An effective website is one that clearly communicates who you are, what you do, and why it matters. It is one of the most visible communications tools a congregation has. Even with the rise of social media, websites remain essential: they are your virtual front door.
These tips and tools can help you build and maintain a website that is:
- accessible on all devices and for all abilities
- formatted so that users can easily find the information they need, i.e. "usability"
- clearly written
UUA WordPress Theme for Congregations
The UUA offers an easy-to-use UUA WordPress Theme for Congregational Websites which you can use as a framework for your own congregational website without needing to know how to program with html.
The theme -- like a template for your website -- does much of the technical and design work for you, so you can focus on the content.
The theme comes with plugins and widgets that help you showcase upcoming services and past sermons, as well as recommended plugins to help with events, testimonials, staff lists, and much more.
It is fully responsive, looks great on mobile phones or tablets, and uses best practices for screen-readers and visual accessibility. It also provides a user-tested menu structure.
- Your accessible website will make all content available to all users, no matter what their abilities may be, or by what method they choose to access the web (e.g. laptop, tablet or smart phone).
- The "usability" of your website refers to the ease with which people can use it in order to achieve their goal. Principles of usability help people of all abilities, using any web browser, to make the most of the content provided.
- Learn about search engine optimization to make your pages succeed in search results and for human beings, and then submit your web address to major web search engines.
Writing for the Web
When crafting your message on your website, it's important to be savvy about what people want to know when visiting your church's website, and -- in general -- how people take in information when browsing the web.
- Here are some tips and tools about how to structure and organize your content.
- You can also take a free training that guides you through crafting web pages that gets your message across.
- Browse the LeaderLab Library for webinars, tips and tools for congregational websites.
- Subscribe to the Websters Email List for UU congregation and organizational web weavers.
- Join in the discussion on the UUA's Congregational Website Forum.