A church website is a top notch destination for people, who plan to join the congregation, wish to stay in touch with the church representatives or expect to be informed about everything that is going on (events, contacts, special programs, occasions and meetings list etc.) in the church community.
Despite the enormous affordable possibilities for church sites, many of them are ineffective. Considering the fact that these websites are generally created by users, who don’t have a single notion of website development at all, the use of website builders will be the best solution. Here is why.
Website builders come in different types and with diverse specializations. They are built with the needs and skills for newbies in mind, but they also have much to offer to experienced users. These systems are quite easy-to-master and they offer various pricing policies that, in their turn, provide myriads of web design opportunities.
Currently, you may choose between all-in-one websites builders and specialized niche services that entirely focus on the development of church websites. All the systems allow for the creation of full-featured projects, but they utilize different approaches to the process of website development and provide diverse tool sets needed to complete the task.
But what type of website builders is still more preferable? Which of them work better and for whom? Let’s review different website builders to find out the result and help you make the right choice.
We Tested Out 10 Of The Best Website Builders for Churches:
- Wix – The Best Website Builder for Churches
- WordPress – Free Platform for a Church Website
- Weebly – The Easiest Church Website Builder
- Nucleus – Modern Church Website Builder
- OurChurch – Christian Church Website Builder
- Sharefaith – Easy tu Use Church Website Builder
- FaithLife Sites – Platform to Create a Free Church Website
- Bluehost – Best Web Hosting for Church Websites
- Tailor Brands – Best Church Website Design Company
- IM Creator – Website Builder for Non-profits Organizations
These website builders work best for the development of church websites. Some of them are all-in-one services, while others are niche-focused, offering access to multiple church-related features. Which of the platforms suits your web design requirements most and which of them is a more preferable solution? It’s high time to review each of the above listed website builders in detail to see what exactly they have to offer.
Wix – The Best Website Builder for Churches
Wix – is a great choice for non-techies, who aim at developing quality websites. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly. As of today, the customer base of the website builder exceeds 154 millions of active users in over 190 countries across the globe. This is a trusted proof of the system’s efficacy and functionality.
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.
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.
Is Wix Good for Church Websites?
Definitely – yes. The system comes with a feature set that simplifies this task for newbies and allows creating projects that are easy-to-browse and update whenever required.
Among the features that make the platform stand out against its competitors, it makes sense to mention a set of mobile-ready templates for churches and non-profit organizations, specialized free and paid widgets, opportunity to integrate a Sermon Player to organize meetings/sermons broadcasting sessions etc.
WordPress – Free Platform for a Church Website
WordPress – is the most popular CMS in the world, which can be used to create literally all types of websites. If you need a church website, you’ll certainly be able to launch it with the platform, although, some effort, skills and time will be required to reach worthy result. Due to the availability of multiple plugins and niche templates, the system will work great for the development of such a non-profit project.
WordPress is initially known for its wide selection of plugins. The system has some of the built-in options, but they may not be enough to come up to your individual expectations and web design requirements. Among the most widely-used integrable plugins available online, the following ones will notably enhance your church website performance: Simple Calendar, Layerslider, All On One Event Calendar, Sermon Manager, Give – Donation Plugin and Fundraising Platform and more.
Apart from plugin integration, WordPress can boast a rich assortment of templates that are specially created for church websites. Just like plugins, these themes can be free and paid and it’s up to you to choose the option, which works best for your own project. Mind, however, that to work with the CMS and to customize the selected theme, you won’t go without basic (if not even advanced) PHP/HTML/CSS knowledge to get a truly unique and one-of-a-kind website design.
How Do I Create a WordPress Church Website?
Building a church website with WordPress is a bit more challenging endeavour, especially for first-timers. As mentioned above, the CMS implies the basics knowledge of programming as well as certain web design background. It also takes time to pick and customize the best template as well as to choose and properly integrate the required plugins. Finally, you won’t be able to publish a ready-made project until you select hosting and domain name for it. Let’s see what the entire process involves in the following step-by-step guide:
- Select hosting and domain name – the fact that WordPress does not come with integrated hosting means that you’ll have to pick it on your own. Just explore the available options and choose the host that comes up to the specific needs of your project.
