The do’s of church web design and development

church website design and development
A website is a church’s home online. When it’s warm and welcoming, a church website is an invaluable tool for a place of worship.

The best church websites:
  • keep current members engaged and informed
  • help attract new people to learn about Jesus
  • enhance a church’s presence in its community—and beyond!
The first step you should take when redesigning your church website is to audit your current site. Review it closely to figure out what’s working (and what’s not).
By assessing your current needs, focusing on the primary purpose of your site, and analyzing where you’re falling short right now, you can create an effective church website design strategy that supports your goals. Keep reading to learn more about the do’s of building a more welcoming website that supports your church’s mission.

Do: Pick functionality that meets your needs

An early step in the church website redesign process involves thinking about what you want your website to do and how it will work.

A big part of that is being realistic about what you need from a content management system.

If you don’t need an original church website design or just need a site that’s easy to edit, you might opt to choose a service that’s designed with novice website owners in mind. Content management systems offered by services like Wix and Squarespace include ready-made templates and require little technical know-how to make edits.

If you want to build a complex website with lots of special features and customizations (e.g., embedding a livestream of your weekly messages on the home page) but don’t have an in-house team of savvy developers, you’ll want to work with a website development partner that’s experienced in church website design. The experts you hire may recommend going with an option developed around the needs of churches, like the Rock RMS—an open source CMS and church relationship management system.
What makes a website functional?
Learn what the pros say

Do: Incorporate user profiles into your church website design

Traders Point Christian Church Website Design TBH Creative interviewed people who attend Traders Point Christian Church to identify the top needs of the church's target audiences. Visit TPCC.org and check out their user-centric church website »
Website personas are the types of people who visit your site.

Your church website persona profiles might include:
  • already committed members of your congregation
  • local residents who’s actively looking for new places of worship
  • recent transplants to the area looking for new church homes
  • people who have never attended a service but are curious about what it’s like
  • folks who volunteer for your church
  • job hunters who are interested in joining your church’s staff
  • out-of-towners looking for a place to worship while visiting your town
Develop your church website personas using traffic data from your website in conjunction with interviews with people who match your target audience. You can use church-goer feedback and website analytics—along with your church’s goals—to create accurate personas that will simplify decision-making during your church website design project.
Reaching the wrong people?
It might be time to edit your copy
Having accurate personas significantly streamlines the church website design and optimization process.

For example, if most of your site visits come from mobile devices, investing in mobile optimization may be a good idea. If your members want to share videos of past sermons with friends and family, you may want to create a searchable archive of your messages. If your parishioners want an easy way to find or connect with each other, you might consider developing a password-protected portal with a membership directory.

Not sure what makes great website content? Start here.

Do: Design an effective, user-friendly interface

If you can’t put your finger on why your church website design “feels” old, it might be the user interface. An outdated user interface often makes a website hard to use. An experienced church website designer can help you create a user-friendly, streamlined user experience that complements your church’s brand.
Pro-tip: Your user interface should be driven by what will help your target audiences use and browse your website efficiently with design elements that engage and “wow!”
If you’re starting a church website design project but can’t quite get there on your own, TBH Creative can help. TBH Creative has more than 15 years of experience helping clients—including churches and other nonprofit organizations—design and maintain functional, engaging, and gorgeous websites.
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Tatum

About the author | Tatum Hindman

Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and collaborating with clients to define and execute online marketing goals. She likes to blog about hot topics in web design and digital marketing, as well as share tips for strengthening your online presence.

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