Whether you are launching a new site or updating an old one there are four parts to every web development project that you should be aware of and make sure you have thought through:
1. Strategic—Should We Do This
The first question to ask about a potential web project is whether or not it is the right project to do and the right timing to do it. You also need to consider the commitment to supporting and updating whatever site or section you are launching. It is better to have a smaller, simpler site that is kept up to date than multiple pages that still refer to old services and events.
2. Content—What Will it Say
Consider who is going to create the text, photos, audio, or video that is going to be on the site. You can have the flashiest site with all the bells and whistles, but if it does not have quality content it is not going to help you.
3. Creative—What it Looks Like
This is where some graphical ability needs to be applied. A well-styled user interface tells your audience that you care about your content. If your graphics and user interface are low-quality, people will assume that your content is low quality as well.
4. Programming—How it Will Work
This is the step of implementation—the programmer taking the content and design and making it function. There are both software tools like Adobe DreamWeaver or iWeb for the Mac, and online website building tools like Wordpress or Squarespace that attempt to take care of this step for you. This is probably a good solution if you are not comfortable digging into the advanced coding yourself.
It would be very rare for an individual to be highly skilled in all four areas. Typically, a good programmer is not going to be great at creative design. So, it is in every ministry's best interest to get people plugged into the different roles that leverage their strengths, and it is important for anyone who oversees a web project to make sure to account for each of these components. How have these components worked together in your church?