First, here’s a few things you should NOT do:
Don’t add an events plugin if no one will update it!
It’s a big turn off to see the special Sunday from two years ago still posted prominently on your home page. Don’t feel like you must have a calendar online. No event listing at all is much better than having old events. If you are using a plugin, like Church Pack Pro, to display your events, make sure events get added. It’s frustrating for site visitors to scroll through several months on your calendar and not find any events.
Don’t add an events plugin that is too complicated for your volunteers!
Churches are unique because they rely on volunteers to keep many things going. Church websites are often handled by an unpaid volunteer. Simple event administration helps ensure that events will actually be added to the site. Complex options make adding events potentially frustrating & therefore less likely to be done. Church Pack Pro was designed from the ground up with this problem in view. There are many fine events plugins available, but the multitude of options available within each plugin are overwhelming for the average church volunteer.
Don’t use an events plugin that doesn’t match the look of your site.
When you pick out a church WordPress theme, you work hard to represent the ministry of your church in an attractive way. You’ll upload your logo, change the color settings of the theme to match your church’s branding, and then embed a blue Google calendar right in the page. I’d prefer seeing a church website with a normal WordPress page listing events over an out of place calendar.
Now, here’s three things you should do:
Do make sure upcoming events are displayed prominently.
What good is it to add events to your site if no one can find them? Make sure the page displaying your events is listed as a top menu item. Having the upcoming events listed in a sidebar or footer widget is also essential. This is a great way to engage visitors to your website so they become visitors to your church. Your church website is the first impression of your church that many people will have. Make sure they know what’s going on by prominently displaying your upcoming events.
Do provide the event details at a glance.
When you are writing out the event description, make it easily scannable. Don’t add one long paragraph of text with all the details. Instead consider using a brief description along with several bullet points. This will make it easy for visitors to know exactly when the event is, where to go, and what they need to do. Consider what your description looks like to someone outside your church & make sure they can quickly understand what the event is about.
Do make it easy to register for an event.
This doesn’t have to be complex! Last week, I posted an article about adding a simple registration form for VBS into an event page. Providing a way for users to respond will increase their engagement and hopefully send more newcomers your way!
I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions below!