Mobile is coming!

I came across this great blog by Jerod at Church Juice Blog - This is a great summation of my thoughts on churches and mobile websites. Keep in mind that I am not referring to mobile apps, those I will address later, right now I am talking about mobile websites because any good mobile strategy should start with a mobile website and progress to mobile apps.

Out of the 5 - 6 church websites that I visit often, only one has a mobile website and that is Lifechurch. Their website, which is located at is a great mobile website, easy to use, quick loading and gives me access to live and past services, which is one of the things I like most, I love watching video on my iphone.

Unfortunately, most churches outside of a few top megachurches, do not have mobile websites on their radar. They believe that they will need to put these websites up but for some reason they are not focusing on it now. It could be the costs of creating a mobile website (which can be minimal), the cost of updating a mobile website (which can be minimal) or they just don't have the time or expertise on staff to make it happen.

Well here is a good mobile strategy for any ministry.

1. Mobile website first. Mobile websites are versatile and can be viewed on any smart phone or mobile device with Webkit 2.0 (iOS, android, palm, windows 7, newer blackberries, etc..). Thus, if you are going to have a mobile strategy, you have to include a mobile website first before you jump right into mobile apps.

2. Mobile sites can be part of your current website. If you have a template or CMS (content management system) that is mobile friendly, then your website will be a mobile website as well as a regular website. Wordpress is a great example of this, you can add the wptouch plugin to convert your website into a mobile website.

3. Let flash go. Flash was great three years ago and having flash intros with images flying around and music playing in the background was a great visually stunning thing. Now that Apple has released millions of iOS devices (iphones and ipads and ipod touches) you have to create websites that can be viewed on these devices as well as other mobile devices. The answer is HTML5 and JavaScript (Jquery).

4. Start small with a mobile website. For a ministry this can be something as small as a homepage with location, service times and a logo. A live broadcast page where you can watch the service online or archived, and a mobile donation page.

And as Jerod over at Church Juice Blog - stated:

    Yes, mobile really is worth thinking about.  It can be easy to say mobile strategy is an extra bonus, not a necessity for a website.  But research shows 1 out of 5 Americans use the mobile Internet every day.  That skyrockets to 62 percent when you look at people who own smartphones.  The prices are coming down for smartphones and the tablet market race has just begun.  The number of mobile web users will keep going up fast.

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