- Download and install the most recent WordPress version – this is usually a quick process, but make sure to download the system from the official website to avoid the potential frauds;
- Choose the Theme – As mentioned above, WordPress has free and paid designs, which are available both in the system collection as well as on the web. If you don’t manage to find an integrated church website theme, you will certainly find it online, but check the credibility of the resource you download it from to avoid the use of malware codes. Otherwise, the safety of your entire website may be at risk.
- Customize the Design – Access WordPress dashboard to have a look at the toolset it offers and use those features and options that let you customize your church website design with maximum efficacy. By choosing proper tools, you will be able to edit the initial template layout, style, background, color palette, fonts etc. You’ll additionally have an opportunity to add new pages and sections, website menu, set up web page sidebar and other elements you’d like to be displayed at the website.
- Upload Content – Having set up website design, you may start uploading content elements.Take your time to pick (or create) website logo, select and add your church-related images and videos, integrate media files, add page and section titles, headlines and other must-have elements.
- Integrate Church Plugins – The next step is to choose and integrate special church plugins, which will match your specific website type. There are lots of free and plaid plugins found on the web, which can boost your project functionality. These plugins may be related to church calendars, sermon schedules, video and image display options, slide presentations, live chat availability, donation option and many other suchlike features.
- Go Live – As soon as you are done with your website design, functionality and promotion settings adjustment, you should preview the way your project looks (WordPress offers this option). You will also be able to save the project in the draft mode to customize it later or publish it at once, if everything is ok. Now, you can watch the result and enjoy it!
How to Create a Website with WordPress.
How to Get a Domain Name for Free.
Weebly – The Easiest Church Website Builder
Weebly – is a website builder, which has distinguished itself as a platform used to create different types of full-featured websites (see real Weebly examples). The service has recently gained eCommerce focus, but it can still be used to effectively start and manage other types of projects, including those for non-commercial organizations. It has a rich feature set you can use to start and manage a church website, irrespective of your web design proficiency.
Apart from the eCommerce specialization, Weebly comes with a powerful blogging engine, which lets you connect a blog to your church website and update it with urgent information related to your congregation.
The service is also known for its video hosting, which makes it possible to upload videos of sermons of even online church seminars from YouTube or directly from your computer. This allows users, who have missed a sermon for some reason, to watch it from any locations they are in.
Weebly offers a pretty extensive collection of templates, where you can find the theme for your church website. You can also make use of advanced design customization options and tools the system has in stock to give your project personalized look.
Other highlights of the system include powerful Image Editor that lets you upload church-related photos, extensive App Center that allows picking the best integrable free or paid widgets for your church website (Nivo Slider widget, custom image gallery widget, simple social sharing icons widget, Q&A or FAQ widget, CSS Image hovering effects widget, image sharing widget, Live Chat widget, call-to-action widget, call-out-box widget, SEO as well as communication widgets etc.).
When launching a church website with Weebly, you can also make use of its Form builder that lets you create and customize online contact forms, RSVP lists, surveys etc.
Nucleus – Modern Church Website Builder
Nucleus – is the all-in-one church website builder, which encompasses myriads of niche-specific features and tools needed to start and manage this kind of website. This is a unique hub for all the church members that grants access to myriads of options a user needs to successfully get started with website development process.
A convenient drag-and-drop editor of the service is created with the needs and skills of newbies (pastors and website members) in mind. It’s really easy and straightforward enough to be used on a daily basis. The platform doesn’t imply coding knowledge, which allows for hassle-free and quick website development.
Apart from the intuitive drag-and-drop editor, Nucleus comes with single-click templates that can be customized in a few easy steps. The system also boasts the integrated Sermon Engine that lets users send, organize and view online messages. The built-in form generator is perfectly combined with the submissions dashboard, which makes the website builder stand out from the crowd. This features lets system users build and integrate registration forms online to be further sent to ministry leaders via email.
