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4 Easy Ways to Get Your Synagogue Website in Tip-Top Shape

Posted on February 7, 2018
by Hirsch Fishman

Your synagogue website is the hub for all online activity. It’s the place your members go to learn about upcoming events, make donations, stream services, and so much more. It’s also the very first introduction a prospective member has to your congregation. First impressions matter and you want your community to shine. It’s impossible to imagine that any shul wants to poorly showcase themselves online, but it’s clear that many struggle.

If you are thinking that your synagogue website might be more meh, than magnificent, we’ve put together a list of 4 easy ways to get your website back on track. Check them out below, and get inspired to tackle your online woes.

1. Make Your Synagogue Website Mobile-Friendly

Almost half or more of traffic that a website receives is from people viewing the website on a mobile device. If your synagogue’s website template isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s failing your congregants and other visitors more than half of the time. Aside from a complete redesign, there are still plenty of easy ways to create a better mobile experience. Some simple changes include enlarging the font size to 14 or 16 pixels, using clickable buttons instead of linking individual words, and breaking up dense paragraphs into bulleted lists.

2. Remove all Past Events on Your Homepage

Hanukkah last year may have been absolutely amazing, but your celebrations have come and gone. It’s time to take down all information related to the Festival of Lights. It’s okay to tuck those pages away or archive them, but if they are on the homepage – they’ve got to go. Keep your homepage forward-looking, and remove all out-of-date information. The focus instead should be on actively spotlighting upcoming events.

3. Don’t Treat Your Homepage Like an Online Bulletin Board

This one is a little tricky. It’s a fine line between keeping your congregation in-the-know and having your homepage feel messy, disjointed and simply overloaded with just too much stuff. Things like the minutes from your last board meetings or info that’s only relevant to a specific group – like a flyer about a religious school field trip need to go.

Your goal is to strike a balance the needs of current and prospective members. By working with a website designer who understands the needs of synagogues, the end result is a homepage where it is easy to promote upcoming events and let prospective members know what makes your organization special.

4. Replace all Blurry or Out-of-Focus Images

Yes, we know it’s hard to source great photos, but, trust us, it’s worth it. A great synagogue website begins with great images. These photographs serve as the foundation and a strong foundation equals a strong website. If you are struggling to find the right kind of images, ask your members for help. You may also want to consider hiring a professional photographer for assistance – this may be especially useful if you are unable to photograph on Shabbat or during other religious celebrations.

If your website is guilty of any of the above, try not to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Start by making small changes – removing blurry images or stop auto-playing videos – before moving to bigger and more strategic updates – like the content on your homepage. We encourage you to try these suggestions and breathe some fresh air into your website. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Thinking that you may need a new synagogue website?

Contact us and see how we can help. When we build a new synagogue website, we build it with these things in mind. Let’s get started on building your community a new, useful, and engaging website that your synagogue’s members will actually want to visit!

About Hirsch Fishman

Hirsch has been working professionally with websites since 2001, working exclusively in, and focusing on, the Jewish community. Hirsch offers a wide range of website knowledge to his synagogue web design clients from his years of experience working in the Jewish community. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.