Our family decided to do a little staycation this summer. With two little guys, it just felt easier to take a break here at home than to load up everything that’s required to take two young kids on vacation somewhere. (You feel me, parents?)
During our time off together as a family, here’s what I learned. There are two keys to any good vacation or staycation…
And maybe those two things are the last things you think about when it comes to vacation (like, what happened to fun and no planning?) Trust me, I get it. But when young kids are involved, you at least have to plan out some of the major details so you can…
- Pack appropriately.
- Prep for potential meltdowns, accidents, and catastrophes.
- Have backup plans for your backup plans!
And then, you have to talk about it.
Our choice for communication during our staycation? Well…..
I, of course, recommend the Walkie Talkie approach for any and all communication! But no matter what your ideal vacation looks like, planning and communication are vital!
The same is true for your church website. If you’re the person who manages and operates your site, then you already know this is true…
- You need systems to make it work.
- You need planning to pull it off.
- You need communication to sustain and improve it.
Without it: complete and total chaos!
Think about the last time you updated your website. There were probably a million staff members and volunteers throwing requests at you…
- “Post this on social media.”
- “Update this event on the calendar.”
- “Change this copy on our ministry page.”
- “Make sure this video gets posted by tomorrow.”
- “Update this page with a new look and feel.”
Let’s be honest: Managing the website updates for every part of your church probably makes you want to throw your Walkie Talkie out the window faster than you can blink!
So rather than leave you in the chaos, I want to help you create a system that will help you control the chaos around updating your website. And I hope that this solution will make your job feel more like a staycation!
Three words, people…Internal Request Form!
WHAT IS IT?
An internal request form is a way for your staff to let you know that they need updates, changes, or new content for their specific ministry area on your website.
Rather than having them send you a million emails, leave you a note, or simply say it in passing and hope you remember, they simply fill out this form.
Using an internal request form allows for…
- Organization. Chances are you’re the only person managing the website for an entire church and its staff. In order to keep up with all the requests and needs, you have to keep things organized! A request form does that work for you by keeping all the needs in one place.
- Simplified communication. Instead of being forced to take requests in a million different ways, an internal request form simplifies the process. If your staff wants to communicate a need for their part of the website, they have to go through the form. This eliminates all the guesswork of remembering conversations and interpreting emails and post-it notes!
- A system. This is huge! An internal request form creates a system that your church website contributors can follow. Instead of coming to you at all hours in all ways, simply go through the form and you go from there.
HOW DO I CREATE IT?
Clover has a ton of options for creating forms in a way that is both simple and efficient. You simply log into the Greenhouse and click on the “Forms” icon. You’ll choose the option to “Create A New Form,” allowing you to either choose from form templates or build your own from scratch.
WHAT SHOULD IT INCLUDE?
Clover gives you the option to create custom forms for your website, and that means it can include anything you want!
Here are a few suggestions to start with…
- Staff member or volunteer’s name and contact info. Who are you and how can I get in touch with you?
- Ministry area. What part of the church do you work/volunteer for?
- Website request. What update, change, or need do you have for your part of the website?
- Timeline. Is this request time-sensitive? When do they need it to happen?
- Additional comments. What other details do you want to share before I follow up with you about the update?
HOW DO I KEEP THE FORM PRIVATE?
Because this form is internal (meaning only your church staff and approved volunteers need to see it), then you want to make sure it stays hidden from the rest of the world. In other words, you don’t want it to sit live on your website for anyone to find. Clover allows you the option to hide pages on your site and share links to those pages only with people who need them. It keeps pages from appearing in your main navigation, but still allows them to be accessible to certain people through specific links.
If the idea of creating an internal request form for updating your site sounds good, it’s because it is! Trust me when I tell you that it will go a long way in making your job as a website guru a lot easier!