In the world of today, there is no better way to present information on the web than launching a website. It doesn’t matter, whether you need business, personal or community website – it will help you establish quality web presence, meeting your goals and objectives. This also concerns websites of non-profit organizations. Churches are not an exception.
A church website will help you reach several goals at a time. Do you need to provide the congregation with general information about your church? A church website is the best place to keep this info all in one place. Do you wish to keep the church members aware of all the events, sermons or meetings? Or, maybe, you are a pastor, who wants to communicate with the congregation on your own, answering their questions and being in touch any time of the day? A quality website will help you reach these and other goals as well.
Generally, a church website is a great destination for people, who plan to join the congregation or just wish to be informed about the upcoming events, contacts, special programs, occasions and meetings list.
Despite the enormous affordable possibilities for church sites, many of them are ineffective. With that in mind, we decided to write this post guiding you through the subject of church website creation, reasons of their popularity and the cost of website development.
Church Website Builders
When it comes to the development of church websites, you will come across myriads of options. The use of website builders is the simplest and the most convenient solution for users, who have little or no experience in website creation, but still get an idea of how their church websites should look and function.
You can choose between all-in-one and specialized church website builders. These alternatives may seem challenging and perplexing for inexperienced users. It’s not easy to choose between two types of services, but if you really intend to build a full-featured church website, then it makes sense to select one of popular all-in-one website builders. Here is why:
- These services are easy-to-use and ensure intuitive web building process that results in the creation of a well-structured and professionally-looking website.
- The platforms are code-free and abound in advanced church-specific features like audio- and video streaming, user content permissions, Bible searches, online donations, prayer requests, calendar, announcements, quick surveys and more.
- Some of them come with thematic church templates, customization of which won’t be a problem even for a non-techie.
- While niche church site builders are exclusively geared towards creating church sites, all-in-one platforms are more flexible and and have more options for website customization.
- Website builders offer affordable plans that won’t hit you on the pocket, but will provide you with useful features and advanced web building options instead.
When choosing the best church website builder, it makes sense to find out the major characteristics and features of the most popular services. Let’s have a look at the best options available nowadays.
Wix is a great choice for non-techies, who aim at developing quality websites. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly. With a convenient visual editor and a rich choice of templates, it becomes a number one solution for those users, who wish to get nice result without serious investment of money and effort. As of today, the customer base of the website builder exceeds 130 millions of active users in over 190 countries across the globe. This is a trusted proof of the system’s efficacy and functionality.
Wix works great for the development of any types of church websites, irrespective of their sizes and feature sets. Its dashboard is quite intuitive, although, it may take some time to master it.
When it comes to creating church websites, Wix has a notable advantage. It offers a number of religion and non-profit templates, which are mobile-optimized and designed with regard to the specific niche requirements. Church templates are customizable and you don’t have to be a web design pro to cope with the task successfully. Just select the template you need, explore the available customization options and modify the theme according to your needs. The process is much simpler than you can imagine.
If you lack time or desire to explore the detailed web design process, then go ahead to use Wix ADI – an artificial website builder within Wix ecosystem, which will automatically create a website for you by using the info you’ll submit upon its request. This is how you will get a great website in several minutes.
• Free Church templates – Yes;
• Interaction with users – Forum;
• Membership – Yes;
• Mobile Friendly – Yes;
• Cost – free to $24.50/mo.
Wix offers multilingual support, which allows building different language versions of your church websites to meet the needs of the target audience – the congregation. There is also a free forum app you can integrate into your project to initiate conversations and discussions between the members.
With Wix, integration of the Sermon Player into your church website won’t be a problem as well. It allows broadcasting live and recorded church meetings and other events the members of the congregation will be excited to see, if they cannot manage to be present there in person.
If you feel that the choice of the available widgets is limited, you may continue the search in the incorporated Wix App Market to get those extensions and apps you actually need. These are only a few features that make Wix a decent choice to build a church website. It may take some time to explore and master all of the options the website builder provides. So, take your time to do that to gain the best result.
uKit is a good alternative to Wix in terms of church website creation. The system was initially created to launch small business websites, but it also works well for building websites for pastors, priests and small churches. Its options and features meet the needs of newbies and pros. There is no necessity to possess coding knowledge. Due to the rich photo gallery, extensive choice of responsive templates, a variety of customization tools and visual editing options, uKit is easy to use. At the same time, the range of options it offers is more than enough to create a functional church website.
uKit design collection is one of the richest in the niche. There is an opportunity to select any of the offered themes or a blank canvas to create a church website from scratch. uKit templates are responsive by default. This means that your church website will be accessible on all mobile devices right after its creation. The website builder offers a template change option. If you are not satisfied with the theme chosen, you can switch to any other design on any stage of the web development process without being afraid to lose the content.
• Intuitive editor – Yes;
• Responsive templates – Yes;
• Donate option – Yes;
• Spesial users options – Yes;
• Cost – $4 to $12/mo.