Among other Nucleus highlights, it makes sense to mention the availability of message notes, image uploads, button creation option, video and audio player, calendar, blog, Google fonts, schedule cards, image transformer, custom domains, easy favicon set up, live chat support, code injection and 30-minute strategy sessions.
OurChurch – Christian Church Website Builder
OurChurch – is a new church web building service, which encompasses multiple benefits all in one place. Founded in 1996, the platform serves one and the same mission – to make it possible for every Christian church, ministry, school or business to start and manage affordable and simple Christian websites.
The platform offers reliable website design and hosting services that allow launching and storing ready-made church websites both to experienced users and non-coders. Since 2003, they have updated their template portfolio collection, granting access to multiple niche-specific church, ministry, eCommerce and other types of Christian websites.
What’s important, OurChurch website builder is WordPress-based to simplify further project maintenance and updating. With this very purpose, the system developers offer a rich library of online video tutorials as well as reliable customer supported committed to users’ long-term success.
Search Engine Optimization is another feature OurChurch excels at. They have become the leading search marketing provider for Christian organizations. They have also developed a separate service for church marketing to help local communities withstand niche competition and simplify users’ search. Thus, OurChurch is a nice destination for users looking for extensive church web design, marketing, promotion and advertising opportunities.
Sharefaith – Easy to Use Church Website Builder
Sharefaith – is a church-focused website builder, which currently empowers over 8000 of church websites across the globe. The system was created by the team of users, who are also the members of the Christian church and, thus, see their major mission in helping other communities spread the word of God through their websites.
The website builder comes with a drag-and-drop website editor that eliminates the need for code learning. Users also have access to the collection of church website templates that can be customized with regard to the needs of your congregation. The designs, however, are quite simple, if not even outdated.
The system makes it possible to share the sermons through the integration of video and audio players. Apart from watching live broadcasts, users can also download the sermons they wish directly to their desktop or mobile devices. The service comes with the built-in email+calendar option that lets you share the most important events, news and upcoming sermon schedules with the congregation and even email them with the branded email domain.
Apart from a set of church-related features, though, Sharefaith functionality leaves much to be desired. The system is too niche-focused and, thus, cannot provide freedom of actions to get a feature-laden website. Thus, it can hardly be considered a worthy website builder for the development of church projects.
FaithLife Sites – Platform to Create a Church Website
Faithlife Sites – is another website builder, which focuses exclusively on the development of church websites that are easy to manage and maintain for everyone. The major mission of such websites is to engage community members to take active part in the life of the congregation and eliminate the hassle associated with website development.
The website builder provides tips and recommendations on the must-have steps a user needs to undertake to start and complete a project with ease. These guidelines, though, are are not quite necessary because of the simplicity of the system and its strong church focus.
FaithLife Sites eliminates the need to copy and paste the same website elements over and over again. Instead, a user gets an opportunity to write the required information (be it a calendar event, an announcement, sermon details etc.) once and the system will automatically renew it in the same section, if needed.
FaithLife Sites allows sharing website editing process with other church members, volunteers or community members involved into website development or management process. Users, who share project management rights, will get access to design customization tools and options (adjustment of fonts, menus, pages and color schemes). They will also be able to add custom pages for the required ministries, missionaries and other groups of users.
Just like Sharefaith, though, FaithLife Sites doesn’t work great for the creation of church websites. This is because the website builder is not that functional and its feature set is focused exclusively on the church-related aspects. The system lacks standard functionality that is a must for any website. It definitely makes sense to look for a more flexible and advanced website builder for your church website.
Bluehost – Best Web Hosting for Church Websites
Bluehost – is one of the most popular hosting providers and the best web hosting for church websites. The system stands out from the crowd due to its extensive feature set, flexibility, safety, credibility and powerful performance. Bluehost is officially recommended by the WordPress CMS as the most trusted and affordable hosting provider to store projects created with it. The platform is a great pick for hosting church websites as it offers multiple features that contribute to the development of this website type.
