Visitors like dynamic content. They want stuff that changes, photos, text, video. They want surveys, polls, free giveaways and more. Visitors are demanding and if you don’t satisfy their appetite for content they’ll drop you and look else where. Running a website can be brutal!
Yesterday I talked about the need for structure and the difference between dynamic and static pages. Static are the ones that don’t change and dynamic are the ones that do. Today I’m going to focus a bit on dynamic pages since this is generally what interests church website visitors.
The easiest way of building dynamic pages is to include a blog (like this one) into your website. Blogs allow you to write on any topic easily and quickly. They can be long pages 1000+ words or short “thought for the day” 200 word pages. What’s even better is that they can be both. You can publish a short post one day and a long the next. Or a short post in the morning and then a longer post later in the day. Both are good and both keep content flowing to your visitors.
I do have a few thoughts for you about blogs. Firstly you should use WordPress. It is the major blogging platform. It has everything you’ll ever need for a church website and you’ll be in good company. The top blogs in the world generally use WordPress, in fact the last time I looked it was over 50% of them! That’s a lot of good company. That said don’t think WordPress can run your entire site. Although you might read articles that suggest this is the way to go – it isn’t. You need to mix WordPress into your website making it part of the natural flow. There are all sort of reasons for this which I’ll be happy to tell you if you drop me a line or ask in the comments section but I don’t want to go to far off topic here 🙂
After you’ve got the right blogging platform you need to think about who will write the blog, when they will write it and how often they’ll add a new post. Often in churches the minister or church leader writes a weekly blog which is a great start. However there are plenty of other things that you can write a blog on. A good example is to have a blog on events. This might not be updated as often but nevertheless will be really interesting to visitors. Imagine if you have an outreach event, perhaps a bouncy castle, some face painting, a few stalls and so on. Let’s assume you’ve taken a few photos. Why not write a short article about how great the day was and post it with a few photos to the blog? You can tell the people who come to the event that you’ll be featuring it on your website if they’d like to have a look.
My point about the blog is simple, have a few authors and have them write about different things. By doing this you’ll generate diverse and interesting content that’ll engage your visitors and hopefully encourage them to come back and read some more.