Keeping past-dated content on your website makes it seem like you’re not keeping your website maintained, which conveys that you don’t have much interest about informing newcomers. Old, past-dated content just does not convey hospitality.
Certainly, if your church or ministry just won an award earlier this week, that’s present-tense news. Put that up on your site! But in another couple of weeks, this information is old news, and should be taken down.
On church websites, the information on static (not changed very often) pages should be current. The days and times for regular group meetings or info for contact persons may be posted on these pages, but should be updated whenever there are changes – even if that means changing this information at the beginning of the summer (when groups might be taking a break), and then changing it back when the fall programs kick off again.
There are two exceptions to this:
The first is that you don’t need to take down any past dated information from a grid-style calendar on your site. Most of our ACWP participants use Google calendar. Leaving up your old events on Google calendar is fine because users will intuitively know that old events are already over.
The second exception is similar: you don’t need to take down old content is if you are using the blog function of your site as a newsfeed. Because these blog posts normally have a “posted on” date, they don’t convey the same inattention to hospitality that content on static pages can convey. The key however, is that you have to keep making new blog posts, so that your most recent news feed post is always within the last week or two.
The added benefit to leaving these “old-news” items up in these two locations is that the website user can scroll back through your news feed posts or calendar to see what your church has been up to in the recent past.