1. Everything is going mobile.
Today 1 in 4 teens is a “mobile-mostly” internet user. Mobile is the fastest growing web platform as more users of all ages access the internet on the go from mobile devices. All the sites we build now are “responsive designs”. These are designs that automatically resize and reformat based on the device – desktop, tablet, or smart phone. This means you can reach all platforms with only one design.
2. Social media will hold more of your content.
Forget about trying to get users to come to your website and comment on posts or post their own photos and content. They are already doing that on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and a dozen other social networks that are popping up every day. Integrate with social media, don’t try to compete with it. Let your audience share your content on social media and expand the reach of your content.
3. Designs will get more streamlined.
Part of the mobile conversion is the need for streamlined designed. Large graphics take too long to load and look terrible on tiny screens. Flash animations don’t work on most mobile devices. Website designs are getting streamlined, cleaner, and graphically more simple. Even on the desktop, modern designs are streamlined – think Apple, not Nickelodeon.
4. Content generation will be faster and less polished.
Social media and text messaging have fostered a culture that doesn’t require complete sentences or even whole words. Handheld video cameras and smart phone videos have brought video production standards to new lows not seen since the invention of the pinhole camera. But this is how content is generated, and the best way to keep current information on your site (and social media) is to embrace the new media and their standards.
Churches are not famous for being early adopters of technology or cultural change, but you need to keep your website evolving or it will quickly be irrelevant to the community. Have a plan for addressing mobile users, social media and rapid fire content because they are certain to be in your very near future.
President, Main Street Enterprises
Main Street provides web development, and social media and internet marketing consulting for churches and non-profits. www.MainStreetOpen.com.