Do you feel like your website is a bit stale but not sure what needs to improve? Feel stuck on how to best use your church website to accomplish your ministry goals this Christmas season? Remove the guesswork of how you can improve your church website!
Tune into ChurchSpring Live, Episode 027 to learn practical tips that you can take to accomplish your #1 website goal.
Jen and Isabelle review church websites LIVE and offer best practices to update your church website. You will leave with specific action items that you can immediately implement on your church website.
Unsure where to find modern images for your church website? Don’t have a budget to purchase stunning images for church communications? Jen and Isabelle will share our top royalty-free images to use for your church website in ChurchSpring Live, Episode 028 at 10am Central Time, Thursday, December 3. Tune in for must-use image resources!
Watch each live stream on our Facebook Page, @gochurchspring. Watch previous ChurchSpring Live episodes here.
Isabelle Faletti (00:00):
Hello, hello, and welcome to ChurchSpring Live, episode 027. My name is Isabelle, and joining me today is Customer Happiness Specialist, Jen Hockema.
Jen Hockema (00:13):
Hey everybody. Isabelle, Happy Thanksgiving.
Isabelle Faletti (00:17):
Thank you. I can't believe it's this week.
Jen Hockema (00:18):
I know. I know. Already Thanksgiving. Well, if last week was my debut for ChurchSpring, that means this week I am no longer a debutant, right? I'm fully part of ChurchSpring society. Would you agree?
Isabelle Faletti (00:34):
Yes, welcome, welcome.
Jen Hockema (00:37):
But, actually we all know, there is no ChurchSpring society. Seriously, we have a ChurchSpring family. So I would love to hear from our ChurchSpring family members, our regular ChurchSpring Live attendees, and any guests. Maybe this is your first time with us today. We would love for you to introduce yourself, and you can do that by adding your church name and location in the comments.
Jen Hockema (01:02):
So while we're waiting for people to jump in and say "hi," which we always love to see, I want to introduce a couple of our newer members to our ChurchSpring family. So I'm going to give a shout out to Hillcrest Baptist Church of Dyresburg, Tennessee. I've been working in support tickets with Sheila. Sheila, good job. You have really been working hard on that site, so it's been good to see that. Also, Cornerstone Slavic Baptist Church of Sacramento, California.
Isabelle Faletti (01:32):
Yes, Karina I've been emailing back and forth today actually. So welcome if you're listening. We are really enjoying working with you.
Jen Hockema (01:41):
Yeah. I think we get the question periodically if we can do other languages. They're a good example of turning our ChurchSpring site into Russian.
Isabelle Faletti (01:50):
Jen Hockema (01:51):
Isabelle Faletti (01:51):
That's so cool to see.
Jen Hockema (01:52):
I think we've got some French sites, Spanish sites, and now a Russian one. So Karina, you're working hard on that. Last one here, City Hope of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dave is a brand new church planter out there. So Dave, we are praying for your ministry and we are excited for you guys. If any of you, like I mentioned, if this is your first time you happened to stumble across live stream today and you're kind of wondering who is ChurchSpring, what is ChurchSpring, let me tell you in a nutshell...
Jen Hockema (02:21):
ChurchSpring helps churches build intuitive, affordable, frustration free websites.
Isabelle Faletti (02:26):
Yeah. I just love seeing the variety of some new ChurchSpring customers that we have. Church plant, Karina who's updating her website in Russian. I love to see how we're able to help churches literally all over the nation and very different unique situations.
Jen Hockema (02:46):
It's fun. It's fun to see.
Isabelle Faletti (02:48):
Yeah, it really is. Yes. So don't be shy in this live stream. Jen and I want to hang out with you today. We want to hang out in this little corner of the internet that we are going live on today. So get ready to interact and engage. Drop any comments, any questions you may have. If you love what we're saying, give us a little thumbs up or a little heart. We see that come through, so it's always encouraging to see that what we're saying is being received well. So yeah, if you haven't already, make sure to introduce yourself in the comments here.
Isabelle Faletti (03:24):
I see we have a couple coming through already. We are going to answer as many questions as we can today. So again, pop your questions in the comments throughout the entire show. We will be having the replay available, so do not feel like you need to be taking a ton of notes. You can watch the replay after the live event at ChurchSpring.com/CSL027.
Jen Hockema (03:53):
Just a note on that. If you are watching the replay and you still have a question, we do monitor those questions. So feel free to still ask it and we'll hop in. It might be a little delayed from when you're actually asking the question, but we still monitor these comments.
Isabelle Faletti (04:12):
Yeah. So whether you're watching this live or on the replay, always ask questions. We are here to help. Looks like we have Sheila joining us today from Hillcrest, so that's awesome. Sheila, welcome back. You have a special shout out today.
