Old school website upgrade: design, develop, test, reviews / feedback, design, develop, etc. ending in a (ta-da) “launch date”.
Current thinking: Go for the soft launch.
It used to be that people saw websites as more static, less fluid. So, it made sense to try to get them as perfect as possible before putting them out there. Unfortunately, during that process, your digital door is closed.
Another negative is that people tend to prefer small changes. The Big Launch often meant people had to relearn how to navigate around the website.
To keep your church digital strategy fully communicative (and give your website visitors an easier time of it), don’t spend months trying to make your church website perfect. Don’t do any official launch day per se.
Get your website to the ‘acceptable’ level and just put it out there. Then, keep revising in a quiet way, and let the people who actually use your website give you feedback. They will walk up to you in church, send emails, or text. Listen, and then make changes accordingly.
Once your website is stable and you think you have made the worthwhile changes, you can do a communication nugget where you discuss what the church is doing, what changed, and where to find critical stuff. If it is your first major upgrade, this process is going to be much more important. If you had upgraded before, this may be something you do as a live church presentation, just an email newsletter, or a communication via social media.
Churches are understanding that picking solutions they can grow into within the mid-term (not long term) adds to a more effective digital strategy. Hence, their chosen website platform will allow them to continually tweak their website strategy easily.
The result? A church website launch without stressing that you have to do everything before launch.
We encourage churches to use resources that have big communities around them. This usually means that their tools are better and more affordable.
Choose a company that allows you to launch and then make changes as you go, tweaking things as needed without paying a lot of mula to get that done. Actually, you should be paying none at all.
Keep in mind that an open digital door or a functional digital door is better than closing the show or causing “injuries”.