Every now and then I receive emails along these lines:
“Hi Steve, we've just launched a new website. Would you mind taking a look and letting us know what you think?”
I'm usually very happy to help (although it's interesting how few people say ‘thanks' after I've replied with the requested feedback – but that's a different story!).
However, the timing of this request is using wrong. Requesting feedback once the website has launched (or is soon to be launched) is the worst time to get feedback.
Asking for feedback at this stage of the process is similar to asking for feedback on a new haircut. It's a little late for any major changes!
As with a haircut, at this time I can suggest a few minor changes, but no one wants to hear that they've got it all wrong.
So here's my suggestion:
Don't wait until the website is finished to request feedback. Get feedback on your new website early and often.
And here's my other tip for church websites (closely connected to what I wrote recently, about the number 1 audience for a church website):
Get feedback from people who don't attend your church, and don't attend church at all.
For example, there are many different headings you could use for your website navigation (I've shared 20 examples here). But if you've never been to church before, these labels often don't make sense (I've often thought that ‘Ministries' is a confusing term for people unfamiliar with church). The benefit of testing your website with people who don't attend your church is that you can discover early on what doesn't make sense to your primary audience, and fix it.
Again, this is another way of loving others.
If you're looking for an easy-to-read and easy-to-use guide to getting feedback on websites, I highly recommend ‘Rocket Surgery Made Easy‘.