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

Death by a Thousand Cuts
Death by a Thousand Cuts
2

Posted April 17, 2019 by Owen Scott

Communications ministry is an always-flowing stream of demands—on your time, energy, and heart. If you’re not careful it could kill you, not in a big show of force, but slowly over a thousand cuts. Take time to set yourself up to thrive in communications ministry.
Podcast: What to do When Your Attendance Drops at Easter
Podcast: What to do When Your Attendance Drops at Easter
0

Posted April 15, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We’re talking with a pastor of a growing church that sees their attendance drop on Easter. What do they do instead?
Clarifying Your Message
Clarifying Your Message
0

Posted April 10, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We’re all busy. What you communicate needs to be clear, concise, and compelling to be as effective as possible.
Podcast: Partnering With Your Community
Podcast: Partnering With Your Community
0

Posted April 8, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Easter is a great time to find new ways to partner with your community. Here’s the story of how one church partnered with their community for an Easter egg hunt.
We’d Love Your Feedback
We’d Love Your Feedback
0

Posted April 3, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Your feedback will help make Church Juice an even-better resource for your church.
The Ultimate List of 25 Free Stock Photo Sites for Churches
The Ultimate List of 25 Free Stock Photo Sites for Churches
4

Posted March 27, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Sometimes stock photos are needed to fill gaps or spark creativity. Here are 25 websites with completely free photos for your church.
Podcast: Knowing Who You Are
Podcast: Knowing Who You Are
0

Posted March 25, 2019 by Bryan Haley

How to pull off an excellent Easter service while being true to who you are.
Talk the Talk: Basics To Developing A Communications Strategy
Talk the Talk: Basics To Developing A Communications Strategy
0

Posted March 20, 2019 by Sherri Jones

Effective communication is the key to keep people connected and move them to action.
Podcast: Advertising Easter
Podcast: Advertising Easter
0

Posted March 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

What are the best ways to advertise your Easter services and events?
“But No One Told Me!” Tips on Improving Staff Communication
“But No One Told Me!” Tips on Improving Staff Communication
3

Posted March 13, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

Trying to keep your team in the loop can be overwhelming and frustrating. How do you give people the information they need without overloading their inbox? Read on for some ideas on how to keep your staff up to date—and your day running a little smoother.