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How to Create a Church Website

How to Create a Church Website for Free

With the rapid Internet involvement and society digitization, 96% of pastors use computers and devices to enter the global web. It is not surprising non-profitable and charitable organizations also want to be represented online. For example, a church website ensures a wider outreach as well as the ability to bring more people to the community. What’s more important, such an approach will ensure more visitors through the church doors months after months.

The key problem here is that most organizations and religious communities are afraid of dealing with the building process, considering it as too complicated and expensive. Churches that have sites were forced to pay thousands of dollars when hiring development teams without knowing there is a free solution to create a church website from scratch.

Wix – The Best Website Builder for Churches

Product Name:WIX
Official Website:https://wix.com
Founded:2006
Church Templates:12
Complexity:Very easy
Free plan:Yes
Paid plan:From $13/mo

Wix – is the best website builder for churches, which stands out from the crowd due to its simplicity, intuitive web design approach, user-friendliness and convenience for everyone. The system is a great pick for beginners as well as for web design experts as its use does not require any coding awareness. This matters a lot, when it comes to running church websites.

Wix Features

The website builder looks more flexible if compared to church-specialized website builders. Wix boasts a richer feature set, which lets you go beyond a brick-to-mortar structure and build a more engaging site at lower cost.

Wix Dashboard

Wix has a huge selection of widgets accessible from its Marketplace. The list includes numerous event apps in addition to countdown timers (a good encouragement instrument), reminders, simple calendars, event viewers, and more. Pick the one you like and add it to the page you need. There is also an opportunity to integrate the Sermon Player into your website to streamline church sermons for people, who cannot be present at them because of different reasons. Likewise, the player allows broadcasting recorded meetings and church-related events for the congregation members, who have missed them.

The platform comes with an integrated blogging engine that lets you connect a blog to your website to encourage user interaction and a free forum app, which also contributes to more effective communication between the members. What’s more, Wix offers multilingual support that makes it possible to run a church website in several languages with regard to the audience targeted.

Wix Designs

When it tackles the web design process, Wix grants access to a number of church and religion templates available in its free collection. All of them are mobile-ready and absolutely customizable to come up to the needs of users. There is also an opportunity to choose a blank theme to start a church website from scratch. The only thing is that you won’t be able to switch between the templates, if there is anything you are not satisfied with in the selected design.

Speaking about design customization, Wix has much to offer equally to beginners and to web design pros. To be precise, it has two web editing options – Wix ADI tool for non-coders, which allows starting websites in the automated mode, and Standard Editor that lets you create a church website from scratch editing it on your own. Both options are quite convenient and understandable.

Wix Cost

Wix unveils an opportunity to start a church website with a free plan to test the integrated functionality of the system and to improve your skills. Free subscription can be used for the unlimited period of time yet it is not enough to launch a full-featured web project with it. To get access to high end Wix features, consider an opportunity to upgrade to one of the following subscriptions:

Website Wix Plans

  • Combo ($14/mo) – 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage space, 30 minutes of videos, free SSL Certificate, 24/7 customer care, absence of system ad banners, free domain name connection for 1 year, custom domain;
  • Unlimited ($18/mo) – 2GB bandwidth, 10GB storage space, 1 hour of videos, Site Booster App (free for 1 year), Visitor Analytics App (free for 1 year), $300 ad vouchers;
  • Pro ($23/mo) – 20GB storage space, 2 hours of videos, professional logo, social media logo files, Events Calendar App (free for 1 year), unlimited bandwidth etc.;
  • VIP ($39/mo) – first priority support, 35GB storage space, 5 video hours etc.

Business/eCommerce Plans

  • Business Basic ($23/mo) – 20GB storage space, 5 video hours, $300 ad voucher, secure online payments, custom domain name, free domain for 1 year, customer accounts, no Wix ads, unlimited bandwidth, plans and recurring payments, 24/7 customer support;
  • Business Unlimited ($27/mo) – 10 video hours, 35GB storage space, business development tools etc.;
  • Business VIP ($49/mo) – availability of the complete Wix Suite, 50GB storage space, customized reports, unlimited video hours, unlimited bandwidth, priority support.

The website builder lets first-timers save big, when opting for its plans. Users can get the 50% discount, when buying the plans from Tuesday to Thursday. This is a weekly offer. For those subscribers, who are not satisfied with the terms of the plans they have purchased, Wix has a 14-day money-back policy that lets you get the invested sum back.

Summary

When it comes to church website development, Wix proves to be the top solution to try. The website builder offers niche-specific church and non-profit templates, multiple free and paid widgets, opportunity to integrate a Sermon Player and affordable pricing to comply with the needs of the majority of users.

