One of the tips that comes up again and again is that photos of a building do not give the best impression of a church for people who have not visited it. Potential visitors need to see pictures of the congregation, a reassurance that there are actually people who attend the church.
Part of the problem is that people are used to visiting corporate websites and seeing a long marketing-esque clichés and little else. No photos of people or offices or any buildings. This does not engender trust, so when they come to build a church website they make sure there are photos of the building to show it actually exists. In the same way that if someone feels a company genuinely exists they are more likely to make a purchase, a person seeing the building is more likely to visit.
Of course, the church might be historically significant and people may visit just to see the building because of its age or special features. But it is probably more appropriate to include this information on another page.
Considering the visitors to the website, in all cases, stating that the church is friendly and then having a picture of an empty building may not be the best way to encourage them to attend.
So, the solution is to put photos of the congregation on the front page, who will obviously be smiling or worshipping (or both). But what happens if they do not want to be photographed. What happens if no one wants to be photographed?
If no one wants their photo taken this can be a real probem, so what should be done? They are probably just being modest and might respond to encouragement (but avoid flattery)! Otherwise the only alternative is to speak to the Pastor or council and ask them for permission to take photos and ask them to speak to the congregation.
If anyone has got any good ideas, you can leave them in the comments, thanks.