The Ultimate Guide in Building an Impressive Church Website
Having a church website is unquestionably one of the key things every ministry should think of. In the modern era, there has been a great advancement in the technological use in the global perspective through which internet has become a day to day interaction site. If you are checking on this article, I must be sure that you are in great need of having an impressive church website which not only meets the needs of the other outside users but which meets all that you need.
Why a Church Website?
Research indicate that churches with websites are likely to have more influence online and attract many potential visitors in the future. Its influence might seem small but if you get a note of the necessity of having an impressive church website, you will not hesitate in getting a church website. No ministry is successful without publicity as this is what brings men to God rather than remaining limited in your local area.
As a matter of fact, the Bible indicates itself that we should go out and make disciples all over the world; (And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15 KJV) To be honest, you can never go into all the world without an online platform which connects the global community into your area of location. People even at far locations away from your church can follow up on you through the church website. In addition to this, you can stream your services and activities live to ensure they keep updated.
Church websites are also essential as you will carry out all that you need in your website. Church has several needs ranging from registration of its members to sending out their online sermons. To ease this, a church website will be all that you need to have the best. This is so as you can run all your different needs with just the use of the website. The size of any church should never be a limit of whether you need a church website or not. All churches whether small or large churches will need a church website in one way or the other.
Designing a Church Website
After getting on the need for having a church website, one of the big questions you will have in your mind is; how will we design our church website? Well, do not worry as this is what I am about to introduce to you. My main aim is to ensure that you get all that you need for your ministry growth as well as effectiveness in operations and all the needs you have as a church. Therefore, follow me keenly and thank me later for the benefits you will get through this ultimate guide.
To be frank enough, several churches have websites which have deemed not to be effective. Take a look at this. Church websites, as other websites, require to have an impressive design which your potential visitors and the users enjoy. I will term it as a user-friendly design of the website. The main challenge is this; balancing both the needs of the church with the expectations of the users through optimizations such as ease in accessing, readability, the web design and arrangement affecting the controllability.
You must also be able to distinguish that a church website is quite different from other types of websites ranging from the content, language used, the targeted people, and many other differences. With this, you will get the actual picture of what you need to have an optimized church website design.
This ultimate guide in designing a church website is meant for the following;
- If you need a church website or if you want to improve your church website
- You have no or little coding skills
- You have no or have little formal design education
- You have no or little experience in the industry of web design
Factors used in determining an impressive church website
An impressive church website will target to capture the new visitors on your platform as well as enhance the satisfaction by the previous users. It will communicate much about your ministry hence requires you to have excellence at par. Make the strangers in your website comfortable as you make those on your church through the use of the website. This on effect, will determine on the bounce rate by these new visitors which will either encourage them to come back or never to check on your website again.
There are some of the factors you will use in determining whether your church website is impressive or not. They include;
- Did you consider the design principles while designing the church website?
- What content is needed for your church website?
- How do you write the content of your website
In designing your website, you will need to have the above questions in your mind such that you need to ensure that the design principles in your church website are considered, you get the right content for your website and that the content is written in the right and attractive manner.
The principles in designing the church website are well dealt in this as they are the core issues which will determine the success of your church website. However, you need not to be worried as you don’t have to design the website yourself from scratch. You can make the use of a Church Website Builder which have been one of the most advantageous to most ministries.
Church Website Builder
With a church website builder being one of the part of your design team for your church website, you will be sure of enjoying the results which are aimed at ensuring the efficiency and excellence in your ministry.
One of the main importance of using a church website builder is that they focus only in working on your website through which you get the final product. Church website builders specialize only in this assuring you of receiving the best quality of the church website of your dream. In addition to this, they have much experience which you might be lacking having worked on different types of ministries. All you will need is a communication of what you need for the customization of the church website. Or rather, you can make a selection from the several varieties of designs and looks provided by the church website builders.