Jen Hockema (04:28):
Isabelle Faletti (04:31):
Tom, welcome. Tom, we're actually going to be reviewing your website today.
Jen Hockema (04:36):
Good morning, Tom.
Isabelle Faletti (04:36):
Yes, I'm happy to see that you are on the live event here. I do have a question for everybody attending live. Or if you're on the replay, still let me know. Have you ever just felt stuck on how to best update your church website, to really accomplish your ministry goal? If you have every felt stuck just on how to update your website, type stuck in the comments below. I want to see kind of where you're at. If you've ever felt stuck, type stuck in the comments below.
Isabelle Faletti (05:13):
Maybe you've felt like your website is a bit stale, but you're not really sure what needs to improve. Everybody always has a lot of opinions sometimes, so maybe you're getting a lot of advice from every section and all the advice, maybe it's just conflicting in the good suggestions.
Jen Hockema (05:37):
Yeah, everyone sometimes feels a little bit differently about what that website should look like. That can get hard.
Isabelle Faletti (05:45):
Yep, it can be confusing and sometimes frustrating honestly. So that's why Jen and I, we are just going to remove the guess work of how you can be improving your church website. Yeah, so if you have people telling you different things, we want to remove all of that confusion. Today, we are going to review two church websites and live time here, because this is a live stream, from ChurchSpring members who have sent in their requests. So it looks like Tom, he's attending live, and also Pastor Dale from Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church. We are going to review those two websites today live and offer best practices on those specific websites.
Isabelle Faletti (06:29):
However, those are website best practices that we'll be giving, which means that is a universal tip that can help anybody listening today on updating their website. So pay attention because you will be receiving specific action items that you can take on your website specifically. You can update in less than five minutes this week. So looks like-
Jen Hockema (06:59):
Carla Green says she's stuck and, I've got to tell you, that Carla Green, she's a fighter. She worked hard to get her domain set up, so good job Carla.
Isabelle Faletti (07:09):
I know. Carla, you deserve a champion. You've done so well on updating your website. I'm glad that you're here today because, yeah, we want to make sure that we can just get you kind of unstuck and get you on the right road of how to freshen up your website. So I'm just going to hop in today to our website reviews. I will share my screen here. Let me do that here, and we are going to review Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church from Georgia first.
Isabelle Faletti (07:45):
Don, again, it looks like you are attending, so yeah. I love-
Jen Hockema (07:52):
You guys have a beautiful building, by the way.
Isabelle Faletti (07:54):
I know. I know. I really love it.
Jen Hockema (07:57):
It's so stately. Yes, beautiful.
Isabelle Faletti (07:59):
Yep. So one of his goals was to keep membership and members informed, which is one of the best ways to have a website. Yes, to keep your current members informed and to have a welcoming home for believers. I know that he mentioned that and kind of how you want your church to be received. So you can have your website, keep your members informed, and be a welcoming space for visitors. Websites don't have to be this cold, just informative space. It can be warm and it can be inviting.
Isabelle Faletti (08:37):
So one thing that I really loved of this website was how he's updated his sliders. On all ChurchSpring powered websites, the homepage has a slider section. This comes ready to go. You can update, edit, add your own sliders. He's done a great job of customizing these sliders to be relevant with what's going on within his website. So sliders are a good way to kind of bring your website visitors deeper into your website. He has the latest devotionals on what to expect. So a good way to remove any nerves that visitors may be experiencing, a link to church directory, a seasonal slider. Happy Thanksgiving. So love what you've done with the sliders. Great job on that.
Isabelle Faletti (09:36):
One thing that I did notice immediately when I logged in was ... Let's see. Hope you guys can see it on the screen. Nope, that won't work. Well, up here at the top left, you will see it's a little world. This is called your favicon. This is where you can update your church logo. So just a little logo and this will appear, as you can see, when someone is on your website. It'll appear on that tab. If you are on your phone, then visitors will also see your logo appear on that tag.
Isabelle Faletti (10:20):
So this is a great opportunity to update your own church logo just to have that kind of brand awareness that we call in the marketing world. So it looks like, since it's a world, it looks like you may have uploaded an image, but it's a broken image. So go ahead and upload a new image so that it will be your actual logo. So probably that icon here. I'll add links in the show notes of the specific size that you need for that image. So be checking that out.
Isabelle Faletti (10:57):
Then another tip that I would recommend is rerecording this video in a horizontal manner. I love this video. It's a really awesome way to have just multimedia options on your website. So you can have a video background on your sliders. It is really engaging in this way. It's a great way that visitors can understand a little bit of your church culture, but since it is recorded vertically, so up and down, two black bars are added on both sides and it's just a little disconnecting and confusing for visitors hopping on because of those black side bars, and you can be using your entire space in an even better way.