The hosting provider grants access to the rich fully-integrated marketplace with lots of scripts, applications, widgets and add-ons that can notably boost the performance of your church website. These include versatile niche-specific WordPress themes, eCommerce and blogging extensions, project promotion and marketing tools, photo galleries you can use to select images for your church website etc.
Other Bluehost highlights include the advanced safety level and flexibility of the platform. The hosting provider delivers high end spam protection and security features that help protect your church website from third-party access and loss of confidential information. The system also ensures hotlink protection and allows using multiple safety tools, including Spam Expert, Spam Hammer and many more.
Additionally, the hosting provider ensures notable improvement of page load speed and uptime rates of your project. This eventually results in the enhancement of overall project performance and traffic growth.
Bluehost is a secure, reliable, functional and cheap hosting provider. Currently, you can use the entire feature set of the platform at $2.95 per month only, getting a list of advantages (regular WordPress updates, unlimited bandwidth, SSL certificate connection etc.) at this cost.
Tailor Brands – Best Church Website Design Company
Tailor Brands – is the best church website design company, which does not only help you start this kind of project, but also contribute to its further development and popularization among the target audience. The system is powered by the Artificial Intelligence, which makes it possible to launch quality websites featuring unique brand identity, even if you are not a web design expert.
One of the first and the most important steps you may complete, while proceeding to the church website development process is logo design. Tailor Brands comes with a quality integrated Logo Maker tool, which grants access to multiple logo creation elements available in stock you can use to develop your church website logo (if you don’t have the one yet). The creation process is easy, fast and understandable for everyone.
Tailor Brands also offers a fully-integrated social management platform, which allows sharing content associated with your church website in the social networks to make your target audience aware of everything that is going on in your church life. If you plan to gather donations (which is an important mission for any church), the system will make it possible for you to create and integrate instant advertisements by means of using the functionality of its Tailor Ads platform.
The system is not free and you’ll have to invest into the promotion of your church website, if you still decide to give preference to it. However, Tailor Brands mostly positions itself as a professional business development and branding company. Using it for church website creation is not the most reasonable solution as there are many more affordable and functional website builders suitable for this purpose.
IM Creator – Website Builder for Non-Profit Organizations
IM Creator – is a professional website builder for non-profit organizations, which delivers an impressive integrated feature set required to start a quality church website without investing a dollar into it. What you will get when using the platform is blogging, eCommerce and marketing features, responsive themes, multiple stock images/videos that will add functionality and visual appeal to your project. Keep in mind that you don’t have to possess any coding skills to start a church website with IM Creator.
The website builder comes with an integrated blogging engine, which makes it possible to connect a blog to your church website. This allows for closer communication with church members, better interaction with different groups of users and overall design of your website. By uploading new posts to your blog sections, you’ll keep readers interested in church-related nuances. Additionally, there is a possibility to enable user comments for more effective interaction.
IM Creator has a rich collection of free images/media files you can choose and integrate into your church website to drive user attention. The search filter option will help you effectively sort out the available photos to pick those that fit the church niche most. Likewise, there is an opportunity to browse a set of free responsive templates to pick the one that works best for your project. Further template customization is quite intuitive and there is also an opportunity of code injection that lets you create outstanding and completely personalized church website design.
What Is the Purpose of a Church Website?
Church websites perform several missions at a time. Their major objective is to serve the main source of information for the church congregation. This is the most reliable and convenient destination for users, who wish to stay aware of the main church news, announcements, events, schedules and other related things.
Another mission of any church website is to establish live communication between the pastors and the congregation. Such projects usually come with live chats, forums, blogs and other elements that make it possible to stay in touch with people users communicate more often.
A church website is also the place to make donations in the convenient and easy way. As a non-profit organization, a church leaves the right to each member to donate certain sums of money for volunteering, church development or any other purposes.
