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 website 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 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.
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.
HostGator – is the best WordPress website builder and hosting for ministry and church websites, which ensures hassle-free, smooth and intuitive approach to the website development and hosting process. The system has much to offer to non-techies as it does not require coding skills at all. What you need is to follow the guidelines the host generates by default to set up a quality church website. Here is the list of highlights the software has it stock:
- User Interaction Options. A church website implies the necessity for close interaction with users. HostGator has the required toolset to make this communication possible round-the-clock. To stay connected with users, you may integrate social media features, online contact forms and other elements the system has in stock.
- One-Click CMS Installation. With the opportunity of one-click WordPress installation, churches can easily manage their content, post sermons, update event calendars, and create blog posts.
- SSL Certificates. Free SSL certificates are included, providing an essential layer of security, particularly for online donations and any personal data exchange on the church website.
- Email Accounts. HostGator’s hosting plans often include email hosting, enabling the creation of professional email addresses for church staff and departments.
HostGator is quite a cost-effective hosting provider that also allows for church website creation. You won’t be able to use a free plan or a free trial here, but the cost of premium subscriptions will be a pleasant surprise for you. Currently, the platform offers three premium plans for shared hosting. Their price starts at $3.75/mo. Need WordPress hosting to get started with your project? Then opt for one of WordPress hosting plans, which start at $5.95 per month only.
SITE123 – is one of the easiest website builders that makes it possible to create affordable church websites. Due to its impressive simplicity and intuitive web design approach. Everyone can use the platform to set up feature-rich projects. No coding awareness is required to work with the system. The list of the major software advantages is as follows:
- Multilingual Support. A church website should be accessible to users from different countries. Everyone, who has a desire to join the congregation or just to find out more about the church, should be able to understand the available content. This is where the SITE123 multilingual tool will certainly come in handy! It allows starting a church website in several languages to make it understandable for local and foreign residents.
- Form Builder. SITE123 includes a Form Builder that lets you set up and customize all types of online forms for quality user interaction. Just pick a form you would like to add to your project and proceed to the editing process. This is easy and quick for everyone.
- Logo Maker. Adding a logo to your church website is a nice idea, if it doesn’t have the one yet. With the SITE123 Logo Maker tool, the process becomes straightforward and simple. It’s up to you to select the set of elements and design parameters to create your own personalized church logo.
- App Market. The website builder comes with an extensive App Market, where everyone can browse and select free and paid widgets for further integration. Users have access to social media add-ons, multiple photo/video galleries, live chat and customer interaction tools and other related extensions.
SITE123 is not only one of the simplest web design platforms, but it’s also one of the most cost-effective systems. Users may start working with a free plan here to test the service and its features before upgrading to one of the premium subscriptions. The cost of paid plans starts at $12.80/mo.
The Web.com – is an easy church website creator, which works well for all user categories – beginners and web design pros. The use of the system does not imply programming proficiency, which makes it a universal solution for everyone. The undeniable highlight of the system is availability of hosting options. If you are interested in using the software, have a look at its features now:
- WYSIWYG Church Website Builder. Web.com does not have a separate collection of church templates yet there is a category of themes for community & non-profit projects. They also work well for church websites. Additionally, the platform allows picking a blank template to create individual church website design from scratch.
- Block-Based Layouts. The website builder offers multiple themes that come with customizable layouts consisting of content blocks. When working on your project customization, you can select, add/remove and modify the blocks as well as adjust their positions. This eventually results in individual project design development.
- Client Interaction Options. The software is known for its extensive collection of user interaction tools. They ensure convenient and effective communication between church website users and the project owner. Thus, you can embed Google Maps to specify the exact geo location of your church, all types of online forms, live chat options etc. to stay in touch with your website visitors.
- Hosting. As mentioned above, Web.com comes with powerful hosting solutions. This eliminates the need to look for a third-party host to store your church website. Likewise, the system allows hosting projects launched with other platforms, offering versatile pricing and terms.