Isabelle Faletti (11:46):
So when you get a moment, go ahead and rerecord the video. Make sure, if it's on your phone, you just need to be recording your video like this, so horizontally. Then just re upload that video background. Yeah, so you can do that probably this week in less than five minutes, however long it took you to record this video. So yeah, love that video by the way. Jen and I were complimenting that when we were reviewing the website earlier this week.
Jen Hockema (12:17):
Yeah, and I'm kind of a big fan of stained glass windows anyway. So I like seeing those windows. They're really beautiful.
Isabelle Faletti (12:23):
Yes, same. Jen, I know that you had a couple tips also when you were going through this.
Jen Hockema (12:30):
Yes. So we're going to head to the nav bar. As Isabelle is hovering there, you can see she clicked the sermons and more. She actually clicked on the nav bar item. I think this gets missed by a lot of people. They don't realize that, when you click, there is a page there. Sometimes they just start adding sermon pages. So you can use this initial page, which Donald is doing. He's using it as a landing page, which is a great idea because sometimes you have a lot of categories perhaps that you want to put under the sermon section, and it's a way to sort. So he has listed out here the latest sermons at Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, and he put part of a verse here. Then he's got a button that leads to sermons.
Jen Hockema (13:17):
So could you hover on that nav bar item again so we can see the listing?
Isabelle Faletti (13:22):
Jen Hockema (13:23):
So see the listing he has here. It's really nice to be able to have a landing page that would still take people to what's listed there. So Donald, I would say you could clean this up just a little bit, add a few more buttons that would take people to the other options there. If you continue to scroll down, you can see there's a sermon tucked in there. I don't know if that was purposeful, if it ties into that page in some way, but it looks a little disconnected, so I would probably remove that and place that in one of your sermon section just to clean up that area a little bit.
Isabelle Faletti (14:03):
Yep. Yeah, then people would know, oh this is the landing page and your directing people.
Jen Hockema (14:10):
Isabelle Faletti (14:10):
Again, into your website with specific areas that you want them to learn more about your church.
Jen Hockema (14:15):
I think that would be easier to view on a mobile too. So don't forget, when you make changes, always check your mobile view so you know what it looks like, because the majority of people that are looking for a church are probably going to view it on their mobile.
Isabelle Faletti (14:29):
Jen Hockema (14:31):
Okay, the next little tip I would have is in the same section. If you could hover and go to the newsletter notes, this is a great idea. Once again, I was thinking of mobile view as we looked through this. If you scroll down, it's going to get very lengthy because this is done in a blank template, and you've done a lovely job of just adding some graphics that fit in well with what it says, but Donald, I think is going to get really long. So remember, the mobile view is a lot smaller, which makes it a lot longer as they're scrolling down. People just, if you're putting the most recent post at the bottom ...
Jen Hockema (15:14):
It looks like you're putting it at the top, which is good. I would recommend, it might be better to switch the format to something like the blog format, so that way they'll be easier to see the way the format would be. You could still put your nice graphics in the image portion of the blog. But when they click on it, it's going to take them to their own page where they can actually comment back to you about what they just read or what you said in your newsletter, and there'll be a nice view area of a list, so to speak. It's going to look like a list, a blog list.
Isabelle Faletti (15:53):
Jen Hockema (15:53):
So that just would be a little recommendation for your newsletter notes is to be able to put them in a blog template to make it easier for people to navigate.
Isabelle Faletti (16:04):
Jen Hockema (16:05):
You can also add into the text box of your blog template, you could add a button. If you have an actual PDF of your newsletter, you can add a button that would allow you to load that PDH newsletter into that section.
Isabelle Faletti (16:21):
Yep. Yeah, and you can still use these images that you have, that you're putting in, as your blog cover image, or you can also put it right within the blog description. So it'll just, like Jen said, it'll organize it and make it easier for people who land on your newsletter notes to kind of browse and engage with your newsletters, and even in a better way.
Jen Hockema (16:49):
Yep. So I think the only other thing we would say is maybe about the time that you're also rerecording your video, if you could go on a Sunday morning and even record or take pictures of people in your church. If you even record short videos, you can use those for background videos on your sub pages as well, but somewhere that just shows actually the people in your church would be really neat to see.
Isabelle Faletti (17:20):
Jen Hockema (17:21):
So I think you did some fabulous work. I love, under the contact us, he's got a prayer page, which is a wonderful use of that contact form.
Isabelle Faletti (17:34):
Jen Hockema (17:34):
So nice job there. We really love ... It's nice and clean, and it's very direct as to the purpose of it. I really hope you are getting people reaching out through there and sharing their requests with you, and that you're able to have that ministry for your church.
