Browse
Evaluating Your Church Website

Evaluating Your Church Website

Posted April 20, 2015 by Jerod Clark

Websites are a non-negotiable piece of your church’s communications plan. While some churches have sites that are vibrant and thriving, others still struggle just to get a minimal site online. Regardless of size or skill level, here are a few key areas where you can audit your website and look for areas to make your online presence better.

Content

Is it helpful or is it filler? Many times there’s an urge to fill space or mention every single thing your church is doing. Content needs a reason to exist. If it’s important enough to be on the website, spend the time to make the content compelling and useful.

Are the images moving the story forward? Many church websites lack enough photos of their real members. But just adding pictures willy-nilly is a problem, too. Choose images that are relevant to the content they accompany. Use photos as parts of your storytelling and not just add-ons.

Example: Risen Church - Santa Monica, CA

Example: Cornerstone Community Church - Wildamor, CA

What’s the call to action? Once I’ve seen something on your website, tell me what to do next. Be intentional about creating ways for people to learn more, connect deeper or become more involved.

Example: Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church - Atlanta, GA

Can I easily keep up with updates? Churches often take on too much when designing a new site. Think about what’s realistic to update on a week-to-week basis. The truth is, many parts of a church website can be static content that is updated less frequently.  It’s better to have fewer areas that are always up-to-date than a site that’s less reliable in accuracy of information.

 

Organization

Can I clearly get where I’m trying to go? Good websites make navigation easy and intuitive. Think about the type of people visiting your site and what they’re trying to find. Make it clear where they should click to get their answers.

Is the site cluttered? Resist the urge to pack too much onto one page. It’s good to have open space. Grouping content into chunks of information makes it easier for people to scan and consume.

Example: The Village Church - Flower Mound, TX

Overall look

Does it represent who we are in person? As the front door of your church, your website should give a good view of who your church is and what you believe. Someone who comes to your site shouldn’t be shocked by what they find when they visit in person. Consider color, language, ambiance and images. If you’re an artsy church, it should be clear. If you’re more traditional, that should come through. This is all about being true to who you are.

Example: James River Church - Ozark, MO

Is it on trend with basic expectations of website design? Long gone are the days of being cool just for having a website. As technology is more prevalent in our lives, so are the expectations of how a website looks and functions. If someone came to your site, is it clear you’re investing in keeping it up to date in design and content? Besides the sites featured in this post, you can also see more great examples at Church Relevance

Example: The Father's House - Rochester, NY

Is it functional on mobile? More than half of Americans and Canadians have smartphones. Increasingly more people are using their mobile devices as their primary web surfing tools. On top of that, Google is changing search results based on the mobile friendliness of websites. How does your site look and function on these devices? Consider responsive design, which formats your site to work well on any device regardless of screen size. (Read more about responsive design here.)

Example: Park Street Church - Boston, MA

Full Site

Mobile

(The header image of this blog post features the website of Abundant Living Faith Center in El Paso, TX.)

Filed under: Communications, Website, Design/Layout, Mobile

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (1)

  • Eric Dye
    4:41 AM
    Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Great points and AWESOME examples!

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Marketing Is Not a Bad Word
Marketing Is Not a Bad Word
2

Posted July 19, 2018 by Chris Hunt

Words like marketing sometimes turnoff pastors, elders, and board members. Isn’t marketing a business term? What does marketing have to do with church? Marketing is not a bad word. Marketing is about making a straight path so that your ministry happens.
I Notcied a Typo inn the Bullitin: Let’s Talk About Making Mistakes
I Notcied a Typo inn the Bullitin: Let’s Talk About Making Mistakes
4

Posted July 10, 2018 by Dave Hartwell

As church communicators, our work is out in the open: we write web copy, bulletin announcements, social media posts, and mass emails. Every once in a while, we make a mistake. Mistakes are inevitable; how we deal with them isn't.
Juicy Website Winner 2018: Hope Church NYC
Juicy Website Winner 2018: Hope Church NYC
0

Posted July 4, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Hope Church in New York City is The Juicys’ 2018 winner for the website category. Here’s what makes Hope’s website great.
The Power of Facebook Events
The Power of Facebook Events
0

Posted June 25, 2018 by Ernesto Alaniz

Facebook events are a cheap and easy way to get your church’s event in front of your entire community.
6 Social Media Tips for Your Church
6 Social Media Tips for Your Church
0

Posted June 21, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Social media is a great tool that churches can use to build and expand relationships, as well as a tool for outreach. Here are six tips to help your church utilize social media better.
5 Ways to Use MailChimp for Church Marketing
5 Ways to Use MailChimp for Church Marketing
0

Posted June 19, 2018 by Robert Carnes

There are lots of platforms your church can use to promote its message and mission. MailChimp is just one, but has many different uses. This is an overview of some of its most useful features.
Congratulations to This Year’s Juicy Winners!
Congratulations to This Year’s Juicy Winners!
0

Posted June 14, 2018 by Bryan Haley

We recently concluded The Juicys award season and are excited about these five church communication award winners!
The Reason Your New Process Won’t Work
The Reason Your New Process Won’t Work
0

Posted June 12, 2018 by Jeanette Yates

Having a communications tool for your staff is essential because collaborating without a system, process, or tool is complicated and inefficient. Before choosing a tool, ask yourself (and your team) these questions.
The Juicys Award Show
The Juicys Award Show
0

Posted June 4, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Join us for The Juicys Award Show!
Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Which One Is Better?
Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Which One Is Better?
0

Posted May 24, 2018 by Jason Caston

While it is a given that any organization has to have a mobile accessible presence, many churches are unaware of whether a mobile website or an app is the better choice.