WordPress – Free Platform for a Church Website

Product Name:WordPress
Official Website:https://wordpress.org
Founded:2003
Church Templates:Dozens of themes
Complexity:Complex
Free plan:Completely free
Paid plan:Paid themes and hosting

WordPress – is a free platform for a church website, the use of which requires preliminary system download and installation. This is a globally-popular Content Management System, which lets you start all types of church projects, making use of its powerful integration options. Mind, however, that it takes effort and time to master the CMS, especially for beginners.

WordPress Features

WordPress stands out from the crowd due to its abundant choice of free/paid plugins. Many of them are available in stock here yet many more can be found and integrated on the web. When browsing the Internet, you can come across multiple plugins that are specially developed for church websites by third-party web designers. Some of them include Sermon Manager, Give – Donation Plugin, Layerslider, All On One Event Calendar, Simple Calendar, Fundraising Platform and more. There are also plugins that ensure more active user interaction as well as those meant for quality video/image display to allow for live and recorded sermons streaming.

WordPress dashboard

As a CMS, WordPress requires hosting/domain name connection as it does not offer integration options in this respect. The best solution for WordPress website hosting is Bluehost, which comes with a variety of tools/features available in stock. The system is also affordable for everyone, offering cheap rates to match users’ requirements.

WordPress Designs

The CMS boasts an impressive selection of church templates designed by third-party developers. The themes are free and paid as well with the latter being more secure because of the reduced malware threat. To customize the selected theme, you will surely require at least baseline HTML/CSS skills, especially if you expect to avail personalized website design.

As to website customization, WordPress lets you either edit the design in the Gutenberg Editor or switch to the Standard Editor, which is more complicated. It’s up to a user to pick the option that complies with his/her requirements, skills and preferences most.

WordPress Cost

WordPress is a free CMS. Its download and installation won’t cost you anything at all as well as standard system use. To get access to more powerful features and to go live with your project you’ll have to pick and integrate paid plugins, the cost of which differs with regard to the terms and complexity offered. Additionally, you will have to pay for website hosting and domain name to make the project accessible by the target audience. As mentioned above, Bluehost will work best here. Its cheapest plan will cost you $2.95/mo only.

Summary

WordPress is a globally-known CMS that works great for church website creation. The software grants an opportunity to choose and integrate niche-related plugins and designs that will let you get the most out of your church project performance. However, it takes time and skills to master the platform and to run feature-rich websites with it.

uKit – The Easiest Website Builder for Church

Product Name:uKit
Official Website:https://ukit.com
Founded:2015
Church Templates:1
Complexity:Very easy
Free plan:Free 14-day trial
Paid plan:From $4/mo

uKit – is the easiest website builder for church websites, which has won user attention due to its intuitive web design approach, powerful integrated functionality, convenience and affordability. Created with a small business focus in mind, uKit is now extensively used to run all types of web projects, including those for religious and non-profit organizations. One of the undeniable highlights of the system is absence of coding basics required to launch a quality feature-laden website.

uKit Features

To let you start a quality church website, uKit allows browsing and integrating functional widgets available in its collection of extensions. There is an opportunity to pick and use such widgets as Social Networking Buttons, Timer, User Comments, Timeline, Callback, Live Chat and more depending upon your project requirements. Integration of social network accounts is also possible here to keep your target audience aware of your recent church-related news, events, updates and other useful info.

ukit dashboard

The website builder unveils multiple video and image integration/editing options. There is an opportunity to create and manage photo collections here, set video backgrounds, embed video files from dersatiole video sources (like Vimeo or YouTube, for example) and set up their display parameters in the corresponding widget etc.

Due to the integrated blogging engine, uKit lets you connect a blog to your church website and to update it when required to initiate and support user communication. The system also offers an opportunity to grant shared website access rights to manage/update a project with a team of other members.

uKit Designs

uKit has quite an extensive template collection yet it has only one church theme available for customizable there. That’s not a problem, however, as you can pick and edit any other theme that corresponds to your project requirements most. Likewise, there is an opportunity to customize a blank website design from scratch to create a truly unique church project. All uKit templates are free and responsive by default. If needed, you can switch to another theme on any stage of the design customization procedure without losing the submitted content.

uKit Cost

Along with being one of the easiest DIY website builders, uKit has also distinguished itself as one of the most cost-effective platforms. There is no free plan here yet each subscriber has an opportunity to test the required plan at no cost during the 14-day trial. For those users, who are ready to subscribe for a paid plan, uKit has several options to choose from:

  • Minimal ($4/mo) – unlimited page number and disk storage space, SMS notifications, backup, custom domain name connection, over 200 professional templates, 24/7 support;
  • Basic ($8/mo) – Google Analytics, no copyright sign, powerful statistics tracking tools, live chat support, premium designs;
  • eCommerce ($9.60/mo) – integrated eCommerce tools, acceptance of online payments, shopping cart settings, currency choice, payment/shipping options;
  • Pro ($12/mo) – eCommerce functionality, custom code integration, custom color scheme application etc.