One of the popular church website sections is a donate category. This is the place, where all the church members and other users can make donations to support the church. uKit allows embedding the Donate button into your website with a few simple clicks.
uKit is simple, convenient and more affordable as compared to other website builders. One of the positive features is the availability of the website version specially designed for visually impaired users. This option makes it possible for this category of people to visit a website and perceive information it provides in a more comfortable and easy way.
WordPress (its SaaS version) can be another great option for you to publish a church website. Even though, the platform has never been a church website builder, its feature set, designs and plugin integration options allow launching a quality niche project. The system is somewhat more complicated than Wix and uKit, but you will quickly get used to it as soon as you explore the details.
Being the advanced SaaS platform, WordPress stands out from the crowd due to the post publishing convenience. This is a great service to put down your ideas, thoughts, church updates, events and news. You can add and schedule any number of posts throughout a day. It’s also possible to enable the commenting option to let users leave their comments and ideas. This encourages for easy and convenient user communication.
• Church Themes – Yes;
• Blogging – On board;
• Self-hosted – Yes;
• Cost – from $4/mo.
WordPress themes are numerous, mobile-friendly and there are those you can use for building a church website. Church plugin integration option lets you give your website more functionality and better visual presentation.
What’s more, you can easily publish and podcast sermons, post an event calendar, schedule meetings and events, showcase locations and contact details, integrate videos of church events and sermons etc. Easy customization tools allow changing your website logo, backgrounds, styles, color schemes, fonts and other website elements. All in all, this is a nice website builder to create a church website with nice performance.
Building a church website with Squarespace is a bit more complicated as compared to systems reviewed above. The service mainly targets users, who have a certain web design experience. However, if you don’t have it yet, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to launch a church website with the platform. This will just take more time and effort as you’ll have to follow the tips the system offers.
Squarespace comes with a set of features that will make it simpler for you to build a church website. The system has responsive templates available in the Community and Non-Profit category. You can select and customize any of them to create a top notch church website. The Events Section can be added and regularly updated by the system developers to enable users to get quick access to church-related info they are looking for.
With Squarespace, pastors and ministry members can create their own landing pages. You can update them when required by adding your own posts, events, schedules, announcements etc. It is also possible to create groups of users, add new members and volunteering options here.
If you plan to collect donations, Squarespace allows integrating the option into your church website. The system does not only grant an opportunity to accept online payments, but also makes it possible to create separate projects tied to certain events or occasions. This provides users with extra information about the purpose of the donation so that they could personally decide on the sum they would like to donate. These are the major features that make Squarespace a nice church website building solution.
5. IM Creator
If you need a simple yet visually-appealing church website, then building it with IM Creator could be a smart solution. The major reason that speaks in favor of this system is the fact that it grants premium accounts to non-commercial organizations at no cost at all! In other words, you will be able to use the entire feature set of the system to build a decent church website. To get free premium subscription, mail the system customer support team for your project evaluation. So, what exactly can you use?
IM Creator has a nice collection of responsive templates. You can choose and customize any of them based on the church-related info and purposes you have. The system utilizes the Polydoms Technology, which allows creating a church website by selecting the required content blocks and placing them on a page. Modifying the blocks isn’t difficult at all. You can create collections of photos and slideshows from your church events, upload videos from meetings and sermons, choose backgrounds and animated effects to give your website appealing look.
The website builder lets you connect a blog to your church website, which will quickly become one of its highlights. This is the place, where you can post announcements, informative articles and other info your congregate may be interested in.
When it comes to creating a church website, using a website builder is the best solution. However, you will have to choose between all-in-one and niche platforms to gain the desired result. The choice depends upon your actual web building needs and the depth of the church website customization you aim at.
As of today, Wix and uKit are the most perspective church website building solutions. These are website builders that do not require detailed presentation. This is because their feature sets and samples of completed projects speak for themselves.
- Wix is a website builder, which encompasses ease of use, convenience and exceptional functionality. Its WYSIWYG editor allows controlling all the steps of the web building process, while the range of widgets will ensure the top notch result. Newbies can make use of the advanced Wix Artificial Design Intelligence feature, thus saving their time and effort. The website builder makes it possible to launch high quality mobile optimized church websites in no time.
- uKit stands out from the crowd due to the ease of use and powerful set of tools. The service comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, abundance of professional responsive templates and church-specific features needed to ensure decent result. uKit doesn’t imply good command of coding basics and, thus, it is a perfect solution for beginners as well as for web design pros.
- WordPress is a more complicated service for users, who are not proficient in web design. This is because the system implies plugin integration to boost website performance. If you are not competent at this, it’s better to look for a simpler service.
- Squarespace is also a bit more complicated system. There is a special template section for non-profit organizations, but customizing them may be more difficult because of the range of design customization options the system offers.
- IM Creator is a service, which has distinguished itself due to its free price offer for non-commercial organizations (churches are included). However, its functionality is less powerful as compared to that of the renowned niche leaders.
Wix and uKit are two powerful website builders that are easy-to-use, intuitive and packed with design customization tools needed to launch a full-featured church website. What matters most here is that you don’t have to be a coding pro to work with these platforms. They are initially geared towards the requirements of non-techies aiming to get top notch result. Take your time to explore and test the services listed in the post to make the unbiased decision.