Professional websites are in demand not only with large businesses, but with non-profit organizations as well. They help establish reliable web presence, encompassing the most important information all in one place. Churches are not an exception and they also need quality websites to keep their visitors aware of the recent info and news.
One of the simplest way to build a church website is to use a website builder. These systems are targeted towards the needs and skills of ordinary users, who are not experienced in web design. 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. Some website builders even offer thematic church templates, customization of which won’t be a problem even for a non-techie. What’s more, 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 website builder to create a church website with, 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 now.
Website Builders for Churches – Key Features Chart
|Website Builder||Wix (detailed review)||uKit (detailed review)|
|Best for:||any kind of churches||Priests, pastors, small churches|
|Easiness||It takes some time to cope with||Best for non-techies|
|Church Templates:||Ready-made templates for church websites||All templates could be easily customized for church site|
|Technical Support:||Multilingual tech support||Real time and e-mail support|
|Additional Options for Church||Forum app for congregation conversation||Donate button could be embedded|
|SEO Options:||Powerful SEO tool||Easy managed SEO settings|
|Pricing Options:||Free to $24.50/mo||$4 to $12/mo|
Even though, a church website should come up to the needs of visitors and contain all the features and elements described above, it’s quite easy to create it with a website builder of your choice.
Which one is the best website builder for churches?
That’s probably one of the hardest questions. The choice depends on how in depth you want to customize your website and whether you need extra functionality. Generally, there are two types of website builders to create a church site: niche site builders and versatile platforms. In our opinion, both types are equally effective. The key difference between them is in their specialization. While niche church site builders are exclusively geared towards creating church sites, versatile platforms are more flexible and and havу more options for website’s customization.
Are there any free church website builder?
The answer is – no. When it comes to pricing, though, it appears that church site builders are much more expensive than their versatile counterparts. On the average, it costs about $40-80/mo to use a specialized church site builder, while you can sign up to a non-specialized one for only $6-$15/mo. Let’s have a closer look at two website builders of this kind now.
Wix is a great choice for the 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 time and effort.
When it comes to creating church websites, Wix has a notable advantage. It offers a number of religion and non-profit templates, which are 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 feel that the choice of the available widgets is limited, you may continue the search in the incorporated app store to get those you actually need. Keep in mind, though, that Wix is a bit complicated than uKit and it may take some time to explore and master all the features the website builder provides. So, take your time to do that to gain the best result.
uKit is a good alternative to Wix. Its options and features meet the needs of newbies and pros. Due to the rich photo gallery, extensive choice of responsive templates, a variety of customization tools and visual editing options, this website builder 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 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.
It’s important for a church to have a web presence. This makes it easier to inform your congregation of upcoming events and provide visitors and members with the information they request frequently: the church’s address, order of services, phone numbers, pastor or special programs.
Despite the enormous affordable possibilities for church sites, many of them are ineffective. With that in mind, we decided to write this brief post guiding you through the subject of church websites, what makes them effective and how much it costs to create one.
Major Features of a Church Website
While it’s impossible to include all the elements of a successful church site or to predict what functionality you may want to integrate into your site, the following suggestions will help you create an effective church website:
Ease of Use
As far as the main audience of a church website consists of people, who don’t have any relation to web design, it should be as easy to use as possible. This is needed to help people browse through it in a quick and efficient way, reaching information they are looking for in no time.
There is no need to add complex menus and multiple pages to a church website. The navigation and the search should be simple and time-saving. It’s also important to take care of adequate interlinking so that each user could access the required page or section with minimum investment of effort and time.
Availability of Niche Information
A church website is created mainly for its members and, thus, it has to provide maximum of church-related information. This information includes church news, service schedule, prayer requests, forum for easy communication and questions etc. This information should be updated on a regular basis to offer only fresh and the most vital information.
A church website should also feature common niche design, devoid of complicated graphic elements that are unnecessary here. Everything should be understandable and simple. This is one of the most crucial features of this website type.
A church is a non-profit organization each person can visit any time of the day. As far as not all users may know the exact location of a church and its contact data, this information should be presented on the web to be at hand when required. It’s also desirable to add a map specifying the location to simplify the search.
Building a church website is a delicate task that requires understanding the character of the church as a whole. For this very reason, many churches decide to build their websites themselves, rather than hire a web agency. Thankfully, there are many code-free, Do-It-Yourself website builders out there. They offer a great selection of church-themed templates, audio- and video streaming, user content permissions, Bible searches, online donations, prayer requests, calendar, announcements, quick surveys and more.
When it comes to creating a church website, using a website builder is the best solution. However, you will have to choose between versatile and niche platforms to gain the desired result. Both options work well here. The choice depends upon your actual web building needs and the depth of the church website customization you aim at. If you want a fully-loaded church website with Bible search and prayer requests, and you’re willing to pay about $60/mo for your website, then specialized site builders are probably the best solution for you.
Don’t get caught up in the “more is better” mentality, though, unless you really need it. I’ve tested more than fifty DIY site builders and I can safely say that universal tools work for church websites, too.
Have you had success using a specialized church site builder? Tell your story in the comments!