As we continue to live in an even more digital world, with access to news, social networks, and church at our fingertips, it is important to have an effective church website. Since COVID shut the world down and basically forced churches to move online (if they weren’t already), the website isn’t just the “first look” at a church anymore, it can also be the main avenue in which people interact with a church.
Since there is such a heavy emphasis on communicating well through your website, here are 7 things your church website should include:
When visitors land on your site, do they feel welcomed? It’s similar to when they show up to an in-person service, are they being greeted? Smiled at? Welcomed? You want your main landing/welcome page to feel inviting while also representing your church well. This way, the viewer can get a good idea of what it will be like to attend your church. Don’t forget to include service times and locations to make it easy for new visitors to find out how to attend your services.
It’s also helpful for those looking for a new church to have easy access to your church’s beliefs. Include a “What We Believe” section, as well as content that explains the vision and mission of the church. Many people love getting a feel for the staff and leadership of the church before they attend, too. Consider including photos and descriptions. This will help newcomers feel like they “know” you a little better before being surrounded by strangers at a new church.
Yes, your church website should cater to visitors, but it shouldn’t neglect the attendees that want to further get plugged in. Your site should include some sort of next steps page or section that directs people in the process. Incorporate any membership classes, small group opportunities, and maybe even discipleship content, like growth classes.
It is far more common nowadays for donors to give via online platforms, like your website, than it is for checks to be passed around in the offering bucket. People still do that, or drop some cash in the plate, but you don’t want to miss out on the majority of people who do their financial transactions online. Have a clear giving page that outlines the why behind giving and provides an obvious call to action with the link to give.
One section of church websites that makes a difference for users is being able to find sermons to watch or listen to. For potential guests browsing information about your church, they often like to hear what the preaching is like, and it can help them know a little more about what to expect. For current members, it allows a place for them to catch the message if they missed it or to watch it again if it was especially impactful.
Update your congregation through your website with any upcoming events. Include the necessary content like when and where the event will take place. You can also provide a form for registration and track how many people plan on attending. Hosting events is a good way for people to stay connected and get more involved.
This may seem obvious, but many church websites don’t include any pictures of their own church and their own people. If they do have photos, they’re stock photos of random people. When visitors are considering attending your church, they want to see what it might be like when they show up, so they’ll check your website to get a glimpse of the atmosphere. Including photos also makes it feel a little more human and welcoming.
When designing your church website, consider including these 7 things. If you’re looking for a great website content management system, Ekklesia360 has the features to help you expand your ministry. Designed for churches with ministry-focused layouts, e360 also has the ability to incorporate ChMS, giving, and live streaming. Whether you have a church plant or thousands of attendees, let us partner with your mission and help you design the website you need.