Website Content Management Principles To Live By
Our organization, Bethany Christian Assembly, uses the WordPress Porcelain theme for our website design. Our resident web design genius, Jordan Sjodin, volunteers a lot of his time to keep our website in good working order. We keep design changes to a minimum knowing the theme is current. Our primary focus is to make sure people visiting the site are well-informed by keeping the content up to date.
Here are 5 principles we try to live by when managing our website content:
1. Homepage simplicity: We strive to keep content minimal on the homepage so as to not overwhelm our audience. We do add fresh content with the assistance of the WordPress service box plugin that usually links to events and ministry pages that are currently happening. This service box section is placed at the bottom of the homepage.
2. User-driven focus: We study the analytics to determine which pages the users are most interested in visiting and then strive to focus our time and efforts towards improving the pages with the most traffic. It's easy to get side-tracked, but viewing analytics definitely helps us see which pages get the most visits.
3. Regular updating: With such a busy church, our biggest challenge is keeping on top of updating content on pages that advertise events. We automate as much as we can, but most of our updating is done manually at this point. Our central repository for event information flows from our ServiceU calendar where the initial event request is made.
4. Event pages: We like to create event pages for events that happen on a regular basis. One example is our Kids' Vacation Bible School page. Once the event week is over, we update the page with new photos, a highlight video, and information about the next time the event happens. This page lives on throughout the year, so that families looking for a church can view details about these events.
5. Using Flickr as the main photo repository: Instead of uploading directly to Social Media where photos are compressed, we encourage our teams to upload photos to Flickr in order to retain the highest quality of resolution. From there, the photos can be posted to Social Media accounts. Not the other way around. Adding photos to Flickr also makes the photos accessible to our website audience, who may not be our Social Media followers yet.
Keeping web content up to date is a constant battle, but a battle definitely worth fighting. Our analytics prove that our website is reaching a big audience--an audience bigger than for printed materials or Social Media.