Isabelle Faletti (17:52):
Yeah. I love how he organized that prayer request. So really, Donald, the main thing that we'd recommend is just kind of take a look at your sermons and more layouts and just do some clean up to make it easier for visitors to understand what is going on, and update your images. Like Jen said, with images of your actual membership or even some seasonal images also. Christmas is coming up, so updating. Maybe if you have an image from last year of just your building with Christmas lights or if you guys did a candlelight service. Update a page with that image just to add some seasonal inspiration there.
Isabelle Faletti (18:48):
Love your website. You did a great job. Update that favicon. Again, I'll put that in the show notes so that you can have those specific information. So great job. We loved your website.
Jen Hockema (19:00):
Yeah, good job.
Isabelle Faletti (19:01):
By the way, Donald, if you have any specific questions, reach out to us. For all those who are live streaming or watching us in the replay, if this isn't your website, let me know if you have questions. Jen and I would love to answer any specific questions of the recommendations that we did just give. Looks like actually Carla just added a question. She said, "I like to upload a video background. Does the sound come through also?" That's a good question, Carla. We get that pretty frequently actually on the customer support team here.
Isabelle Faletti (19:35):
No, the video background sound does not come through when it's a video background. The video background kind of goal is to add just some diversity and a way to add an extra level of your culture to your website. The video background, if that had sound, that could be really confusing and distracting to your members. Honestly, it's kind of an outdated feature to have sound on video backgrounds. Our designer, Mike, he is amazing and he is always making sure that our designs, our features, are up to date, are best practice, are kind of cutting edge. I hate that term because, cutting edge, what does that actually mean?
Isabelle Faletti (20:31):
But really, again, up to date and not outdated. I know some browsers don't always support the video sound also, so there's a lot of different reasons about why we've chosen specifically not to have the sound for video backgrounds. Jen, anything you would add to that?
Jen Hockema (20:53):
No, I think you covered it. That was exactly what I would have said.
Isabelle Faletti (20:57):
Jen and I, we talk a lot about that very question, so good question Carla.
Jen Hockema (21:02):
I agree mostly with the annoying part. Do you ever have that where you're like, how do I get that off?
Isabelle Faletti (21:08):
Exactly. You don't know where it's coming from. Is it your computer? Is it your phone? What tab is it? Yeah. Okay. Oh good. We have Dale or Donald. We've been calling you Donald. That's what you put in for your name.
Jen Hockema (21:23):
No, I'm wondering ... So Dale, tell us are you related because we definitely have Donald on ours, but Dale's got a maiden name listed in there as well, so it makes me wonder if it's a relation.
Isabelle Faletti (21:39):
Good. I'm really glad that we were able to help you out. Reach out if you have any questions about that. Okay, so let's go to our second website here. Our second website for the review is Pillars of Faith Tabernacle from New York. We have a newer ChurchSpring member whose website and church this is, Tom Lowe. So Tom, welcome to ChurchSpring for one thing. You've done an amazing job of updating your website in a really quick, short timeline.
Jen Hockema (22:15):
He's been working hard. It probably helps ... So Tom's on vacation this week, he told me.
Isabelle Faletti (22:20):
Jen Hockema (22:21):
Yeah, he's going to have some extra time here to plug in before Thanksgiving starts.
Isabelle Faletti (22:27):
Yes, I love that. Yeah, so Tom, one of your goals that you had mentioned in your review submission was to reach the unbelievers, unchurched believers and hurting people. So that's kind of your number one goal of your church website. I love that. That is just a beautiful goal of a church website, and you can use your website to accomplish that. So we really enjoyed reviewing your website. We'll just go through kind of what we just did and give some recommendations of how to take your website to the next level. The one thing that I noticed immediately was similar to Statesboro, updating the favicon.
Isabelle Faletti (23:16):
So again, that's in the top section right here. All ChurchSpring powered websites, the default does come as a favicon of ChurchSpring's logo. You an update that again by uploading your own church icon. So if you have a large church logo, let's say you have a little icon. So for ChurchSpring, it's a little tree and then your title. No need to try to fit that entire logo, the text and the icon into that favicon because it won't fit. I'll just save you time right now, for all those listening.
Isabelle Faletti (23:52):
So simply just grab that little icon and use that as your favicon. Again, I'll link that in the show notes. Last week, we actually talked about how to use Canva how to resize images. So I'll link that so everybody listening can have those resources. Tom, you said that we were in the midst of changing our logo. That is what I was going to recommend next actually, Tom. If you do have a logo, then upload your logo here. As you can see, you have two options with ChurchSpring website. You can use what we call text logo, so that's just your church name, or you can upload your own church logo. So Tom, sounds like you're on that.
Isabelle Faletti (24:42):
Whenever you are ready to launch your new logo, then you can just upload that. If you have any questions about it, again, just reach out. We're here for that. On the home page, I really love first off what you've done with the homepage.
Jen Hockema (25:01):
It has nice contrast.
