This report emerged out of a desire to build a standad for church website best practices and usage.
The data included in this report has been cultivated from 2009 to 2012. This is the first report of its kind to include such a robust set of data, gathered from over 50 churches spread across the United States. These churches are both large and small, urban and rural, and every stripe of denomination. The one thing they all have in common, of course, is a desire to serve their congregation through their website.
Every church has different personas that make up the congregational body. Each of these personas—New Visitor, Return Visitor, Engaged Member, and Mature Disciple—all need different things from portions of the church website.
Additionally, we believe churches can use their website as a ministry tool. The church website has an active role in moving individuals from one persona to the next. For example, connecting New Visitors to directions on the website will allow them to find the church easily. Doing so reduces “visitor friction,” allowing for more opportunity a New Visitor will return and transition to a Return Attender. This is a very small example, but it illustrates the point: church websites are more important than ever.
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