It’s one thing to build a great church website. It’s another thing to keep it up to date.
There are many benefits to keeping your church website up to date, chief among them being that your website stays useful for people.
Fortunately, you have everything you need to keep your website updated. Here are four easy ways to keep your church website up to date without eating up loads of your time.
1. Share the load
More than one person should be actively involved in keeping your church website updated.
For one, there are too many aspects of a church website for one person to handle thoroughly. Second, no one person is ideal for the job. Pair each part of your website with the person at your church with the best knowledge for the job:
- Let the church administrator handle the calendar
- Let the leader of your women’s ministry handle the women’s ministry page
- Let your church tech or media person be in charge of photos, videos, and design
Just make sure everyone is equipped with two things: (1) the access they need to make changes, and (2) knowledge of the big picture of your church website and the best practices of church websites generally.
Just like that, you saved yourself time and cultivated a sense of shared ownership among your team—staff or volunteer.
You probably increased the quality of your website, too.
2. Have one person in charge
This may seem like a contradiction to the first point, but it’s not. Without a point person, delegated tasks will fall through the cracks.
There should be one person whose job is to ensure the church website stays updated.
Ideally, this person has an administrative bent and knows enough about the goings-on of your church to knowledgeably direct the church website’s maintenance. He or she can keep people on task and periodically research best practices for church websites to stay sharp.
3. Copy and paste—but only if you must
This may seem oddly specific, but a little forethought can save you a lot of time.
Did you just write the church bulletin? Why not copy and paste the relevant details to your church website?
Did you just manuscript your sermon? Find a chunk that stands well on its own and post it as a blog post to your website.
Did you just create a worship slide announcing an event? Copy and paste it to your church website.
These are all simple ways of killing two birds with one stone. And the more you do it, the sooner it becomes a habit.
Even better than this, though, is to find a church website builder that does all this work for you. For example, Faithlife Sites takes the work churches do every week—like writing bulletins, posting sermons, or keeping a calendar—and automatically recreates the information where people can see it.
In essence, it does the copying and pasting for you.
4. Schedule regular audits
Think of your church website like house cleaning: generally speaking, there are tasks you do immediately, daily/weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.
And if you don’t schedule them out, they won’t get done.
The same goes for your church website. Here are some tips for regularly auditing your website, including what items to update and whom to include in the audit:
Immediately upon these items changing:
- Service times and locations
- Church contact information
- Staff, leadership, or volunteer roles
- Church bylaws or beliefs
- Links to your church’s social media page, church management software, or online giving page
Daily/weekly (solo, or delegated to individuals):
- Last week’s sermon
- Important updates to this week’s events
- Pertinent announcements, especially anything that was mentioned during the last service
- Weekly newsletter
- Blog posts
- Photos or videos from recent events
Monthly (specific ministry teams):
- Events for the year (that is, make sure your calendar shows all events currently planned, no matter how soon or far out)
- Newsletter updates
- Blog posts, photos, and videos (if not handled weekly)
- Ministry updates (such as new Bible studies, classes, etc.)
Quarterly (whole staff):
- Imagery (e.g., updating your homepage header to be a recent photo of people at a church gathering)
- Getting involved (e.g., new or developing ministries, new point persons, etc.)
- Google reviews (not part of your church website, but related to it and worth keeping an eye on)
Annually (staff and elders):
- Staff page (from shifts in roles to details such as years in ministry)
- About Us page (including mission, values, history, and beliefs, as these items are always, even if slowly, growing or evolving)
- Church financial statements for donors
- Mission trips, church camps, and other events people need time to plan and save for
This list is not exhaustive, nor is it universal. Since you know your church’s rhythms, you’re in the best position to determine the cadence of changes and who needs to be involved.
The bottom line is, make sure every nook and cranny of your website gets attention at some point throughout the year, with the most visible, actionable items (like events or service times) getting attention immediately, daily, or weekly.
For more church website building tips, download the free ebook Church Websites 101. You’ll learn more principles for visitor- and member-friendly church websites, how to get your site to show up in Google searches, and more. You can also get started with a free church website now through Faithlife Sites.