Are you wondering how to create a church website? Having one can help build a church and grow its online presence, legitimacy, and outreach. It can also be a great way to build community with members, share events, services, and activities, and share your convictions and theology.
However, creating a website can also feel overwhelming—there’s design, UX/UI, and content to consider, to name a few. So, if you’re ready to start creating your church website, this article will help you learn how to secure a domain, choose a platform, find a host, and more.
I’ll also take a look at some church website software that will help you design, develop, and launch your site.
- What is a Church Website?
- Why are Websites Important for Churches?
- What to Include in a Church Website
- How To Build A Great Church Website In 6 Steps
- How To Create A Free Church Website
- Church Website Builder Software
What is a Church Website?
At its core, a church website is just like any other website—a collection of web pages and related content typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose. But that’s not to say your website is the same as every other site out there. As such, it’s essential to ask yourself this question before you get started: What’s the purpose or goal of your site?
Since church websites aren’t about selling a product or service but rather about building community and informing others, elements will need to be tweaked. In that vein, instead of sales pages and testimonials, your site might feature details like a mission video, a contact form, or an about us page.
So be sure to think about the purpose of your church and what you want your site to accomplish before you dive into the creation and development of your site.
Why are Websites Important for Churches?
Websites are essential for churches for many reasons. One of which is that, in today’s world, websites are a vital way for people to communicate with and learn about organizations. Websites are also an easy way to keep communication lines open with members and nonmembers, as this is all done electronically rather than over the phone.
And lastly, websites are also convenient places to host videos, events, and calendars. Instead of having to send out all those items separately and in different formats, they can all live on your site in one convenient location.
What to Include in a Church Website
- About Us/What we believe: After establishing a home page, an about us page is an area where you can talk about your convictions as a church, your theology, and how your church came to be.
- Leadership: If you want people to learn more about your pastor and other staff members, a leadership page is an excellent place to get to know them.
- Sermons/media: According to research, 17.6 million people who don’t attend worship services regularly still visit the website of their place of worship to participate online. Offering a place where people can watch or listen to past sermons is a great way to improve your online reach.
- Events: If your church hosts regular events for the community, a website is a perfect place to advertise for them and keep them in people’s minds.
- Contact page: if people have questions or want to reach out about anything, a contact page is where they'll go. Having a clear and creative-looking page will entice new visitors to reach out.
Interested in starting your church website and need a design crash course? The Lead Pastor has compiled a list of church website designs based on how engaging and intuitive the website design is for site visitors.
How To Build A Great Church Website In 6 Steps
Now that you know what to create and how to make it look good, you need a few concrete steps to take your site from an idea to reality. Follow this step-by-step guide for beginners to help you as you start planning your church website.
- Secure a Domain: Start by choosing a domain name that reflects your church's name or mission. Then, you can register your domain name through a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap. This usually costs a small monthly fee to secure. It also ensures no one else takes the name of your site.
- Choose A Platform: Many website platforms are available, such as WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. Choose a platform that is user-friendly and suits your church's needs. Many platforms include tutorials to help you along the way. Often, these sites also have premium versions that can help you with some design and development roadblocks, and they differ in terms of which functionalities and services they offer to users. The best ones include drag-and-drop page editing, built-in SEO, templates and layouts, and more.
- Find a Host: Once you can secure a domain and choose a platform, you must find a host. A web host will store your website's files and make them accessible online. You can choose from web hosting providers like Bluehost, SiteGround, and HostGator.
- Web Design & Development: You can choose a pre-designed church website template or create a custom design for your church website. Consider including important information like service times, events, and contact information. While in the church website design process, also remember to maintain brand consistency. Don’t switch up colors, fonts, and graphic treatments. Plugins can offer many capabilities that can be difficult to develop such as tithing management, online giving and online donation management, live streaming, events calendars, content management, and more.
- Add Content: Add photos, videos, and audio recordings to your website to make it more engaging and interactive. A blog can be a great way to share sermons, announcements, and important information with your church members. In addition, many people access the internet on mobile devices, so make sure your website is optimized for mobile users.
- Launch! With all the hard work done, your site is ready for launch! Spread the word about your church website by sharing it on social media, adding it to your church's email signature, and including it in printed materials.
How To Create A Free Church Website
Creating a church site doesn’t have to be costly. There are plenty of website builders, but the best website builder for churches is free Wix. There are some noticeable development differences between the free and premium versions, but it is a great way to save money while still making a creative and engaging site.
Secondly, your site will need images, which usually cost money if they aren’t yours. So make sure only to use royalty-free images. These are images that the public can use for free. Search a wide range of ideas through iStock.
And lastly, as you’re designing your site, be sure to select the basic formatting templates. The advanced ones, while visually engaging, often cost more money to use. However, you can create a great site with the “basic” formats.
Church Website Builder Software
Are you looking for helpful website builder software? The Lead Pastor has some resources for you there, too. Read about church website builder software to learn more about your software options as you build your church website.
What’s Next For Your Website?
Creating a website for your church can be a rewarding way to connect with your congregation and share important information with the community. And you can make it creative, clear, and compelling in plenty of ways.
Looking to create a church website but still need some support? Let us know any questions you have in the comments section below!
Are you interested in learning about other ways to grow your church? The Lead Pastor is your go-to resource when running your church. Subscribe to The Lead Pastor newsletter today!