The website builder lets you save big, when getting a paid plan. The longer period you subscribe to, the bigger the discount will be.By making a one-time payment for 3, 6, 12 or 24 months, you can save up to 30% of the initial cost.

Summary

uKit is a feature-laden cloud website builder that can be effectively used for church project creation. The system is known for its high quality responsive templates, abundance of integrable widgets, design customization tools, affordable pricing and stunning simplicity. These are only some of the features that make the system a worthy pick for beginners and web design pros.

Nucleus – Christian Church Website Builder

Product Name:Nucleus
Official Website:https://nucleus.church
Founded:2016
Church Templates:Multiple themes
Complexity:Average
Free plan:Free 30-day trial
Paid plan:From $39/mo

Nucleus – is the all-in-one Christian church website builder, which offers a broad spectrum of niche templates, design customization tools and features that are a must, when it comes to the development of this type of project. The platform is not quite easy to master as it takes time to get used to its performance.

Nucleus Features

The website builder has everything a church needs to create the online community. Availability of the integrated Sermon Engine makes it possible to send, organize and view messages sent directly via the website. There is also a possibility to work with the built-in online form generator, which is used in combination with the submissions dashboard to create and integrate different types of forms and to instantly send them to church leaders by email.

nucleus editor

Nucleus also boasts a high end Giving feature that lets you make and manage online donations with the lowest processing rates in the industry. You won’t have to lose 1-3% of every digital donation made via the website. Instead, the system will independently cover all fees that are generally associated with the online giving process. These include security and compliance fees, donations, chargebacks etc. The integrated Nucleus Giving Saving Calculator will help you find out the sum you can save in your particular situation.

Nucleus media is another highlight of the website builder, which grants access to multiple social media resources to create posts specially designed for churches. Versatile cinematic worship backgrounds, Photoshop & After Effects templates, motion titles, countdown timers 4K stock footage shot with the church topic in mind – these are only a few options that can bring your church website design to the brand new level.

Other Nucleus advantages include online calendar, blog, Google fonts, button creation option, video and audio player, availability of message notes, image uploads, schedule cards, image transformer, custom domains, live chat support, code injection, easy favicon set up, and 30-minute strategy sessions.

Nucleus Designs

Nucleus offers a collection of single-click templates you can pick and customize with a few simple steps. An integrated drag-and-drop editor contributes to the ease of project customization, being a nice pick for non-coders. No deep coding skills are required to launch and run church projects with the system. This lets pastors and church members independently manage websites on a regular basis without any extra third-party assistance.

Nucleus Cost

Nucleus is not a cheap website builder. There is a 30-day free trial that does not require any credit card data to test the system. After your trial is over, you’ll be offered to choose the right plan for you. Here are the options to choose from:

  • Minimal ($4/mo) – unlimited page number and disk storage space, SMS notifications, backup, custom domain name connection, over 200 professional templates, 24/7 support;
  • Basic ($8/mo) – Google Analytics, no copyright sign, powerful statistics tracking tools, live chat support, premium designs;
  • eCommerce ($9.60/mo) – integrated eCommerce tools, acceptance of online payments, shopping cart settings, currency choice, payment/shipping options;
  • Pro ($12/mo) – eCommerce functionality, custom code integration, custom color scheme application etc.

Summary

Nucleus is a specialized church website builder, the entire integrated functionality of which is centered around the development of this project type. The system comes with single-click page templates, integrated Sermon Engine, advanced Giving feature, blog connection option, cinematic worship backgrounds and multiple social media resources. That’s everything a user needs to get started with a quality church website.

Sharefaith – Easy to Use Church Website Builder

Product Name:Sharefaith
Official Website:https://sharefaith.com
Founded:2016
Church Templates:Multiple themes
Complexity:Average
Free plan:Free trials
Paid plan:From $25/mo

Sharefaith – is an easy-to-use church website builder, which has over 15 years of history and deserves the attention of millions of users worldwide. The platform has partnered with around 100000 globally to help them expand their outreach in order to proclaim the Bible values. They use cutting-edge media and technology resources to enable ministry teams reach their goals. The platform is quite easy to use for everyone yet it may take time to master and test all the tools available in stock here.