Isabelle Faletti (25:04):
Yes, exactly. Love the color pallet. He's uploaded images. Yeah, I really like this color pallet. For the homepage sliders, you've done a good job of updating them to make it relevant. You've added some specific events, be victorious, overcomers. You had everyone needs prayer. So I would say continue to update your sliders. Link to a new sermon that you update or upload, or even just linking to your main sermon's page as another way for visitors landing on your homepage to understand where do I go from here, how do I access updated information.
Isabelle Faletti (25:55):
So yeah, just add a new slider with linking to your sermons or, again, your most recently uploaded sermons. Or if you're doing a certain sermon series, then you can have a specific slider that refers to that sermon series. Yeah, again, loved what you did to the homepage sliders. If you have any images of your actual church members, then the sliders is a great way to add those images because that adds just a human element.
Jen Hockema (26:31):
Isabelle Faletti (26:32):
Yep. Right. Then when people, when they're visiting your page, they can actually see the people that make up the church. So if you have some of those images, go ahead and update your sliders, especially on the what to expect. This image that you're using now of your church, that's great. If you want to take it another level, update that photo with maybe even a leadership team photo, or again of your congregation. One other thing on homepage that I wanted to mention was I love what you've done for this welcome section. Again, ChurchSpring websites, they come with ready to go texts. You can always edit. You can delete all the text if you want to. You can edit, update the text.
Isabelle Faletti (27:21):
Tom, you've done a really good job of updating the text to reflect your specific church, and to meet your number one goal. So you mentioned your goal of your website is to reach the unbelievers, the unchurched believers, the hurting people. This welcome text is doing exactly that. So great job on that. Then I also really liked how you had information. I'll see if I can zoom in. Whoa. Okay, on this welcome section, updating about your services. So our weekly worship service begins at 10:00AM every Sunday. Then you have a mention of what we're dealing with right now in life, the pandemic. This is a great way to reassure visitors and members that you are following COVID-19 guidelines and to communicate kind of expectations for members and visitors.
Isabelle Faletti (28:23):
If you had any more information about any updates on your church following COVID-19 guidelines or ... I know from where I live in Colorado, things are changing pretty quickly over here. So if you have a blog post that you go into anymore detail, you can just add a read more hyperlink and then link directly to that blog post. Very similar to what you did for this meet Jesus now hyperlink. So this is text, and then you linked to different page. So great job in the welcome section here.
Jen Hockema (28:59):
Yeah, what you said about the COVID thing is a wonderful tip for a universal tip because, now a days, that's almost the top reason people are going to some websites, whether it's your gym, whether it's a restaurant, they want to know what the guidelines are. So that includes your churches. So doing like Tom did here with a button to read more or even sticking it in your slider so it gets your attention right away, people want to know is your church allowed to meet? Is your church going to meet anyway? What's going on with your church? So that's a really key universal tip for right now.
Isabelle Faletti (29:35):
Yeah. Yeah, I agree Jen. So much so. Yeah, are you meeting on live stream? Are you meeting in person? Are you both? Yeah, that's why websites are so important because right now, all the time, people are going to websites to see-
Jen Hockema (29:51):
It's a huge connector.
Isabelle Faletti (29:52):
Yes, it really is. All right, Jen, I know that you had some tips for kind of the internal pages.
Jen Hockema (30:00):
Yeah, let's go to the events. Let's look over there. If you want to hover first, you can see he's got ... We have our events page and we've got some categories under there. So let's just click on events for now and just take a look, and scroll down. So you can see where where he's got ... Right now, so maybe we should even explain. When we say events, we want you to know that it is anything happening on your church's calendar.
Isabelle Faletti (30:31):
Jen Hockema (30:32):
So they are planning a special launch for their new website. Then as she scrolls down, you can see they've got their worship service. They've got their overcomers support group. So some of these that meet every week, you're going to be able to click when you set up your event. You can just click and it will just keep reposting for you.
Isabelle Faletti (30:50):
Jen Hockema (30:51):
So we noticed though, if you go back to the event section where you have the sub tabs, there is a listing there with more information. So some of these I wondered if maybe category wise some of these would fit in a different area better.
Isabelle Faletti (31:13):
Jen Hockema (31:16):
Under ministries, I was thinking the healing services might fit better under ministries. So try to remember to view your website as a visitor, someone who ... where would they look to find what they want to find? I think that maybe moving that and then creating links. Once you have a page for your healing services, you can create a link in two places. You actually can create a link in your events page that will take people over for more information to the healing services page. Then in your healing services page, you could even link back to the event if you want to do that.
Isabelle Faletti (31:59):
Jen Hockema (31:59):
So that was just a little tip there.
Isabelle Faletti (32:02):
Yeah. I love that tip. Jen, I know you and I, when we were reviewing it, we were really trying to figure out, okay what is the best way for Tom to organize his events and are these events or are these actual ministries, and then linking to the church calendar of actual events.
