One of the most important questions to consider when creating your website, is what to do with the homepage, as it is usually the first page most visitors to your website will see. Although this is not always the case, where, particularly with the rise of social media, someone could click onto a link for another page on your website and so that may be the first page they land on.
However, even new visitors to your website will, if they are looking for further information, look for your homepage to guide them.
A homepage acts as a guidance page, like stepping into a store and using the floor guide by the escalator to find the department that you want. This is where people will visit to find the place they are trying to get to on your website and also to find out the most current news.
Something we often come across when working with church websites, is that many churches have a key message that they want to highlight through the website and often this will be put onto the homepage. Although this is a great place to highlight a specific issue or event, it is best to not go too in depth with it here; include a line or two (or a picture) at the most and then add a link that will take people to another page that has the full information - there is no limit to the amount of pages that you can have with Church Edit so you can do this as often as you need, you can also hide pages and create time sensitive pages (contact our team if you need help with doing this).
Think about your website from a visitors perspective, what are they most likely to need easy access to? Information such as the service times, where your church is located, perhaps a friendly welcome from the church leader, a graphic invite to an event; the homepage is a great place for all this information.
Just provide short snippets and then include a hyperlink at the end that reads something like ‘click to continue’. This way, you are providing that piece of information that you want them to see but it is not dominating the homepage, so if your website visitor is looking for a specific piece of information, they can locate that easily and then if they want to find out more about that particular event or piece of information, they can come back to that and read about it in further detail on a page dedicated to providing further information.
Remember that the homepage acts as a bulletin board, put too much on there and people will be overwhelmed and not see the most important aspects. Instead, create interesting snippets and provide a way for them to find out more if they would like.