Web.com doesn’t offer a free subscription, which may be a demerit for first-time users. You need to decide on the plan to choose for your website right from the start. The system has separate subscriptions for website builder and hosting subscriptions. The cost of website builder plans starts at $4.95/mo.
WordPress – is a free platform for a church website and the most popular CMS in the world. It can be used to create literally all types of projects, although, some effort, skills and time will be required to reach a 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.
IONOS by 1&1 – is a church website builder and hosting, which ensures an easy and convenient web development process without the need of code editing. The software belongs to the list of the oldest hosts in the modern web design niche. The system has separate plans for website builder and hosting solutions. This diversifies user choice, letting pick the preferable option. Ionos advantages are listed below:
- Website Builder. Ionos comes with a built-in DIY website builder, the use of which does not imply programming skills or tech knowledge. You won’t find specialized church templates in its collection yet there is an opportunity to pick and customize themes from other categories here. The process is simple: just browse the collection, pick a design and access the integrated toolset to get started with your church website.
- Multilingual Support. With Ionos, you will be able to set up and customize a church website in several languages of your choice. This is a handy solution that makes your project accessible not only to local residents, but to people from abroad as well.
- Logo Maker. Due to the built-in Logo Maker tool, everyone can design, customize and integrate a church logo into a website. The list of customization settings and elements is available here as well. This will be a worthy presentation of your organization that will reveal its main mission and objectives.
- WordPress Hosting. As a hosting provider, Ionos offers different types of hosting. WordPress hosting is provided here as well. This means that everyone will be able to create a project with the CMS and then host it with Ionos, if required. The software ensures fast SSD storage, caching and CDN options along with SSH and WP-CLI for super-easy control. What’s more, WP hosting comes with advanced developer features like cron job scheduling, .htaccess, domain API and more.
Ionos offers affordable and flexible pricing options for website builder and hosting solutions. When it comes to website creation, the cost of plans starts at $1/mo only. This, however, is a special offer for all new subscribers, which is viable for the first 12 months of the software use. As to the price of hosting subscriptions, it starts at $4/mo. There is also an introductory offer here, which lets you save the budget during the first months of working with the system.
Wix aims at developing quality websites. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly. As of today, the customer base of the website builder exceeds 10 million users 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 the 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.
Additionally, Wix allows adding client interaction widgets (Google Event Calendar, Scheduling Pro, Callback, Contact Management + CRM, Live Chat, Wix Forms, 123 Form Builder, Events Calendar, Book Appointments Online, Comments, Wix Bookings, Latest News and Wix Chat to mention a few) to ensure more efficient communication with website visitors. Integration of customer testimonial widgets (Customer Reviews, Testimonial Builder, Social Testimonials, MyReviews, Voice Comments+ , Comments, Yelp, Comments+ etc.) is possible here as well.
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.
Hostinger Website Builder (ex.Zyro) – is an AI church web building solution that practices quite a new website development approach. Powered by the Artificial Intelligence technologies, the website builder ensures simple and hassle-free content upload, design customization and further project management. No deep coding awareness is needed to work with the system – everything is understandable and easy here for everyone. The major Hostinger Website Builder features include:
- Artificial Intelligence Solutions. As the AI-powered solution system, Hostinger Website Builder makes it possible to design and customize websites, using a set of advanced tools available in stock. Their list is quite extensive: AI Image Upscaler, Favicon and Blog Title Generators, high end AI Writer tool for automated SEO-content creation, AI Heat Map, Business Name/Slogan Generator, Image Background Remover and more.
- Image/Video/Logo Integration. A church website is unthinkable without image galleries, video presentations, live streams of sermons and other events. Hostinger Website Builder makes it possible to create video/photo galleries and shows. Likewise, there is an opportunity to design your church website logo, using a built-in Logo Maker tool available in stock.
- Google Maps Embedding. Any user should be able to find the contacts of your church on the website. Special attention should be given to the location. This is where Google Maps integration will be an advantage. It is possible to embed the widget into any section or web page. This takes a few minutes only.
