I don’t care how cool your seeker-centric, Flash-based church website is, if an individual can’t find it with a typical search engine query, then all that energy in actionscript and video production is lost. Take for example a new resident seeking a place to worship with this simple query: ‘baptist church newnan georgia‘ … the result is everything but the overly-slick and entirely unsearchable church website for the Sonrise Baptist Church of Newnan, GA. With that, let’s get into our fast-five analysis:
Since there is clearly talent in this congregation, instead of five suggestion, I’m going to pose five piercing questions in hopes of a home-spun remedy:
- How easy is it to add and/or modify new features?
- Has any consideration been given to the visually impaired?
- How much navigation needs to be explained to new users?
- Has any consideration been given to a mobile version?
- Has any consideration been given to an alternate path for those w/out Flash, audio speakers and/or dial-up access?
Here are 5 related scenarios that come to mind, in the same order as the questions above:
- Current church webmaster leaves – and some new ministries need to get online ASAP.
- A elderly retiree with limited vision moves to town – and does much better with dark text on light backgrounds.
- An individual wants to find the service time but doesn’t know how to look for ‘Easter Egg,’ fly-out menu navigation.
- A teen in the youth group wants to text their friends a cellphone-friendly link to an upcoming event.
- Someone at an office, a library or on a limited budget visits Google, seeking a church in nearby Newman, GA.
In short, this website packs a lot of WOW, demonstrating some capable coding – but at what price?
Put another way, what does it profit a church to have all the cool in the world if it can’t be found on Google?