5 Reasons Our Church Switched to a Two Website Format

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I sent the following to Church of the Highlands today (via email) and thought this would be of interest to many of my readers so you can see a new approach Highlands is taking in pertinence to our web presence.


As of today, Church of the Highlands has a two website format. Our initial website, www.TheHighlands.cc, is transitioning to becoming a place that exists for people checking out our church. A new site, www.TheHighlands.co, has been created to serve as a “central hub” for next steps for members and regular attendees at Church of the Highlands. I encourage you to check it out.

 

We’ve made this decision for five primary reasons.

 

  1. The initial website is too cluttered with information that is unimportant to guests and could result in confusing them.

 

I constantly try to think through the lens of a first time guest. What does a guest think of a website that has all sorts of details that don’t pertain to them? It just adds clutter through which they must work. Why not remove the clutter and put it in a different place with its own dedicated space?

 

  1. The initial website can fully transition to serving as a digital brochure.

 

Since the initial website will be de-cluttered, it opens up an opportunity to make the entire website dedicated just to first-time guests. We can showcase to them what it is like to visit our church, where to go, what to do, etc.

 

  1. It is way easier to have a “central hub” for next steps or actionable steps instead of trying to remember who to email or call.

 

Anything that reduces congregational confusion is a good thing. Currently, when we advertise things in the bulletin, video announcements, etc., we encourage people to email so and so, go to such and such page on the website, or call someone. People have to remember too many details.

 

With the “central hub” at TheHighlands.co, every time we have something going on that requires a next step (e.g. formerly “call or email someone”), now we can just repeatedly send them to the hub. It is way simpler.

 

  1. We need to become “mobile first.”

 

Building an app is pricey, and data tells us it doesn’t make sense to do it. The central hub is built mobile first and feels like it is an app, but doesn’t have the barriers of having to download or update one.

 

  1. The idea of not knowing what is happening is significantly reduced with a central hub.

 

Since I am really into church communications, it drives me crazy when people don’t know when things are happening. I take pride in solid communication efforts. With the central hub, the “I didn’t know about that” comments will reduce.

 

I think this new approach to our church’s web presence will move us to another level with both guests and regular attendees/members alike.

 

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