Jen Hockema (32:22):
Isabelle Faletti (32:24):
...because I know that's relevant for a lot of our listeners, a lot of our members-
Jen Hockema (32:28):
Isabelle Faletti (32:29):
... of understanding, okay is this a ministry or is this an event.
Jen Hockema (32:33):
Isabelle Faletti (32:33):
Then remembering you can always, and you probably should always, be linking your ministry page to a specific event if you have events going on for that.
Jen Hockema (32:44):
Okay, let's take a look at sermon section. So he's done a good job of uploading sermons. Once again, we click on the sermons page and scroll down. He has got a good start. So Tom, what we noticed is you have got some series here. So we were thinking it would be very handy to change the image on those series so that they kind of match each other. Since there's so much text there, be sure to use an image that text looks good on top of. I know a guy in our church, he prefers just to use light colored boxes because there's so much text that he places on there and he just likes the nice clean look of a ... it's almost a verigated color box. You could do the same image for part one, part two, part three. I think we noticed that the part one's not loaded here. It was over under the pillars of faith.
Isabelle Faletti (33:48):
Jen Hockema (33:48):
But that would be an easy one to do to make them look connected, so to speak.
Isabelle Faletti (33:53):
Jen Hockema (33:55):
Then we also were talking about you can even put links to the other parts in the sermon description. So when you open up your box and when you see that there's a text box ... Right now we're not going to be able to see it because we're not in the log in view, but when you're logged in, the text box would allow you to say part two of this sermon is located here and stick the link in so that they could just easily link on over and watch the next one without having to try to find where it's located.
Isabelle Faletti (34:32):
Yeah. I think that's a great tip because then you're helping your visitors easily listen and engage with all of the sermon, and they don't have to go hunting. So it's great when you have visitors actively seeking out certain things on your website but, in reality, most visitors will not actively seek something out on your website unless it's their specific pain of I want to listen to this specific sermon or I want to know if they're open. So if you can continue to help them and continue to offer them solutions to what they're looking for, then that's a great way to be reaching them. Adding links for all of your sermon series right within a specific sermon is a great way to do that, so that's a good-
Jen Hockema (35:29):
Can you reopen one of those sermons again? I want to talk about the header just briefly.
Isabelle Faletti (35:33):
Jen Hockema (35:34):
So as you can see, the image that you pick becomes the header image for that page. One way you can make this look a little less busy, when you are logged in, there's going to be an opacity slider, and you can grab that little bar and you can darken this image so that your text pops even more.
Isabelle Faletti (35:57):
Jen Hockema (35:57):
I'm using the word "pops."
Isabelle Faletti (35:59):
Jen Hockema (36:04):
Anyway, contrast. I'll use the word contrast. It becomes more contrasted when you use the opacity slider to darken that box up. So that's just one little extra tip there.
Isabelle Faletti (36:15):
Yeah. We have an image library, a ChurchSpring image library. So whenever you are uploading images in your ChurchSpring website, you have access to a ton of images for every season. So if you don't want to be creating your own images, no worries. You can upload images from the ChurchSpring image library and then make it different ... each of the sermons, like Jen mentioned, so people can easily see that these are separate sermons.
Jen Hockema (36:48):
I think we can also note that Tom does a good job of using his blog. If you can go over to the updates. So if anyone has a brand new ChurchSpring website, the term updates is equal to the term blog.
Isabelle Faletti (37:02):
Jen Hockema (37:02):
So you have a blog format there. He has done a good job of adding blogs, which is wonderful. Keep that going because that plays a lot into the activity on your site. As we know, browsers love active websites. So you want your SEO to rate well, so keep doing that. This would be another spot where I would recommend darkening the header. See how the background there, thoughts to ponder, kind of fights the who are we in Christ?
Isabelle Faletti (37:36):
Jen Hockema (37:36):
I would just darken that header there and allow that to contrast better.
Isabelle Faletti (37:42):
Yeah. When you create background opacity, it will only occur on the specific blog page here. It won't occur in the main blog page right here.
Jen Hockema (37:56):
Isabelle Faletti (37:57):
I know that tip may be a little advanced for some listening so if you're thinking, I understand half of it, send us an email at support@ChurchSpring.com and we can record a video or kind of give you more details specific to your website.
Jen Hockema (38:12):
Yep. We'll be happy to help you out.
Isabelle Faletti (38:15):
Yeah. All right, awesome. Any other tips for Tom here?
Jen Hockema (38:21):
I think it's looking great. He's make great progress in a short time.