How Do I Create a Website for My Church?
As soon as you decide to start a church website, you’ll face the must-have steps to get started with ease. Let’s enlist the major points you’ll need to consider, while working on your project now.
- Pick the System – The first and the foremost thing you should do while working on your website development is to pick the right tool. This should ideally be the system, which will come up to your web design skills, objectives, project requirements and budget. Website builders are the most suitable tools in this respect, but you can also use CMS to avail deeper flexibility.
- Choose Domain and Hosting – Most website builders come with integrated hosting and domain name that is often provided as a bonus. Thus, you won’t have to bother about this nuance. While working with the CMS, though, you’ll face the need to pick the third-party hosting and domain. Keep that in mind, when making your choice.
- Choose a Template – Depending upon the system you will go for, you’ll be offered a collection of templates to choose from for your church websites. These may be either standard themes or specialized church templates. You can also select a completely blank theme to customize it from scratch. As to the CMS, it offers both built-in designs (the choice of which may be quite limited) and free/paid templates designed by third-party developers.
- Customize the Design – Both website builders and CMS offer a set of design customization tools you can use to create personalized website design. You can edit almost all the elements of the selected template, upload your content, add media files etc.
- Integrate Widgets/Plugins – Website builders grant access to the collection of integrated widgets, may of which are specially designed for church websites. The same is about the CMS, which is also known for its extensive plugin integration options.
- Connect Social Media Accounts – Whatever platform you will pick, you won’t go without connecting social media accounts to it. This is a must, if you intend to grow your congregation and just stay connected with its members.
- Optimize the Website – The next step is optimizing the ready-made website for higher search engine ranking and better online exposure. Most contemporary website builders and CMS are SEO – friendly – just set up the required SEO settings found on a separate page to make sure your project will rank high in the search engines.
- Go Live – The final step of the web building process is final website publication. It makes sense to preview the project before the publication to make sure it’s absolutely ready. Then go ahead to publish it and enjoy the result!
Сhurch Website Design – What Should It Involve?
Picking the right web building tool is only half of success. Apart from being informative, your project should come with appealing design to keep users engaged in browsing it over and over again. This is the main reason to include the must-have design elements into your church website. Let’s enlist some of these elements now:
- Photos and Videos of Sermons – Your website visitors will certainly appreciate an opportunity to view the photos and videos of sermons (especially of those they have missed for some reason). It is also desirable to include an opportunity to watch the live translation of all the sermons conducted;
- Kids’ Ministry Section – By adding a kid’s ministry section, you’ll be able to attract the attention of children to the church-related issues. Parents, who are also included into your congregation will really appreciate that;
- Events Calendar – Creation and integration of the Events Calendar will definitely add value to your church website. This is one of the must-have elements, which lets your visitors stay aware of all the scheduled events that are going to be held in a church;
- Online Donation – Incorporation of the online donation feature allows people to make financial contributions to church development or volunteering business;
- Live Chat/Forum – If you wish to stay connected with the congregation, integrating a live chat or a forum into your church website will be a nice idea. This is how you’ll be able to communicate with other church members not to lose connection with them;
- Social Media – You won’t go without integrating social media resources as well – by using and regularly updating church-related social media accounts, you’ll grow the target audience. This will eventually help users get in touch with you, look through your recent news and events as well as increase the congregation;
- Google Maps – It’s really desirable to include a Google Maps widget into your church website – this is the best way to share your church location and help new congregation members easily find it.
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 WordPress are the most perspective church website building solutions. These are the platforms that have already established trusted web presence and, thus, do not require detailed presentation. This is because their feature sets and samples of completed projects speak for themselves.
As the all-in-one website builder, Wix works great for inexperienced users, while WordPress is a more preferable solution for users, who wish to get the most out of their website creation process to finally get a full-featured church website. To make the right choice, consider your web design objectives and decide, what solution comes up to your skills and needs most of all.