- Blogging Platform. Quality interaction with users is a key to understanding and fruitful cooperation. By connecting a blog to your church website, you will be able to update it with niche-related posts, news, discussions. Likewise, you can enable user comments to share the ideas and thoughts there.
Artificial Intelligence feature is not the only advantage of Hostinger Website Builder website builder. The system is also known for its flexible pricing. Free plan/trial is currently unavailable here. Instead, there is an opportunity to upgrade to one of premium plans. The cost starts at $2.79/mo. If there is anything you don’t like about the website builder or your plans suddenly change, the system offers a 30-day money refund policy to all new subscribers.
Weebly – is the easiest church website builder. It has gained eCommerce focus, but it can still be used to effectively start and manage other types of projects, including those for non-commercial organizations (see real Weebly examples). The software has a rich feature set you can use to start and manage a church website, irrespective of your web design proficiency:
- Powerful Blogging Engine. The system lets you connect a blog to your church website and update it with urgent information related to your congregation.
- Video Hosting. The feature 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.
- Responsive Template Collection. Weebly offers a pretty extensive gallery of designs, where you can find the theme for your church website. There is no separate category of church templates here yet, but you can pick any other theme and customize it with regard to your project parameters and content. It is also possible to make use of advanced design customization options and tools the system has in stock to give your project a personalized look.
- Image Editor. The feature lets you upload church-related photos to further edit them to fit your project layout and special parameters.
- App Center. It 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.).
Weebly’s free plan is never-expiring, letting you explore the system features and practice your skills for an unlimited period of time. As for premium subscriptions, users may choose from several packages for standard websites and a separate Performance Plan for eCommerce projects. The cost starts at $4/mo.
Nucleus – is a modern 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 the website development process. The range of Nucleus advantages includes:
- Convenient Drag-and-Drop Editor. The system is initially 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.
- The Next Step Launcher. The free tool lets you keep all the church-related actions, events, plans and schedules all in one place. It ensures a fast and focused way for your church to take any action you plan. This is a handy option for a beginner.
- Single-Click Templates. The software comes with easy-to-customize niche designs that can be edited in a few easy steps.
- Integrated Sermon Engine. It lets users send, organize and view online messages as well as watch video presentations and live broadcasts of sermons.
- Built-In Form Generator. The online form builder is perfectly combined with the submissions dashboard, which makes the website builder stand out from the crowd. This feature lets system users build and integrate registration forms online to be further sent to ministry leaders via email.
Nucleus website builder does not set fixed prices for its services. Everyone may use two products for free here. These are the Next Steps Launcher and Nucleus Prayer. Other software products/tools are free for 30 days. Upon the end of the term, website owners may pick those features they need for their church websites. Each product comes at a certain price. The number of selected tools affects the final project budget.
OurChurch – is a Christian church website builder, 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. Have a look at OurChurch features further:
- Website Design and Hosting Services. The software allows 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.
- WordPress-Based System. OurChurch is a WP-based platform, which simplifies the process of project maintenance and updating. With this very purpose, the system developers offer a rich library of online video tutorials as well as reliable customer support committed to users’ long-term success.
- Search Engine Optimization. The system has 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.
OurChurch doesn’t have a free plan, but every new subscriber avails an opportunity to get a special offer – half off the first payment. It’s up to you to decide, what discount exactly you would like to get: half off the first month, half off the first year or half off the first 3 years. As for the full cost of the software plans, it starts at $7.42/mo. All in all, there are three subscriptions users may currently choose from.
Sharefaith – is an easy-to-use church 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. Sharefaith has much to offer to its subscribers, namely:
- Drag-and-Drop Website Editor. Availability of the editor eliminates the need for code learning. What you need is to just pick and drag the required elements to form the desired project layout.
- Church Website Templates. The selection of themes is quite extensive here. Everyone can pick a suitable design to further customize it with regard to the needs of the congregation. The designs, however, are quite simple, if not even outdated.
- Integration of Video and Audio Players. The system makes it possible to share the sermons through integrated video/audio players. Apart from watching live broadcasts, users can also download the sermons they wish directly to their desktop or mobile devices.