Isabelle Faletti (38:25):
Yep, I agree. Yeah, so Tom, again, you did a great job. So really just kind of cleaning up your sermons page there and your event section also, kind of thinking through the different categories. Keep doing what you're doing. Keep making those edits. Keep working on updating your logo. You're doing, again, a great job on your website, so good job. Give yourself a pat on the back. I know that it can be overwhelming for some starting out and you've just done a great job. So let me hop on over to ... there we go, the two of us here.
Isabelle Faletti (39:08):
So does anybody have any questions? I know-
Jen Hockema (39:11):
I think Carla does. Carla's got a question about her images down there. So Carla, feel free to let us know. You can even send us your image and let us take a look at it, and we'll be happy to make suggestions. Just let us know where are you trying to load it. Give us a link to that page. Let us know are you trying to put it in the header? Are you trying to create it down in a smaller image area, in a text box, and we'll be happy to jump in and take a look and figure out the best way to make that image work for you.
Isabelle Faletti (39:44):
Yep. Yeah, so Carla, we'll add also the recommended image sizes to the show notes here. I think we've worked with you on that before, so you probably do have those. For those who are wondering what are the image sizes for ChurchSpring websites, there are some specific image sizes that we recommend just so that it'll look good on any different device, phone, tablet, large screen, etc.
Jen Hockema (40:10):
Carla - she might want to go back and watch last week's episode.
Isabelle Faletti (40:14):
Oh yes. So we talked about Canva. Canva is my favorite tool ever. It's a design tool that you can create graphics and also resize images. Super easy. It's free. Again, I'll add that in the show noes. These show notes today are going to be jam packed with a lot of good helpful information. Carla, you also asked how can our website be reviewed. Good question. So we try to do website reviews about once every quarter. This is our second website review ChurchSpring Live that we've done. You can go to ChurchSpring.com/review. Let me pop that up real quick in a banner. One moment.
Isabelle Faletti (40:59):
All right, here we go. ChurchSpring.com/review and submit your review request. Then, again, next quarter when we will be doing reviews, we pull up that list and we will select a church. So I'll also add that in the show notes of course. Carla, you said it's usually the headers and yes I do need to watch last week's. Awesome. Good. Okay, well if anybody else has any other questions, this is your time. Pop them in. I want to make sure that we're able to answer any questions of how people can help update their website, freshen up their website so that it's relevant to this Christmas season, it's meeting your number one goal.
Isabelle Faletti (41:46):
Ron, you said that every review is helpful in the past. Yep, we reviewed your website in the past. It was really fun having Mike actually, one of our co founders-
Jen Hockema (41:55):
A pro, the real pro.
Isabelle Faletti (41:57):
Hey, he's taught us a lot of what we know.
Jen Hockema (41:59):
He has. He has, yeah.
Isabelle Faletti (42:03):
He's our designer, so it's always fun to have different perspectives. Every website review, we might have someone different on the team just because we all have different areas of expertise that can really be beneficial. So I would love to challenge everybody who's listening to take one action on one of the best practices that we reviewed today. So it's great that you're here, that you're listening in this live stream, but now we need to take it to an action item, to committing to updating your website. You have this website. People are coming to your website to learn more about your church, to see if you're open, to get a glimpse of who your church is. So the best practices that we reviewed today, yes they were specific to the two churches, but it's also specific and relevant to websites, to church websites specifically.
Isabelle Faletti (43:07):
So I would love to know whether, Tom, you're listening. It sounded like Dale and Donald, husband, wife-
Jen Hockema (43:19):
Yeah, thanks for introducing yourself, Dale. That was great.
Isabelle Faletti (43:23):
Yeah. So whether you two specifically or any of our other listeners, what is one action item that you are going to take to update your website. So comment below. We want to celebrate with you. We want to be in this with you together. You are not alone. I know it can feel sometimes when you're updating your website that you just feel alone and you don't know how to update it and you don't know what to do. We're here for you. At ChurchSpring, we are a small team dedicated to supporting the church. So we want to celebrate with you. We want to encourage you to take action on these specific items.
Isabelle Faletti (44:01):
So comment in the comment section below what are one of the items that you are going to do to just freshen up your website. Maybe it's updating your favicon, reorganizing certain pages like we talked about today. Ron Gardner, you'd mentioned including Christmas flare on Friday. Yes, so update your website with some Christmas images. We have some already in the Christmas image library. You may have to scroll down a bit. We haven't uploaded even more so, so you just have to scroll down a bit to see those. Dale, you said change the newsletter notes to blog format. Great suggestion. Good, I'm glad that we could help you out with that.
Jen Hockema (44:44):
Hey, Isabelle, if I could add one thing really quick. I kind of was bummed nobody sent us a picture from last week's challenge. We didn't get any in our support tickets of any samples. So you know what? I think that challenge is still open this week, right?
Isabelle Faletti (45:00):
Jen Hockema (45:01):
They can still send us, if you get on Canva and you create something to update your church website, send it on over. We want to take a look.
