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    Best Practices! - Entries tagged "Technology"

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    TueTuesdayDecDecember11th2012 Church Website Statistics...the British Version The website British Religion in Numbers (BRIN) compiled a survey of church website usage that was conducted by Sara Batts, a student at Loughborough University. The study reviewed churches and new media use. Much like over here in America, the results were predictable for someone like me who looks at church websites day in and day out.

    In her research, there were two key questions that Sara asked:
    • Are English churches establishing their own individual web presence, and then using online tools?
    • Is this having any influence on, or being influenced by, traditional hierarchies within church organisations?
    The table below represents the percentage of churches within a specific denomination that have a website. According to the source, research is being reviewed that will show the statistics over a full five year period. Clearly, some denominations seem to be moving at a quicker pace than others. It's surprising that within the Anglican denomination just 58% of churches had websites in 2010. I'd be interested to see if there is any correlation with an online presence and the attendance within denominations.

       Anglican Baptist  Catholic  Methodist 
     March-June 2009  40% 57% 37%  28% 
     December 2009  46% 67%  41%  39% 
     July 2010  48% 72%  53%  59% 
     December 2010  58% 84%  63%  61% 

    It's also interesting to note that two-thirds of chuches had a website as of December 2011. According to her poll, this is up from two-fifths in 2009. Additional research shows the content was not optimal on surveyed church websites.

    Some not-so-surprising statistics:
    • 63% were non-current in terms of content
    • 12% of sites were more than three months out of date
    • 5% didn't provide service times
    • 22% failed to provide a location map of where they worship
    • 35% contained information on weddings
    • 30% contained information about baptisms
    • 14% contained information about funerals
    • 8% had blogs
    • 16% had a link to a social media service
    At iMinistries, we've done our own research confirming many of the content pieces above that aren't getting updated are items that get viewed when someone visits a church website. From our studies, the most clicked types of content pulled from 3,744,009 unique pageviews are:
    1. Ministries (449,812)
    2. Events (313,268)
    3. Staff Pages (253,608)
    4. Sermons/Blog (248,428)
    5. News (223,988)
    Church website users want to know what's available for them at a church, when it's available, who's in charge, and what's happened already. Content is much more important than the time it's typically given to administer. Gone are the days of "brochure" style websites. Site visitors clearly expect more.

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    MonMondayMayMay28th2012 Real-Time Engagement: Using Instagram for Your Church or Ministry
    byBryan Young Tagged Social Media Technology 0 comments Add comment

    Back in April, Facebook made waves by purchasing the photo sharing app Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. With over 30 million users on iPhone alone (they've since launched an Android version of the app), the Instagram+Facebook partnership commands a substantial online audience.

    So how can this audience be leveraged to engage those who care about your church or ministry? Is it worth spending time and resources on yet another online trend? What makes sharing photos through Instagram different or better than doing the same on Facebook?


    1. IT'S VISUAL
    People love images. They tell a story—your story—through the emotions they convey. A smiling child at summer camp. An exploding confetti cannon at Easter. A joyful new believer, post baptism. Photos have the ability to record the spirit of a moment better than words ever can.

    Online content's shelf life is measured in seconds (and continues to dwindle by the day as people grow more "connected"), so posting pictures of events the day after they occur may already be considered outdated.

    Instagram allows you to engage people in real time, as you experience it. It only takes a few seconds to snap a photo with your phone, apply a filter, and share with your followers.

    The app lets you pair social media accounts to your feed so you can automatically display your Instagram photos via your Facebook and Twitter accounts. People can then easily and quickly share it with their friends through these avenues. Using hashtags (like #goodfriday or #summercamp) also allow for trending and findability in various feeds.

    Most mobile photos are candid and authentic-feeling. They bring an aura of intimacy not usually communicated through other photos. You can take advantage of this by giving people an inside look into your special events, making them feel like they have a deeper level of participation. A photo from an event speaker looking out into the audience may garner more impact than a generic picture of the speaker from an audience member.


    Play around on your personal account to learn the ins and outs. Follow your friends and make a note of what makes you go "ahhh!" Try out each photo filter and different lighting and composition techniques.

    Instragram's strengths lie in presenting instant, candid, personal moments—utilize that strength in your strategy for this medium.

    Start an account for your church or ministry and sync your social media accounts. Introduce your account across your communication platforms to gain followers.

    Find some people in your ministry already using Instagram effectively (especially those who have deeper behind the scenes access, like pastors or worship leaders). Give them your account login information and draft them into service with a few assignments.

    Start taking compelling photos and share them on your accounts. Experiment to see what gains more attention and shares. Rinse and repeat.

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