1. You don’t have a church website. Every year, more than 17 million American adults who don’t regularly attend worship services visit the website of a local church or place of worship. Your website has tremendous potential to introduce your congregation to new people and encourage them to get involved. Don’t waste this important opportunity for visibility and growth.
  2. You can’t get into your website. You might be surprised how many Minnesota United Methodist Churches have contacted the communications staff with this very problem. If you have no idea how to log into your website and can’t locate anyone who does, it’s definitely time for a new one.
  3. Your website looks dated or tired. Is your website attractive and inviting? Does it give a good first impression to someone who knows nothing about your community of faith? If the content is old, the home page is cluttered, and/or the site is confusing to navigate, it’s time for an upgrade.
  4. You can’t easily update your website. If your staff is drawing straws to figure out who has to deal with the website because it’s so arduous or intimidating, you need a new platform. A good one will be easy and intuitive to update and won’t make anyone feel like screaming or pulling out their hair.
  5. Your website is not mobile-friendly. Today, 62 percent of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. This means that nearly two-thirds of people visiting your website are on their phones or iPads. In this online era, having a responsive (mobile-friendly) website is critical to maintain visitors.
  6. Your website is more than five years old. Website features and technology are always evolving, so every three to five years, it’s time for a website redesign. Maintaining a high-quality website is as important as having a clean and well-maintained church building; it welcomes people and shows them you care about making a good impression.
  7. People can’t donate through your website. These days, most people don’t have their checkbooks with them (if they have one at all). Make it simple and easy for people to donate to your church to maximize your giving potential. A good website will make online giving a breeze.
  8. You can’t share videos or audio recordings through your website. As potential visitors explore your website to get a taste of your church before visiting, one of the things they will likely be most interested in is recent sermons; members who aren’t able to attend in-person worship often want to be able to hear the sermon too. A good website will make it easy to locate and watch or listen to them.
  9. People complain about your website. If people in your church are grumbling about the user-friendliness of your website, imagine what non-members must think upon visiting it for the first time. People aren’t going to use a website that isn’t attractive and intuitive.
  10. People aren’t visiting your website. If your website traffic is minimal, it’s probably because your website isn’t effective and/or because no one can find it. Good websites have built-in search-engine optimization that allows you to input keywords that make it easy for people to find your website through web searches. And if your website is good and has fresh content, it will keep people coming back—so if they aren’t, it probably means what you’re doing is not working. (If you have no way to measure traffic to your website, that’s another indicator that your website needs some work.)