Church website sliders? Use with caution.

Try to remember the last 10 websites you visited. Chances are most of them had a ‘slider’ at the top – an automatic, moving slideshow or image carousel.

Did you like the slider? Did you pay attention to it?
If you did, you are in the 1% of people who do.

Let’s think more about what that rather shocking statistic means for your ministry website…

Sliders are not the best use of church web page real estate.
The space on web pages (the real estate) is valuable. It should be used as effectively as possible. Allocating real estate, especially at the top of the landing page, for graphics that are ignored just doesn’t make sense.

Sliders irritate church website visitors.
Most website visitors like to be in control of their viewing. The automatically-rotating slider takes away their control. Visitors with motor skill issues find this particularly frustrating.

Also, the speed of the slider rotation can annoy visitors with poor reading skills or for whom English is not their first language. Before they get to the end of the text…WHOOPS! It’s gone.

Sliders can cause message confusion.
The ‘bells and whistles’ nature of the slider means that too much is happening on the web page. As a result, people are not sure what the true purpose of the website is.

Sliders weigh down church websites.
The more images a website has, the slower its load time. Even if the slider is optimized, the user can experience delays or even interruptions. Visitors don’t like this. Neither does Google – frequent bounces or failed page loads will lower your ministry website’s rank.

Sliders are seen as ‘fluff’.
Many sliders do not contain a lot of text. Others contain a variety of different headlines. Both cases can reduce SEO (search engine optimization):

 

For all the above reasons, sliders should only be used when they truly add value to your church website.

And they should follow the best practices of the moment:

  1. Keep your slider ‘cheap and cheerful’ – a small number of slides rotating at a slow frequency.
  2. Give your website visitors control – if slider rotation is automatic, have ‘pause’ and ‘play’ buttons; if slider rotation is manual, have navigation arrows; in either case, make slider navigation buttons or arrows LARGE and obvious.
  3. Take the weight off – optimize your images so that they load quickly and easily.
  4. Speak to everyone – any text on your slider should be relevant to ALL your website visitors.

We at FaithVox believe that careful use of sliders may enhance your website. In addition to the above points, any sliders on our digital platform will be built on the “one text, various images” principle. In other words, the text overly will be the SAME no matter which image is being shown. Thus, visitors will have plenty of time to read the message in a calm way, without being bombarded by a slew of fast-moving, confusing words.

How do you feel about sliders? What has been your experience with them as a website visitor? Got a question about the slider issue? Please share your thoughts with our online community by leaving a comment or question in the comment section below.

 

SEE ALSO: Why communication isn’t a person thing. It’s a core strategy

 

Leave a Comment