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

Choosing a Facebook Cover Photo
Choosing a Facebook Cover Photo
0

Posted February 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Your church's Facebook Page cover photo is prime real estate. It's the largest area you have to visually display something for your church. Here's how to choose the right Facebook cover photo.
Snappy Solutions
Snappy Solutions
1

Posted February 13, 2019 by Matthew Hooper

Snapchat is one of the many social communication options around. It’s unique feature of deleting posts means you needs to navigate this social channel in a completely different way.
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
0

Posted February 11, 2019 by Jordan Gorveatte

With algorithms and engagement constantly changing, what are the best times to post on Facebook? We break it down for you here.
Instagram and the Visual Web
Instagram and the Visual Web
0

Posted February 6, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Your church needs to think more visually. Instagram’s wild success and influence is continuing to move the web toward visual.
4 Things Churches Need to Stop Posting on Social Media
4 Things Churches Need to Stop Posting on Social Media
6

Posted February 4, 2019 by Robert Carnes

There’s plenty of articles talking about what the church could add to their social media channels. This article is the opposite of that—four things that churches should stop adding online.
The McDonald’s Method
The McDonald’s Method
1

Posted January 29, 2019 by Matthew Hooper

3 guys walk into a church. They all question what year they walked into. Should you update your building’s look? How should you go about a building update?
Good Websites Remove Barriers
Good Websites Remove Barriers
1

Posted January 22, 2019 by Bryan Haley

After moving to a new city, we started looking online for a new church, and it made me realize how many churches don’t prioritize their website. A poor website does nothing to help potential guests want to show up on Sunday. Here’s how a good website removed barriers.
2019 Design Trends Forecast
2019 Design Trends Forecast
2

Posted January 17, 2019 by Gage Hunt

What should your church be expecting out of graphic design trends this year? Here's our best guess.
15 of the Best Church Websites for 2019
15 of the Best Church Websites for 2019
0

Posted January 15, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We've spent dozens of hours searching the web to find the best church websites in North America. Here are 15 of the best church websites this year.
Go Live or Go Home: Streaming Strategy for Small Churches
Go Live or Go Home: Streaming Strategy for Small Churches
1

Posted December 27, 2018 by Matthew Hooper

Thanks to Youtube, Facebook Live, and the advent of affordable smartphones, anyone can get in on the online church game. Here are some questions to work through to set up a winning strategy with taking your church live.