Remember when websites were a big deal? Now it seems like all people talk about are apps and social media. It’s often because websites have become something that is considered essential rather than optional. The question is no longer if you have a website, but how good your website is. Not that long ago, websites were only for large companies who had lots of money to spend on this technology. Then GoDaddy and Wordpress came along and seemingly everyone was able to create a website on a small budget. Now with platforms like Squarespace and Wix websites are just the basic essential, and everyone can have a really good website on a minimal budget. As we look to the future with new technologies that are developing, websites will soon be so much more.
Here are some predictions about the future of websites:
· Top Level Domains (TLD) will become the norm
.com will for many years continue to be the ideal, but other domains like .church, .technology, .media, etc. will become more and more the norm for website domains
· Mobile will only grow
As wearable technologies continue to grow, so will engagement via mobile web. Our on-the-go culture desires information and connection on-the-go which will only grow with website engagement on mobile devices continuing to increase at rapid rates.
· eCommerce will continue to grow
It’s hard to imagine life without Amazon today. In the coming years, Amazon will have more competition from companies like Jet and people will grow more confident buying almost everything online. This will also include donations to ministries, which for most ministries has already surpassed 50%. I expect eCommerce to become more and more social as well.
· Websites will customize to the user
Currently, websites often adapt to users based on their devices. I believe, in the future, sites will adapt on additional factors on where people are, what language they speak, how they might have behaved on the site previously. For example: if I live in New York and speak English, the website will adapt to me different than for someone in Arizona who primarily views websites in Spanish.
· SEO will be driven by social
Search will continue to be a significant part of all websites and the power of ranking high on Google, Bing, YouTube or any other search engine will be important. These algorithms are already changing due to social engagement and will likely only continue to effective your website traffic in a very significant way.
Honestly, this post could be a list of 20 future updates and I know I would be missing a few as well. I will likely also be wrong on one or two of my predictions. Either way, this technology is not staying the same and we must remain flexible.
So, what does this mean for ministries? Well, don’t get comfortable. Your church or ministry website should stay in a constant state of beta, meaning it’s never done. Constantly look to adapt and adjust and get better. If possible dedicate resources to not just keep your website up to date on new technologies, but lead the way with the best website in your community.