- Built-In Email+Calendar. The option lets you share the most important events, news and upcoming sermon schedules with the congregation and even email them with the branded email domain.
Sharefaith has a free trial that is enough to test the software and its church-related features. The premium membership lasts for one year with an opportunity of further prolongation. The standard cost constitutes $49/mo or $499/year. Mind that new subscribers get a 15% discount for their first month or for the whole year.
12. FaithLife Sites
Faithlife Sites – is a platform to create a free church website, which focuses exclusively on the development of projects 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 choice of FaithLife Sites services is provided below:
- Shared Website Editing. FaithLife Sites allows sharing the website editing process with other church members, volunteers or community members involved in the 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.
- Powerful Support Options. 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 not quite necessary because of the simplicity of the system and its strong church focus.
- Automated Content Renewal. 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 has a free 30-day trial to test all the features available in stock. As soon as the trial is over, the system offers an opportunity to choose one of premium subscriptions. The cost depends on the average weekly attendance rate. The annual price of the cheapest plan with the average weekly attendance from 1 to 49 people, constitutes 199.99/year.
Bluehost – is the best web hosting for church websites and one of the most popular hosting providers in the world. The system stands out from the crowd due to its extensive feature set, flexibility, safety, credibility and powerful performance. The platform is a great pick for hosting church websites as it offers multiple features that contribute to the development of this website type:
- WordPress Hosting. Bluehost is officially recommended by the WordPress CMS as the most trusted and affordable hosting provider to store projects created with it.
- Fully-Integrated Marketplace. The hosting provider grants access to the extensive 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.
- Advanced Flexibility and Safety Level. 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.
- High Page Load Speed and Uptime Rates. The hosting provider ensures notable improvement of such parameters as uptime rates and page load speed. 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.
14. Tailor Brands
Tailor Brands – is the best church website design company, which does not only help you start this kind of project, but also contributes to its further development and popularization among the target audience. The system is powered by Artificial Intelligence, which makes it possible to launch quality websites featuring unique brand identity, even if you are not a web design expert. The most impressive Tailor Brands characteristics are:
- Logo Maker Tool. 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 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.
- Fully-Integrated Social Management Platform. The feature 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.
- Tailor Ads Platform. 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 integrated Tailor Ads software.
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, if you wish to explore the system or to design a logo, you can do that at no cost. All in all, the software has three subscriptions. The price of the most affordable solution constitutes $3.99/mo, if billed annually.
Squarespace is the US website builder for church projects, which is included into the list of the most popular web design platforms in the world. The DIY software does not require programming skills, thus, being a nice solution for all user categories. Everyone can set up and run a church website with the system, using the toolset provided by default. This is one of its major advantages. Other benefits are:
- Responsive Customizable Templates. The Squarespace design collection is quite versatile and professional. There is no currently a separate category of church templates here, but you can browse the designs for non-profit organizations. All of them are quality and free.
- Logo Maker. Any church website will look more impressive and trusted with a quality logo that will make it stand out from the crowd. Squarespace Logo Maker lets you create your own logo, using the elements and parameters that are at hand here. If you have a church website logo, by the way, you can upload and customize it here as well.
- Unfold App. Having created a church website, you will, probably, want to popularize it online. The Unfold App lets you do that with ease by creating and posting visually-appealing stories in social networks.
- Location Management Tools. Having a church website is definitely an advantage, but your visitors should also be aware of the physical location of your church. Due to Squarespace location management tools and opportunity of Google Maps embedding, you can add a spot to your website, thus, specifying the address.
- Multilingual Website. The platform allows creating multilingual church websites. There is no need to create separate language variations of your project – just enable the multilingual feature and watch the result.
Squarespace is a popular DIY website builder, which offers reasonable pricing that does not compromise with the range of services offered at this cost. The website builder doesn’t have a free plan, but its 14-day free trial is quite enough to understand what features the system has in stock. The cost of premium subscriptions starts at $12/mo.
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 a place to make donations in a 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 an 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, HostGator and WordPress are the most prospective 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.