secret shopping the sites: intro

For a fun summertime series, I’m going to randomly select individual college ministry web sites (and other “online presence,” like social media). I’m not planning to pick on anyone here – no need to reveal which sites I’m looking at.

In evaluating each site, I won’t only look at some “pros” and “cons” of the site, but I’ll note some other things along the way. So you’re bound to find some ideas for your own ministry, along with areas you might want to “audit” or update on your own web site.

But first, a few notes that come to mind already:

  • Online presence matters in the summer. It’s easy to let this slide over the summer, but you’ve got potential students checking you out. And hopefully you’re actively engaging incoming freshmen in every way possible – which includes both via your own social media and getting your present students to do the same.
  • Online presence is easier in the summer (if the ministry is fairly dormant). If you serve with a campus-based ministry or Christian College, chances are you can put some pretty static things up on your web site and other tools. Even social media might not need to be updated as often, depending on your summer approach there. Just create some forward-looking awesomeness, and update it when you have something new to share.
  • If it terrifies you that I might pick your site to look at… As you consider your web site (and every other “web presence”), is it “summer ready”? Or does it still list events as “upcoming” that are two months old? Would it be attractive and exciting to the guy who just graduated from high school and wants to land someplace at his new university?
  • Students can (and should) help: Even while they’re away.

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