Over the years, I have probably managed/coordinated the development of more than 20 websites—some were simple blogs and others were sites with a variety of functions, including e-commerce, members only sections, digital magazines/newsletters, multiple contact forms, calendars, etc. I am not a web designer or developer. I work with the designer and everyone else who is involved.
What has become apparent to me is that it takes a team with a variety of talents to create a quality website. Here are the top talents that I have found to be needed:
This person knows the organization, the purpose of the website, the message and the mission and all of the special functions desired. He/she organizes the content and all of the contributors. He or she also prepares the request for proposal that will be given to potential designers/developers who will bid on the project. If it is a “do-it-yourself” project—a well thought out outline and prospectus is still a good idea. He/she keeps the project moving.
2) Ministry expert
The ministry expert knows the ministry and all the fine points of communicating it with integrity and clarity. The ministry expert is sensitive to the needs of the visitors to the website and the goals of the organization. The ministry expert works very closely with the planner.
Images are key to a successful website. Organizations need to be taking quality “people” photos at every event. Create a place to store these photos for future use in online articles and on social media. Some sites will use “stock” photos rather than their own—in that case a photographer would not be needed.
The writer(s) (editors and proofreaders) need to know the intended audience and the desired tone of the content. Copy needs to be interesting and informative to the reader and be presented with an economy of words. When there are multiple authors, an overall editor can help to achieve and consistent voice and style. Always, always, proofread your copy or have someone else proofread it for you.
5) Web Designer
The designer has an artistic eye and focuses on the look and feel of the site, the colors, the fonts, the placement of images, the overall appearance of the site.
6) Web Developer
The developer is the person who creates or puts together the back end of the website and sees that all of the technical components work.
In the early days (and to some extent still today) we find leaders of organizations who want “someone” to “do their website.” But it takes more than just some “one,” it takes of team of people with specific skills. It also takes time. The better organized the project, the less time, but it still takes time.
If you have ever created a website for yourself or your ministry, what other skills have you found necessary.