Isabelle Faletti (45:10):
Yes, exactly. Yeah, again because we love to celebrate over here, so let us celebrate with you. You created a Canva template from last week's episode, send us an email, support@ChurchSpring.com and we'll celebrate with you. We might even share it on ChurchSpring Live here. Tom, you also mentioned that, yes, you'll be updating between ministries and events. That's awesome. Great action items. If you are new to ChurchSpring and you are not quite sure what we're talking about, or you love what we just showed you and you love the idea that you could have some easy to edit text, we give you the text already. I invite you to learn more about us.
Isabelle Faletti (45:53):
Our co-founders, Ron and Mike, they have recorded an amazing demo webinar where they show behind the scenes of ChurchSpring and really walk through how ChurchSpring works to help you save time. So many frequently asked questions. It's under about 60 minutes, so go to ChurchSpring.com/demo just to get more of a look of ChurchSpring. Or maybe you're the type of person who you just want to kind of dive right in and try it out yourself. That's how I am. Definitely understand. You can do that. We offer a free seven day trial for anybody who just wants to kind of kick the tires of a ChurchSpring powered website. So go to ChurchSpring.com/trial. You can sign up for a free seven day trial. You have full access to your ChurchSpring website.
Isabelle Faletti (46:50):
You can go back and forth between the three different plans that we offer. Again, full access to features, full access to support. You can cancel anytime within those seven days without any fee whatsoever. So ChurchSpring.com/trial to kind of see what we're talking about here. Jen, this was fun. I really like doing the website reviews. This is what you and I do when we're working with customers on the phone or in tickets, so it's fun to be able to reach out to more.
Jen Hockema (47:24):
Actually, we do it everyday without even trying because we just pop open someone's site to help them with something and immediately you're like, oh I wonder if they should do this.
Isabelle Faletti (47:32):
Jen Hockema (47:32):
Sometimes you hesitate to make those suggestions because you don't know how they'll be taken. So that's what's nice about website review time is that you are actually reaching out to us, asking us.
Isabelle Faletti (47:44):
Jen Hockema (47:45):
You don't always want to give your opinion if it's not being asked for, so thank you for asking for our opinion and letting us be a part of your website with you.
Isabelle Faletti (47:54):
Yep. Yeah. If you want your website reviewed again next quarter, ChurchSpring.com/review, that's where you can go to submit your review request. So today, our ChurchSpring Live was on Tuesday because of Thanksgiving on Thursday. So thanks to all who kind of shifted their schedules earlier in the week. I know, for Jen and I, it was kind of a different week for us with doing ChurchSpring Live today instead of Thursday, but next week we are back on schedule. So Thursday, November 26th at 10:00AM, ChurchSpring Live will be back on our normal routine.
Isabelle Faletti (48:32):
This is a really fun topic for me next week, so if you have ever been just a little unsure of where to actually find good looking, modern, updated images for your church website, you want to attend next week. Maybe honestly you just don't have a big budget to actually be purchasing those gorgeous images that you see for your church communications. That's okay, because Jen and I, we are going to share our top royalty free images that you can use for your church website so you don't have to give credit for these certain images. They are beautiful images, updated. They're not pixilated and we just want to save you time so that you're not having to scour the internet trying to find these three images that still look good.
Isabelle Faletti (49:29):
So be sure to mark it on your calendar next Tuesday. Nope. No, next Thursday.
Jen Hockema (49:35):
Isabelle Faletti (49:36):
I need to mark it on my calendar. Next Thursday, November 26th at 10:00AM central time. That will be ChurchSpring Live, episode 028. We are going to share top royalty free images to use on your church website. Thank you.
Jen Hockema (49:56):
Thank you for your feedback everybody. If we see something on your sites, we'll be sure to give you a little note.
Isabelle Faletti (50:03):
Yes, and thanks for everybody attending ChurchSpring Live today. In kind of the season of Thanksgiving, our team here have been ... we kicked off our week with just going around of what we are thankful for. We're so thankful for you, for everybody listening in, every ChurchSpring member we have, every pastor and church leader out there. We know it is not easy right now. Just the season that we're in with the pandemic, I know it can be exhausting. You are fighting the good fight. We are just incredibly thankful for the work that you're doing, so be encouraged. We pray for you. We pray for all of our customers. If you have a specific prayer request, send it in to us at support@ChurchSpring.com. We include those prayers in our Monday team meetings.
Isabelle Faletti (51:02):
Thank you for letting us partner with you and support you in this time. Thank you everybody for joining ChurchSpring Live. We'll see you next Thursday.
Jen Hockema (51:13):
Isabelle Faletti (51:15):
All right, bye, bye.
Jen Hockema (51:16):
How to Freshen Up Your Church Website [Live Website Reviews] - CSL 027