Church Website Design Tips

By William L. Nowell

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Anatomy of a Church Website

Homepage

Every website needs a homepage. The homepage is much like the front cover of a magazine. It should give an overview of the sites' contents without going into detail.

Visitors' Page

The visitor's page must not be taken lightly. You want to make your visitors feel welcomed. A brief welcome message with a call to action (e.g. come visit us) from the pastor/church leader is a good starting point.

Next, visitors need to know your service times and how to find you. Give them the following information.
  • Times of all services
  • Complete address
  • Phone number
  • Email address and/or contact form
  • Directions (Google maps are very helpful)
  • Picture of your church building

In addition, for many newcomers, their first visit can be a rather intimidating experience. You can put your visitors at ease by giving them information about the following items.

  • Amount of parking space
  • Special accommodations for young children
  • Order of the service
  • Congregation demographics
    • Ethnic mix
    • Predominate age group
    • Socioeconomic status
  • Length of the service (yes, length matters)

About Us Page

Consider listing your service times and address again on the About Us page. Of course, this page need not be called "About Us". Feel free to use your creativity to come up with a more compelling title. This page is a good place to give a brief biographical sketch of the pastor and possibly other key persons. This is also a good place to tell others how they can get involved.

It is also important to state your beliefs. A special "What We Believe" page is the perfect place for this. It's best to avoid Christian jargon as this will put off some people, and others simply will not understand it. Clear communication is the key to an effective website.

Contact Page

This page should have complete and comprehensive contact information. In addition to contact information listed elsewhere on the site, this page should also contain contact information for other key persons such as the youth director.

Miscellaneous Pages/Information

Archive of Sermon Podcasts

Buzzsprout makes it quick and easy for pastors to podcast sermons without having any special technical knowledge. Sermon podcasts are an excellent resource for:

  • The sick and shut-in
  • Anyone who missed a service
  • The larger community outside of your local neighborhood

Resources and Links Pages

Online bibles and bible study tools make excellent resources. I highly recommend placing a link to Bible Gateway. This is an outstanding tool for reading and researching scripture online. It allows the user search the scriptures in over 100 versions and 50 languages. The side-by-side comparison of multiple translations is an especially useful feature. It also provides audio bibles, reading plans, and much more.

Many Christians in the Americas are unaware of the extreme persecution that Christians in other nations face everyday. Links to sites such as Persecution.com will be eye-opening for many.

Also, consider linking to educational resources and various ministries. The World Wide Web contains a wealth of uplifting materials. Your Resources page is a great way to point your congregation and site visitors to that material.

Online giving

Show your online giving details.

Pastors' Blog

Do you have lots to say? Then a blog might be right for you.

Youth/Children's Page

Do you have a vibrant youth/children's program? If so, you can showcase your program here.