During this current economic decline, many ministries are looking to save a few bucks here and there. Conserving precious recourses is a top priority and unfortunately, one of these cost saving techniques employed by ministries is in the area of their website. However, in trying to save money by setting up a do-it-yourself (DIY) website, a ministry may unknowingly be hurting its growth instead of helping it. So here are 5 key benefits of having professional website design for your ministry.
1. Because first impressions do count.
While we’ve all been admonished, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” many ministries are often judged by their online presence. If you’re a church, potential visitors in your area often first look online when deciding on a church to visit. You may have the doctrinal statement they are seeking, but your website appearance may be a deterrent for many would-be visitors. If you’re an evangelist, Pastors may look up your convictions or simply your contact information on your website, but an unprofessional web appearance may give that Pastor some hesitation about calling you. You see, like it or not, ministries are often judged by their appearance. In peoples’ mind is the lingering thought, “If their appearance is sloppy, is their Christianity also sloppy?” It’s a shame the world offers first-class presentation and quality for earthly goods, but Baptists fail to offer first-class quality for the eternally more important Gospel work. First impressions do count, and in our current, technology-accustomed world, your website is often your first impression.
2. Because your website may not look the same on all platforms.
Another reason to have a professionally designed website for your ministry is to minimize viewing problems. Professional web designers will ensure your web code works smoothly and displays correctly on all computers whether it be on a PC in America, a Mac in Peru, an iPhone in Italy or a Droid tablet in the Philippines. This expertise is often lacking in DIY web designers. When you design your site yourself without knowing the intricacies of “cross-browser compatibility” or “debugging PHP, CSS and HTML code” you put your first impression at risk. Sure your site may look nice on your screen, but what about a potential visitor’s screen? With a professional, you can rest assured your website will display correctly across all platforms.
3. Because a professional saves you time and headaches.
Professionals have streamlined their services and are experts in their line of work. A professional web designer knows what type of navigation works online and what web features may pose visitors some problems. This level of understanding is needed to ensure your website visitors have a pleasant, positive experience on your site. It also allows your visitors to find the information they’re looking for without frustrating navigational issues. A DIY designer must spend a good amount of time in researching the best web practices and then spend even more time deciphering the code to implement those elements. This doesn’t even count the time spent in maintaining the website: creating pages, debugging, adding videos/sermons, updating links, etc. All of this takes away from your precious time to focus on your ministry. Save time and minimize your stress by letting a professional web designer take care of your website needs.
4. Because a professional design creates greater functionality for your website.
Another great benefit of having a professional website design is so your website can showcase more elements. For example, wouldn’t a visitor to your site have a better experience if they could listen to your sermons or view your latest videos? Or perhaps give a donation right on your site or purchase your product? These interactive elements are not only possible with a professional website design, but they will also look professional. A DIY designer may implement these features, but will they be integrated to fully blend with the rest of your website? Unleash the full potential of internet technology with a professional design!
5. Because a professional can offer search engine optimization (SEO).
What is this? SEO is the process of making a website more “visible” to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. These are websites we all use on a daily basis and are quite familiar with the types of results they return. Typically the front page of search results is a list of the most popular websites. Having a website that is picked up by a search engine will always result in more visitors to your site. Many DIY designers don’t have the expertise to optimize their site, but a professional designer will. A professional has a deeper understanding of the algorithms search engines use to index the internet, and can thus incorporate certain elements (keywords, page descriptions, image tags, etc) to rank your website higher on the search results page. There is no guarantee for your website to be on the first page of search results, but a professionally designed site will always rank higher than a DIY site.
Let’s get started!
We’re hopeful this list of benefits has convinced you to contact us to discuss a professionally designed website for your ministry. We’ll be happy to answer any other questions you may have. Simply fill out this form to get started!