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 from the Unitarian Universalist Association's Web Team can help you build and maintain an effective website.
UUA WordPress Theme for Congregations
The UUA's Outreach Team has developed a WordPress theme for congregational websites. The Theme is like a template for building a site: it comes with a beautiful and functional design, organized for effective communication and ease of use. Congregations use this Theme as a tool to create their own custom websites.
General Tips for UU Congregational Websites
- Start with something simple to establish an online presence and invite people to visit.
- The General Assembly (GA) 2014 workshop Updating Your Web Presence offers a treasure-trove of resources for building strong congregational websites.
- The GA 2015 workshop Make Your Website Awesome and Make It Yours offers guidance on audience, content, and WordPress.
- North is a set of standards and best practices for developing modern web-based properties.
- Website hosting can be free or cheap, depending on your needs.
Design / Content Management Systems
- Whether you code the site yourself or decide to use a Content Management System (CMS) with a pre-made theme, we have resources to help you design your site's look and feel.
- Our content guidelines take you from simple beginnings to a thorough checklist, and include writing tips and ready-made content like web banners and social media plug-ins.
- Really Simple Syndication (RSS) allows you to display an automatically-updated list of our stories (also known as a "feed") on your website.
- Congregational treasurers offer some recommendations for accepting online donations or pledge payments.
Usability & Accessibility
- "Usability" refers to the ease with which people can use a website in order to achieve their goal.
- An accessible website doesn't exclude visitors due to their abilities, or the method they choose to access the web.
Promote Your Site
- Let us know about your site for a link on our congregational listings.
- 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.
There are a number of people and resources that can help you develop a great web presence.
- Suggestions for Church Web Sites
- UUA.org Policies
- Congregational Data and Computer Security Guidelines
Subscribe to the Websters Email List, For UU congregation and organizational web weavers.