors, seekers and leaders through a variety of digital tools that is available 24/7.
United Methodist Communication Web Resources
- E-ministry basics
- How Americans pursue religion online
- Promoting your website
- Basic website tools
The internet is littered with church websites that no one cares about. Don’t let yours be counted among them.