As somebody who is contemplating getting into freelance website design, this may be a bit of a marketing mistake for me, but:
You might not need a web page.
In fact, until you can give me a clear vision for how your website is going to be used, who the target audience is, and how it directly functions alongside your ministry’s offline objectives, you are not ready to have a website built.
90% of the time, what folks tell me they want out of a website could be better accomplished (and for free or virtually free) with a concentrated facebook campaign.
Unless you are into content creation online (blogging, vlogging, podcating, etc) and therefore need to “own” your content, you don’t need a webpage. If you want to create a space where members in your organization can discuss, interact, get a feel for the distinctives of your group, and be digitally introduced to you, you can often do it with a facebook page far better than with a webpage. Why? because your members are already on facebook. Stats are coming out every day on how often folks are visiting facebook. All of them agree: people are on facebook a LOT.
Why try and get them to leave facebook to come to your site? What can your site do that facebook can’t or doesn’t? Until you can answer those questions (and I don’t mean to insinuate there are no valid answers to those questions–you are reading this on a non-facebook site), your money and time would be better spent formulating strategy for your online presence.
Once you have answered those questions, then dump money into the project. But just like you wouldn’t spend $3,000 on sound equipment without a clear vision for how that equipment is being used, you shouldn’t spend a dime on web design until you have a plan.
But once you do have a plan, and if you find that plan includes a need to branch away from facebook, don’t skimp on the web design. Pay a good designer good money to develop a site that does exactly what you want. There’s a reason a good designer can pull in $3,000-$9,000 per website. You get what you pay for. And with all due respect to the kid from your church that can design a site for $35, he’s not an expert. Hire an expert with proven skills and results. Find someone who has done what you want to do (google it) and find out who designed their stuff.
But you have to convince me you need a website in the first place.
What am I missing? Am I way off base?
4 Replies to “Your Ministry Might Not Need a Web Page.”
What shows up when someone does a Google search is really your homepage.
Not sure how well a Facebook page does at being able to index everything you’d want to land on your site from search.
That’s one thing to think about anyway.
Excellent point, Russ. I just did a google search for my brand, BenandJacq, and the 4th result was our facebook page. I think facebook is pretty searchable compared to how it used to be.
But your point remains, for someone not on facebook searching for you, you need a way for them to fully engage with your content. Thanks for the comment.
Also, what about personal blogs? I guess you could use the “notes” feature on FB, but blogs like this one would seemingly suffer from the inability to manipulate content outside the capabilities of what FB allows. Benandjacq.com has a FB page, but when you compare that to THIS site that you are hosting…there is NO comparison. Maybe FB can be used to tease visitors and get them to your own website. But I almost think web hosting would be better than relying on FB exclusively.
Great point, Calvin. As I mentioned in the post, if you are doing any sort of content creation, that’s a valid reason to have a site that is not just FB. But many folks I talk to aren’t interested in blogging, just in having a ministry website. Thanks for the comment!
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