Sharefaith Features

The software allows broadcasting sermons by means of integrating video/audio players. The option does not only let users watch live broadcasts, but it also allows them to download the sermons they would like to save on their mobile/desktop devices. Sharefaith comes with the integrated email+calendar feature, which makes it possible to share crucial church news, events, updates and schedules of upcoming sermons with the congregation.

sharefaith editor

Sharefaith grants access to the updated collection of church graphics and worship media including Powerpoint presentations, church motion graphics, countdown timers, worship backgrounds, flyers, bulletins, kids videos, newsletters and many more.

The system comes with an opportunity to accept online donations for your church development and it also offers multiple outreach options. These include Sunday School Lessons, Kids Vacation Bible School, Kids Scheduler and more.

Sharefaith Designs

The website builder offers a collection of free and responsive church website templates you can customize with regard to the needs and requirements of your congregation. Some users, however, may find the themes quite simple but that does not matter a lot for the majority of subscribers. What matters most is the diversity of features and tools you can use to create a truly unique website look. The integrated drag-and-drop editor eliminates the need for code.

Sharefaith Cost

Sharefaith is not a cheap platform as well. You can test some of its features or the entire system for free during a trial period. To get access to premium tools and ro go live with your project, go ahead to upgrade to one of the following subscriptions:

  • Media (starts at $25/mo) – 90,000 church media & graphics, bulletins, fyers & newsletters, worship backgrounds & church videos, social media graphics, church graphics editor, giving integration etc.;
  • Kids (starts at $35/mo) – videos, slideshows & curriculum, activity pages & family devotionals, Sunday School scheduler & VBS, kids worship videos, Pre-K, comics, & Spanish videos, full media membership, VBS available Kids/Suite yearly plans etc;
  • Web + Media (starts at $50/mo) – church websites + 3 subdomains, free hosting & lifetime phone support, unlimited template switching, giving integration, lifetime premium support, full media membership, Website Migration option etc.;
  • Sharefaith Suite (starts at $79/mo) – full media membership, full kids membership, full website membership + mobile app, lifetime premium support, kids essentials content, website migration option, Online Giving etc.

Summary

Sharefaith is the all-in-one church worship and outreach platform that allows starting, managing and updating quality church projects. The system grants access to multiple tools and industry features, which, however, are too niche-focused to provide freedom of actions and to start a large-scale website. This prevents Sharefaith from being a trusted choice for church website creation.

4 Steps to Make a Church Website for Free

Step 1. Sign Up for the System

Wix website builder - sign in

The very first step to start a quality church website is to choose a suitable web design platform and to sign up for it. This is usually done with a few clicks only. The first option is to fill out the registration form, indicating your login and password credentials. The second option is to sign up via social network accounts you already have. Both solutions are simple, quick and hassle-free for everyone.

Step 2. Choose a Template

Before you proceed to the web design process, you will have to pick a template that corresponds to your church requirements and special preferences. Most systems have separate layout categories with responsive templates that refer to religions, non-profit, and charitable organizations. Simply browse through all available options and pick the one you like.

wix church template

As a rule, templates already have integrated blocks you may need in the future. At the same time. You are free to change the structure and add extra elements, rearrange existing ones and more. If you don;’ manage to find a niche design, you can go for a blank template to create a unique church website design from scratch.

Step 3. Customization

The next step is to add must-have features that will enhance your project performance. The most crucial of them include:

  • Homepage – you will have a preset homepage brought to you by the custom template. However, you will also be able to upload new images, copy and paste relevant texts to the sections, change general settings, indicate the website title and description etc. depending upon the integrated functionality of the platform.
  • Wix church homepage editor

  • Widgets – You can integrate special widgets/plugins to your church website, choosing the form the collection the system has in stock. The list includes numerous event apps in addition to countdown times (a good encouragement instrument), reminders, simple calendars, event viewers, and more. Pick the one you like and add it to the page you need.
  • wix app market

  • About Us Block – You may either use a preset About Us section that comes with your template as well as pick another block from the list in the dashboard with another design and format. This depends upon your platform parameters.
  • Wix about us section

  • Our Stuff – Once again, the template you choose may come with a ready-to-use section that describes your staff. At the same time, the blocks collection of the service you have chosen may come with some additional offers that tackle the Our Team section layouts. Choose the one with the photos and short descriptions to introduce your church members.
  • Wix our team section

  • Contact Page – To enlist your church contacts and to create a fully-functional contact feedback page, you should fill out the Contact Page. You might also need to add an on-map location. This is where seamless integration with Google Maps may come in handy. Check out other options your system has in stock.
  • Wix contact info

Step 4. Go Live

Before you go live with your church website, you’ll need to pick a subscription to upgrade to. This is the best way to obtain hosting and domain name all in one place. As soon as you are done with the choice, preview the website ensuring it runs well on mobile devices, and press the “publish” button. Your website is ready to welcome the first visitors.

