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.
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.
At the same time, expensive projects might sometimes appear to be of no use and have zero effect, which means hiring custom developers will be a waste of time. This is why we decided to pinpoint some of the crucial steps to creating a church website. You will see all stages of the building process using Wix – a free and easy to use website builder designed for non-technicians.
5 Steps to Make a Church Website for Free
Wix – is a SaaS website builder. It means that it can be accessed right from your browser with no need to download additional software. The key benefit here is that it is extremely easy to use even for pastors who hardly have any technical knowledge, especially in web design or programming.
Secondly, the platform 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.
All you need is to log in and add needed elements to the page. Thirdly, Wix has a free plan, which is great for non-profit organizations eager to save a couple of bucks. As for the building process, prepare to complete the following steps.
Step 1. Sign In
As a SaaS solution, Wix does not call for software download. You only need to have a computer connected to the Internet. Go to the Wix website, press the “Sign In” button, indicate your password and email (you may optionally use social of Google account), and start the building process.
We do hope you already have an active email. If not, we recommend creating a Google account to make the use of free services it delivers including Gmail. You may also use it to log in in the future with no need to type in the password and email all the time.
Step 2. Choose a Template
Wix has a separate layout category with responsive templates that refer to religions, non-profit, and charitable organizations. Simply browse through all available options and pick the one you like. 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. The process is super easy thanks to the built-in drag-and-drop editor.
Step 3. Customization
The next step is to add all the features we have mentioned earlier:
- Homepage – you will have a preset homepage brought to you by the custom template. However, Wix lets you upload new images, copy and paste relevant texts to the sections, change general settings, indicate the website title and description, etc.
- Event Calendar – Wix has a huge selection of widget accessible from its Marketplace. 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.
- 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. The system offers several About Us section layouts.
- 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 has some additional offers with Our Team section layouts. Choose the one with the photos and short descriptions to introduce your workers.
- Contact Page – Wix offers advanced solutions like in addition to Contact Page & Phone widget to create a fully-functional contact feedback page. Or you may use a custom block and simply type in your telephone, email, and address. You might also need to add an on-map location. This is where seamless integration with Google Maps may come in handy. Get the widget, type in the address, and have it displayed on the website.
Step 4. Promote Your Site
Of course, pastors are hardly SEO experts to create and promote content. On the other hand, Wix offers several simple tools to stand out as well as boost your church local SEO.
The control panel provides access to settings where you may indicate keywords, edit page titles and descriptions, change URLs to make them more SEO friendly, etc. Add social buttons to promote your website on social media. Connect a social sharing widget to let your visitors repost content in their social accounts as well.
Step 5. Go Live
If you decide to make a church website for free with Wix, you are supposed to have a domain. In other words, you need to register it separately or opt for a paid Wix plan that offers a 1-year free domain. The bad news about a free plan is that it comes with limited bandwidth and Marketplace access. Forevermore it might be not enough in case you plan to add much content with photos, videos, events, etc.
A better idea is to buy a Combo plan costing only $13 per month. It already includes a 1-year domain with hosting and all major features included in the package. Connect the domain in the website general settings, preview the website ensuring it runs well on mobile devices, and press the “publish” button. Your website is ready to welcome the first visitors.
As you can see, Wix has all necessary instruments to bring all of the essential church website features to life. Just make sure you do not miss the essentials and do not overload your site with useless section that may mislead your potential visitors. Focus on a simple and clear structure with all the discussed blocks included.
Having a church website is good whenever you need to keep your congregation engaged as well as 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.