Importance of using church website builder
Below are some of the benefits you will enjoy through using church website builder;
- Expertise and excellence – As excellence is inevitable for any successful ministry, it must be one of your objectives even through the design used in your church website. This is so as the excellence in the website will reflect the excellence in your church which might be either an attracting or a discouraging tool to the new visitors. Even if you have no experience or knowledge in website design, church website builders will do this perfectly at your comfort customized as you love it.
- Cost effectiveness – With the several financial needs and constraints in a church, you will be looking forward to making the use of the most cost effective method. Church website builders offer low charges on having your church website in its best shape. You don’t need to have a specific web designer as they will be likely to be more expensive and incur you much costs. With the church website builders, you will just need to follow the general design principles through the use of the pre-designed template after which you do the designing yourself.
The General Designing Principles
The general designing principles will provide you with a guide on accurate and a great way in building a church website from the templates offered and ensuring that your website is up and running. In designing a church website, there are several questions you need to have in mind before choosing a church website builder.
Some of the main questions to ask yourself include;
- Do this church website builder provide free hosting?
- Can the church website builder migrate your old website at no cost?
- Do they offer helpful tutorials which are up-to-date?
- Can you use the church website builder in registering your domain name?
- What support do they provide to the customers?
To get the best church website builder, you will be looking towards the following;
- Hosting - You will require a hosting for your website. The church website builder should provide you with the hosting through which some even come with free hosting services.
- Website migration – In a case that you are changing your hosting service to another, the church website builder you use should provide you with this service.
- Domain registration – This is the address through which the website users will use in getting into your church website. It is advisable to have your domain registration from the hosting company you use. In addition to this, the domain name should reflect the name of the church to make it easy to remember.
- Tutorials – You need a church website builder which provides you with up-to-date instructions such as ‘How to…’ The website design tutorials will provide you with the step by step guidance on carrying out the design for your website.
- Customer support – Sometimes, you might find it very difficult to understand a specific tutorial. With this, having a live customer support will be the solution towards having the ultimate solution in understanding on how to create an impressive church website. This is through the use of either; email, live phone support or through chat options.
Features to be Included in an Impressive Church Website
In designing your church website, there are some common features which characterize every stunning church website. This will ease its maneuverability and efficiency this church website will have on its users. All the users of the website will benefit from the features in the design of the church website who include; new visitors, staff, congregation and volunteers to your ministry.
Below are some of the features to be included in every impressive church website;
Calendar and Events
This is one of the essential features required as it will keep your visitors and your congregation on an up-to-date knowledge of what is happening in the church. On your calendar, you can just use it as the personal calendar through which you just need to add the important dates for your church and on the events of the church. Some of the events to add into the calendar on the church website includes;
- Special Events
- Ministry Related Events such as youth camps, worship experiences, etc.
- Outreach Events
- Social Events
- Bible School Events such as enrollment dates, training dates, certification celebration, etc.
- Seasonal celebrations such as the anniversary
In the current era, almost everyone has an email. As a result, it has become one of the most convenient ways in making personal communications to your congregation as well as your visitors. You will need to have several email addresses for your website in which you can classify them according to the function, job or even the department. Also the pastor’s email should make it easy and remain consistent without changing. All email addresses should be easy to remember with an association with the department as well as the function. You can branch your email addresses as office, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, children’s ministry, youth, counseling, outreach, prayer, Bible school, marriage, and many more as you may love e.g. [email protected] After this, then add your general email address for the church on the contact page which is the email address which appears in the printed materials.
Sermon Builder or Video/Audio Playlist
Posting your sermons online is very beneficial as they are valuable content in which you reach many people, ensuring that the sermons are available to members not present in a particular day, and to reach people who cannot physically attend the church. In addition to this, your members can re-listen later from the website, sharing the sermons and reaching out to visitors through the online platform. The best format to use is the MP3 for the audio files in which one can play and download the files.
This is one of the most important tools of an impressive church website. However, this has been one of the most underused tool in a church website. Blog posts will provide the necessary information and communications the website users need. In addition to this, it is also a tool of adding value to the congregation through which they can do further bible studies from the blogs. Some of the blogs you may consider for this case include;
- Bible Study
- About us
- Social events
- Church news and announcements
In addition to this, your users can comment on the posts and provide feedback on each blog post in the website bringing the community together. With the blogs, your website will rank easily and bring in new visitors easily as some people will search on some information just to get it on your website.
