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

Say it Like You Mean It
Say it Like You Mean It
0

Posted July 16, 2019 by Joel Gorveatte

We can often be frustrated by a lack of engagement with what we are wanting people to know and do. What if that could change? Here are 4 questions to answer before the next time you communicate.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Guide to Reaching Out to Your Community
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Guide to Reaching Out to Your Community
1

Posted July 9, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

You want to help your church be part of its community—but how can you make that happen? Here’s how you can reach more people in the neighborhood and on your church campus.
Communications Isn’t Sexy
Communications Isn’t Sexy
0

Posted July 2, 2019 by Owen Scott

When we think of our dream job in communications we have a pretty sexy picture in our mind. Lattes, hand-lettering, and designing to our hearts content. But communications is not sexy. Sometimes it can be downright painful. But is it worth it? I’d think so.
Step by Step Process to Keep People Engaged Through the Summer
Step by Step Process to Keep People Engaged Through the Summer
0

Posted June 27, 2019 by Tyler Rominger

Here are four simple steps to surround your ministry with a healthy level of enthusiasm and interest throughout the busy summer months.
The Case for Apps
The Case for Apps
0

Posted June 25, 2019 by Ernesto Alaniz

A well-executed app can drive engagement, increase connection, and bring true blessings to many within and outside our walls.
No, Your Church Doesn’t Need a Custom App
No, Your Church Doesn’t Need a Custom App
2

Posted June 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

For many of us, we’re tired of our church being “behind the times.” We want our church members to have better access to the multitude of information, content, and communication available to them each day. So why not create a mobile app?
3 Ways to Reach Families with Special Needs in Your Church
3 Ways to Reach Families with Special Needs in Your Church
2

Posted June 11, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

If you are struggling to think of ways to reach the special needs community in your church, you are not alone. Here are a few ideas to help you launch your communication campaign to include people and families of all abilities.
Fundraising in your Community
Fundraising in your Community
0

Posted June 4, 2019 by Tyler Rominger

We live in a culture that prizes actions taken on behalf of those that are in need. Invite your community to participate and invest themselves in their local church’s efforts. You’ll be surprised at how warm the reception to such a call to action can be.
Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
1

Posted May 14, 2019 by Robert Carnes

Church communications pros often come in two different varieties: either you’re a specialist, or a generalist. That may be obvious, and you may already know which category you fall into. But it’s still interesting to consider if there are advantages to one over the other.
You’re Not the Boss of Me
You’re Not the Boss of Me
1

Posted May 8, 2019 by Owen Scott

Working in a team is essential to survival in ministry. But working in community is often easier said than done. Here are some practical tools you can put in place to lead effectively in your team environment.