The digital world is something no one can escape any longer. From the increase in people utilizing mobile devices-both cell phones and computers- to people wanting (and expecting) instant results, having an online presence is no longer a choice, it is a necessity.
The Roman Catholic Church is the biggest Christian denomination in the United States, one that has continued to grow, however many Catholic parishes appear to be living in the dark ages based upon their websites.
We did an extensive review to find the top 10 best Catholic Parish websites. These sites should serve as a guide for other parishes to move from the dark ages into the modern times of technology!
Today’s best Catholic Parish websites draw the parishioner or site visitor in with welcoming images, and further engage the visitor by providing easy to navigate information to help visitors find the information they need quickly, while providing efficient site navigation and layout.
The winner’s of the top 10 Catholic Parish website’s all excel in regards to presentation, critical information, and navigation.
- St. Matthew Catholic Church and School: The number one winner based on our assessment and three prong criteria of presentation, information, and navigation is the St. Matthew Catholic Church and School website. This site is tuned into the wants and needs of today’s parishioners. The simple and clean home page enables the user to quickly search and find what they are looking for. In addition, there is clear navigation guidance, providing easy to identify click icons, such as mass times and a calendar. The color scheme is bright, warm, and welcoming with virtual media content, including a virtual tour of the parish. This website has honed in on the value of having less content, more videos and photos, and is incredibly user friendly. The landing page does not overwhelm the eyes with too much content, allowing readers to comfortably peruse the site.
- Catholic Hoos: Catholic Hoos website made the cut because of their simple layout and nice color scheme. Offering crisp presentation with fresh content, including videos the user can stream along with an Instagram feed and Instagram links, this parish is keeping up with the modern times, while maintaining a site that is stocked up on engaging media, but is short on unnecessary and wordy content.
- Corpus Christi Parish Community: The Corpus Christi Parish Community website offers a welcoming site from the get-go. The first picture on the top of the page is of the parish, with the stunning stained glass backdrop and the words “All Are Welcome.” Offering a short and succinct Parish News and Updates section, along with videos featuring recent sermons, this site does a great job of foregoing the outdated faux paus which drives people away from other parish sites. This site also does a good job of using the same fonts in order to make the site visually appealing.
- Immaculate Heart of Mary: Immaculate Heart of Mary offers its parish an engaging website. Visitors and parishioners are welcomed with a beautiful design which incorporates both their branding, along with their logo. The site is easy to navigate, and offers relevant and informative content without a long landing page. Instead of leaving the visitor wanting more, the simplicity of this site provides the visitor with an easier time finding what they are looking for while offering a visually stimulating and enjoyable experience.
- St. Gabriel Catholic Church The St. Gabriel Catholic Church site does it all right, offering visitors with custom graphics, and with three short scrolls the site visitor is able to make it to the end of the Home page. There is an incredible video tour of the parish, which helps the site visitor feel like they are already a part of the community and experience. The video, which is paired with beautiful photography, makes this site within the top five of the creme de la creme.
- Grace That Reigns: Grace that Reigns website provides immediate access to their Facebook page, a perk for today’s savvy parishioners who are on social media. This website also offers an aesthetically pleasing color scheme by providing a nice contrast to the gray background with photos that light up the site. By breaking up content with numbering, the reader of the site is able to digest the content without feeling overwhelmed or bombarded by too much content.
- Holy Family Catholic Church and School: Often, simplicity is more when it comes to a website. Rather than using excessive text, Holy Family Catholic Church and School offers a visually inviting home page through the use of photos and concise content, providing the user with ease and mobility when navigating the site.
- The Nativity Catholic Church: The Nativity Catholic Church website offers split screen navigation along with drop down menus. The benefits of these two things are that they make it easy for the site user to navigate and find information. Another perk of this site is their catalog of podcasts which users are able to search and stream directly from the site!
- St. Augusta Catholic Church: St. Augusta Catholic Church’s color scheme uses a nice balance of uplifting colors combined with just the right amount of headers to allow the site user to navigate quickly and determine where to click to get the answers they are looking for. The site looks maintained and uncluttered, making the site visitor feel welcome to linger longer. The images on the home page are inviting for the user, and the colors utilized in the photos draw the visitor in, encouraging more navigation further within the site.
- Archdiocese of New Orleans: The Archdiocese of New Orleans website had to be included in the top ten, due to their site layout alone. By providing easy to click boxes with images for often searched topics such as the Calendar, the site is very user friendly. We also like the search bar which allows site visitors to quickly navigate where and when they can attend mass by simply entering their city and zip code. Finally, this site does a great job of breaking content up with images and subheaders.