When it comes to your church website, it pays to remember that this may be the first impression a visitor gets of your church. You want it to be warm, inviting, and above all, professional. Pictures should not look like someone took them with a cell phone camera. If a picture really does paint a thousand words then you can use them to tell your story, and save having to come up with quite so much content. Consider hiring a professional photographer or finding a budding amateur among your members. A good camera and photo editing software are a must.
A common mistake amateurs make is to place low-resolution photographs on their site as is, without even bothering to crop them appropriately. Photographs should be high resolution, corrected for lighting, contrast and color, and cropped to frame the subjects you wish to highlight.
Photo editing is less about fixing bad photographs, but rather taking great photographs and altering their mood, lighting and tone to set the stage for your story. Photographs can be modified to reflect the color scheme of your site, the mood of the occasion and more.
If you've ever watched the television show CSI Miami, you may have noticed that the coloring is very intense, in order to achieve a certain mood for the program. That look can be achieved by simply bumping up the saturation levels during the editing process to make the colors really pop. Colors can be removed, as well, to give photos an old timey, sepia-toned look.
Lighting levels can be adjusted in your photographs to create a somber mood, or brightened up to make them appear more festive. Any number of modifications can be made to your photographs to help them tell the story, so be sure to take advantage of the technology to best effect.
Your color scheme is equally important, as it will set the tone for your website and may have a strong influence on the type of parishioners you attract. If you're hoping to attract young people, you'll want bright, vibrant colors, whereas if your congregation is mostly older and conservative, then you'll want to select more traditional, muted colors.
You should browse a number of different sites before deciding on the color scheme of your church website. Do you want your site to be joyous, vibrant, reverent, pious, respectful, humble, glorious, or serene? Pick the word that most describes your congregation, and find the colors to match.
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of "The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online." or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.