[This post is part of a series on Free and Simple Ways to Improve Your Church’s Website]
One simple way to improve your church’s website is to avoid button overload. If you’re not careful website buttons can spawn out of control. Churches have a tendency to create a new button for every new thing they want to emphasize. However, if you find yourself always adding buttons, then something is wrong with your system. Sometimes this is due to the fact that the only way you can update your site is by adding a button. If that’s the case you may want to consider a switching your church’s website to a tool that allows you to update it long after the programmer is gone. It’s interesting to see some churches almost have two ways to navigate their website. One is through the main and sub navigation and the other is through scrolling buttons. In fact go though your site sometime and count how many buttons you have.
Another thing to avoid is using a button or banner in place of the official navigation of your website. For instance, many churches have an online giving button but do not have a link to online giving in their navigation. The same is often true about churches and capital campaigns. Many churches will feature their campaign on the main page in the scrolling ads or as a button, but they fail to integrate it as a part of the main navigation. This is a mistake because the navigation should be an easy way for people to get around your site, and ads should emphasize content but not replace the navigation. The bottom line is when you have important content for your website, first determine the best way to fit it into your navigation system, then you can decide if it needs a button or not.
Here’s a practical way to test your site. Choose ten people who are not familiar with your website and ask them to find the online giving page. Then watch where they go, see how long it takes, and be sure to take notes. This is a fun, free, and easy way to improve the usability of your website.