I was reading an e-mail from Brady Shearer over at ProChurchTools a while back and he shared some pretty startling statistics. 46% of people say that a website's design is how they judge the credibility of an organisation, and 46% of church goers say that a church's website is an important factor in their choosing a church. That means that if your website is not up to snuff people are dismissing your church as a credible organisation or church they would like to visit. That means that when people are looking at your site they are saying, "Hey, Goober! Where's the Beef?:" Now, you may be thinking "Goober?" but what you SHOULD be thinking is, "How, HOW do I rectify this digital wrong-doing?" Well, I'll tell you!
Your Header Image Leaves Something to be Desired...
Yes, Jesus healed the crippled man lowered down from his roof after he forgave his sins, but can he heal your ugly website? Or forgive the digital sins you've committed? Well, yes, I mean, he IS God after all, he can do whatever he wants. But the first step to forgiveness is repentance! Look, people don't want to see a picture of your church building, or a posed photo of your congregation in front of your church building; they want to see your church in action! Get some sweet mid-worship shots, or some pictures of your congregation out serving the community! Gandhi said "be the change you want to see in the world" and I say "Don't forget to instagram it" Take Lots and lots of photos of all the amazing stuff you do and keep that header image fresh.
Your Website is Too Cluttered
I hate to say it, but my first concern when I'm on a church website is not how active their knitting circle is (though it may be the second...) my first concerns are What, Where, and How. What is the main thing you want your church to be known for, Where is it happening, and How do I get involved? Anything else is too much info that will overload the visitor and send them on their way to the next church website (which, let's face it, is also not going to be very good...) If you MUST include information beyond that have it sitting on a menu in your footer, people who want to know about it will find it.
Your Content is Stale
Your website is like a loaf of bread, it's better served fresh. You should be updating your website every week. "But, Jeff!" you say, "I don't have time for that!" and to you I say, "Do you write a sermon each week? Blog your sermon notes halfway through the week and record your sermons and release them as a podcast" boom, done. Site updated, SEO happy, fresh content for webcrawlers to look at.
It's not too hard, with a little upkeep and some style changes your website can be more likely to turn visitors to your site into visitors to your church! People are looking for something they can relate to, so put your relational face forward and own the internet!