17 million occasional church visitors browse church sites every year. 80% of first-time visitors will check out the website before attending church in person. 64% of church attendees state that their church’s website encourages them to take part in a church’s life. Impressive statistics, right?
So you have decided that building a website is a must. The next step is how to go about doing that. Your website is a key tool for outreach to new members, and 94% of all potential visitors will reach an opinion of your church based on your website, so it’s best to be as thorough as possible. To make your life easier, we have prepared a list of 8 tips on how to build a church website design.
Top 8 tips on how to build website design for churches
The website for your church will help you to attract new attendees, connect with your regular visitors and increase donations. If this sound like what you’re looking for, then continue reading to find out more!
1.Keep in mind new people
You meet regular attendees each Sunday and keep in touch with them, but what about new visitors? How can you involve them? Your website is the main tool to reach your potential church members.
The easiest way to do this is to add a section titled “I’m a new visitor” in a navigation bar. It will help them to find information about your ministry without getting lost. Some of the other sections on your website may be very popular among the regular church members, but the site is not only for them. Show the seekers that you care about them.
2. Add a children’s ministry section
Many seekers, especially new attendees do not know what churches do with children. Some of the children may have never been to kindergarten, so it can be stressful for both children and parents to attend a church for the first time.
You should give as much information as possible about the place where children will hang out during services and events they are involved in. Parents should also be convinced that the place is safe. Add a description of the events that are going on and things that children will learn during them. Make the experience as stress-free as possible.
3. Include photos and video of your services
Before attending your church in person, a lot of people would like to have a chance to learn about your services online. Do not deprive your potential attendees of this opportunity. Show them videos, post Sunday sermons on your website regularly, create an atmosphere that says your church is welcoming rather than closed off and private. People should know what to expect from church worship services.
Recordings from your past sermons give your potential church members a feel for your church services. Regular attendees will have the benefit of it too. They can use it if they’ve missed the sermon or just want to re-experience the message. Some recommended hosting websites are Youtube, Vimeo or Sermoncast. Aside from this, you can use social networks, like Facebook and Instagram, to live stream the sermons.
It is also a good idea to include photos of your services. This will give an idea to your first-time visitor of what your services look like and what they should wear for them.
4. Create a calendar of events
A calendar of events is a must for any church website. One of the main reason why your attendees will use your website is to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the community. A lot of religious people attend church only on holy days, like Easter or Christmas, so include details about outreach events on your website, too.
If it is difficult for you to update the website on a weekly basis, you can use Church Management Software (ChMS). This kind of software can help with managing membership databases, finances, reports and events. If you don’t have time to figure it out, you have other options. For example, you can use Google Calendar, which is free and you only need to have a Google account. You can update it from any device that has an access to the internet and it can be embedded to any webpage.
5. Give useful information
What information should also be included in church web page design? Here are the top 5 things:
- The navigation bar which is clear and easy-to-understand
- Specific ministry info, for example, youth activities
- Contact information and location
- Staff information
- ‘Get involved’ for volunteers
6. Keep it simple
Another mistake you need to avoid is overwhelming your website. The look of Christian websites design should be clean and well-balanced. If your website is messy and cluttered, it will be difficult for your visitors to navigate through it.
You should target your visitors with your message and clearly communicate what your church is about. When deciding what information to include, put yourself in the position of a new attendee. Is your message clear? Do you feel welcomed and informed? Are you overwhelmed and can’t find the information you need?
7. Incorporate online donation
This option will make it easy for people who don’t have the ability to attend church on a regular basis. It could be the elderly or busy people. It is still important for them to feel that they contribute to the church and are still a part of it.
The statistics showed that churches that incorporate online giving increase their donation by 32%. It can give an alternative and easier way to donate for those who already do it. So if you want to increase your website’s impact on your church, don’t miss the chance to incorporate online donation.
8. Keep in touch with your visitors
Your priority should go to new visitors, but you should not forget about your regular attendees. Integration of social media will help to market your church beyond the website. It takes time to interact with people online, so the best idea is to involve a volunteer.
The person should stay tuned on all updates and current situations so he or she can clearly convey the message of your church. Better if the person has attended your services for a long time and can commit to updating information on Facebook or Twitter pages regularly.
The Best Church Website Design: 5 Examples to Inspire You
Whether you are just looking for inspiration to redesign your current web page or you are searching for ideas on building it, you came to the right place. You can find the best website design for church in the compilation we have put together for you. We have included explanations of our reasoning for you to understand why we think these websites deserve to be highlighted.
‘I’m new here’ section attracts attention at once, which makes a navigation process easier for newcomers. Good quality photos help visitors to visualise how the church service looks. Blog section allows to discuss topics, connect with the visitors and open up a dialogue between attendees. A simple navigation and clean layout make a first-time visitor stay on the website and make their experience pleasant.
Links to social networking sites (Twitter and Facebook) helps to keep in touch with new visitors and regular attendees, as well as connecting to recent news. The powerful tagline on the homepage helps to convey the strong message of the church. ‘Variety of ministries’ covers all age groups and includes planting, outreach and other groups. Testimonial videos prove the value of what they have to offer, which helps to establish trust.
‘Watch online’ section is a unique call-to-action method. Community section targeted to different groups helps to strengthen relationships among the congregation. Recorded sermons are a great visualization of what to expect from church services and a great way to grab the attention of new visitors. Having two church websites which are targeted at different audiences — new visitors and existing congregation — makes navigation easier.
Headline with bold large fonts stands out and attracts attention to the message. Stunning photos make your visitors stay longer. Information about staff with photos and their short bios encourages trust. A simple domain name makes it easy to find and remember them.
Fun video makes the church a safe place to explore faith. Unique navigation bar like ‘Jesus’ intrigues and encourages to find out what it is about. Bold headlines paired with high energy videos show off church’s fun and friendly attitude. Simple navigation bar helps to find any necessary information in a quick way
The look of your website will leave the impression of your whole church. So, we distinguished a few key points for church websites design:
- Keep in mind all potential visitors of your website: regular attendees, first-time visitors, elderly, children, youth, etc.
- Incorporate integrations like calendars, social networks, live streaming and online donations to showcase and connect with your visitors.
- Keep it simple and include only useful information not to overwhelm your visitors with out-of-date information.
If you still have any questions about web design for churches, you are more than welcome to get in touch with us. We would be happy to help you and develop the best website design for churches for you!