Reasons for the Church to Create a Website

Before we get closer to the building process, we need to clarify a few things. Do pastors understate the importance of having a church website? What benefits will it bring? How will it help to keep the community engaged? To understand the importance of the procedure, let’s find out the key benefits for the church to have a site.

Reason 1 – Donations and Contribution

A website offers new opportunities in terms of raising funds. Churches now have a secure and legal way to benefit from charitable contributions as well as receive digital donations. As we have stated before, global digitization makes a huge effect on all transactions we process daily.

According to the latest stats, 60% of visitors are ready to donate, while almost half of all churches let visitors contribute using credit cards. A church website will make it easier to process those funds, while the congregation will have a simpler and faster way to donate despite the location or time.

Reason 2 – Introduction to the Public

Another crucial reason is a chance for the church leadership to be introduced to the public. Make the most of your website and highlight some of the most popular programs, services or events. Let your community dive deep into how you actually interact with the church-goers, what kind of services you provide, etc.

Some visitors are embarrassed to visit the church for the first time, A website will make them feel a bit more comfortable, as they already have necessary insights when visiting the place on their own. As a result, we have a factor of encouragement.

Reason 3 – Share Your Events Online

The days of paper calendars and brochures are gone. They are hardly worth that money considering faster and simpler ways of info distribution. Churches no longer need to spend thousands of dollars on printed materials.

A website makes it easy to share upcoming events and gatherings via various channels including social networks, digital communities, etc. On the one hand, you keep your congregation acknowledged. On the other hand, you save money and widen the church recognition on the web.

Reason 4 – Keep the Community Engaged

Every visitor is eager to make his or her contribution to the community. People want to participate in a church’s life in any way. For example, you need to have the roof repaired and fail to fix it on your own. Helpful info about serving opportunities on the website will let you find a person ready to lend a hand.

It is not about asking for help. The main idea is to encourage volunteers and community members ready to share or help. A website makes it easy to keep the congregation informed about the serving missions as well as upcoming events.

Reason 5 – Involvement in the Learning Process

A church website allows increasing the involvement in religious learning. For example, you may use the platform to invite more people to join prayer groups as well as participate in open Bible studies. Every community member will be able to pick a program or activity to take part in right on the website.

To bring such a concept to life, you might need to hire a development team, consider the website complexity or opt for a cheaper, faster, and easier option in the face of Wix. The system is more functional and flexible for compared to church building websites that are sometimes pretty limited with features or tools to implement. Moreover, they do not offer much in terms of design and customization apart from Wix.

The Bottom Line

Having a church website is good whenever you need to keep your congregation engaged as well as to attract more visitors to the church doors. With modern technologies, there is no need to hire third-party developers and pay thousands of dollars.

Wix comes as a comprehensive solution with enough tools to implement all core features a church site should have. Moreover, it has a free plan for projects with a registered domain. It is very easy to use with relatively cheap Premium plans for those who want to have all features in one place.

WordPress is the best CMS to be used for church website creation. The software stands out from the crowd due to its powerful plugin integration and design customization options. They let you get the most out of the web design process. However, get ready to invest your time and effort to master WordPress properly.

uKit is one of the simplest and the most reasonably priced DIY website builders. Its use does not require coding proficiency or web design background. Even a beginner can independently handle the web design process here.

Nucleus and Sharefaith are specialized church website builders that are used solely with this goal. They deliver an extensive range of niche-related tools, features, integrations and designs that will help you start a feature-rich project. At the same time, their functionality is too narrow to run a truly large-scale project.

When looking for a trusted church website builder, you have an opportunity to choose from several popular platforms. Each of them has something to offer to its subscribers yet there are also special nuances users should consider when making a final choice. Thus, it makes sense to review the platforms listed above to make the best solution.

Howard

About the Author

I'm Howard Steele, the founder and editor-in-chief of this website. With over 10 years of web building I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person. Can’t decide which service to choose? Feel free to ask me for advice. Just describe your website needs, and I’ll gladly help you.

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