Donations and Tithing
With the technological improvements, there has been an in increase in paying of tithes and donations to churches through the online platforms. To enable this, you will add a donation and tithing button on your church website as many people use the digital payment methods and hence they can participate on your projects as well as any donations they make in the online platform.
Your new members will love it if they can get to the church with a full guide just in their smartphones. With the use of the Google Maps, you can add the location of your church in the Google calendar. Upon sharing the Google calendar, you will also share the Google maps which will give the new visitors the guidance to your church.
Web Pages in Church Website
Lastly in the design of your church website, you will need to divide the website into several website pages. These include the tabs which will be available in your website which will allow the ease in maneuvering around the website. Ensure that you use the common names for these web pages in which they include the following;
- About Us
- Contact Us
You can also add other pages if they will be significant but avoid having too much web pages in your website which might be insignificant. Below these web pages you can then add the sub pages in the drop-down menu.
The Best Church Website Builder
Having the appropriate church website builder will determine to a great extent the way you enjoy the efficiency in designing your church website. This is so due to the ease of customizing your website depending on how you love it best. However, I am sure that you might have a big dilemma and question ticking in your mind on which is the best church website builder to use.
Do not worry, this is the reason, I had to provide you with this amazing guide. With interaction and experience on several church website builders, I came to a conclusion of one best church website builder which I am not only the person who loved it but it has had much popularity from different users. This is evident through its reviews and ratings which indicate the satisfaction it has on its several users.
Let me carry you through a guide of understanding the Thrives Themes church website builder and why is it the best option for your case.
Thrive Themes Church Website Builder
Thrive Themes church website builder will be the ultimate solution in ensuring that you have an impressive church website. One of its main reason it has been loved is due to its highly respected feature of the WordPress theme developer.
What is Thrive Themes?
This is a WordPress software development company whose main objective is developing the WordPress Themes and Plugins for conversion. In addition to this, it addresses on all the limitations of the WordPress editor for ease in creating content and creating the content creatively. As a result of this, there was an introduction of the Thrive Content Builder which is currently termed ad Thrive Architect.
Thrive Architect is the current most advanced builders of for WordPress today.
With the increase in the range of its products, it has gained much popularity and most people love using it in building impressive church website currently. It features the following product which enhance the optimal creation of an impressive church website;
- WordPress Themes – It features several WordPress themes which include Rise and FocusBlog which are easy to configure and use and free from the unnecessary bells and whistles.
- WordPress Plugins – It comes with several WordPress plugins which you can get through purchasing on a Thrive membership basis or purchase them separately. An example is the Thrive Leads plugin for conversion and building solution.
- Thrive Architect – It is a WordPress page builder which is one of the best in the market currently. It gives the actual WYSIWYG editor such that you can see the page in the real-life on design mode.
Benefits of using Thrive Themes Church Website Builder
There are several benefits in using Thrive Themes. They include the following;
- Contain lifetime updates after installing to ensure you are up-to-date.
- A one-stop shop as it features all tools you need for building your impressive church website. You will stick with Thrive Themes with its plugins and themes as a reliable developer.
- Tutorials and customer support which is very great to ensure that its customers get easy in using this church website builder.
- Features the Thrive University which gives you different courses which move deeper in even creating of church website rather than the use of Thrive Themes only.
- You can get your own copy of Thrive Themes today for as low as $19 a month and this comes with a plethora of plugins such as : Thrive Leads, Thrive Ovation, Thrive Architect, Thrive Ultimatum and so much more.
- .You can also get the stand alone plug in of Thrive Architect for only $67 one time charge.
If you have been looking forward to having the best impressive church website, I hope that the above ultimate guide gives you the needs you were looking for. I recommend you to use Thrive Themes which will give you all that you need in designing the best church website you have been looking for. Following my experience with Thrive Themes, I must assure you that indeed you have made the sure decision in choosing it as your church website builder.