Making a powerful church website is by no means an easy feat, but there are some tried and true techniques for getting devotive and community-oriented messages across to the audiences who need them most. Many strong church sites use clever copywriting and bold images of their community efforts to describe their commitment to personal and social well-being.
For today’s online visitors, websites are required to do a whole lot of things at once. While being responsive is a given, they also need to look fresh and current, which typically means having a clean design, one that can be easily navigated thanks to bold fonts, color blocking, and smart calls to action. But, the best church websites also need to be unique enough to showcase personality, demonstrating that there is a unique perspective to share, one that isn’t relying on cookie-cutter templates to convey what they want to say. And then, of course, there’s a whole lot of little nuances that add to the experience, website features that engage, direct, and, most importantly, appeal to a specific target audience.
Sound like a lot to accomplish?
Well, for churches, the bar is set even higher.
When people get online to learn more about a church, they’re wanting to feel a certain sense of inspiration, something that pulls them to not just click on a button, but to actually (and often physically) join a real, living-breathing community.
This year’s top church websites need to not just make a great first impression, they need to make a lasting impression. And, in order to do that, everything, from the design to the functionality, needs to work in tandem.
As we take a closer look at the current best church websites, pay attention to the design details, appreciating things like incredibly fast page loads and out-of-the-box layouts.
The best church websites on this list put their community missions and values upfront…
…without sacrificing the technical qualities behind good formatting and those compelling descriptions about just how beneficial a religious institution can be.
NewSpring’s site has some of the best typography and high-res images we could find. With bold text on the homepage over immersive images of their congregations, it really feels like you’re a part of the community. Their no-nonsense search bar is just over the homepage’s video loop to help find the nearest location near you, and their pop-out navigation bar includes subtler information about the value of their sermons and helps visitors sign up for classes via a digital scheduler. Their “next steps” section is particularly helpful for describing the devotive journeys that many of their members embark on.
Cornerstone Church lets visitors know from the start that their mission is to help real people. Their slogan, “Real Life Happens Everyday,” emphasizes this below a strong homepage slider of church members from all walks of life helping each other feel welcomed and supported. The site’s upcoming events section includes streaming video from a dedicated church server for quick load times, and it helps readers determine when the next event that best matches their own interests takes place. Scrolling down takes visitors through their impressively diverse service options, including three different youth involvement programs for kids across broad age ranges.
The Oaks Fellowship
The site for the Oaks Fellowship looks a little bare at first, but scrolling through the homepage takes visitors through plenty of service descriptions and and missions statements about the community value of the church. Their landing page’s evenly-split grid display brings a democratizing visual presentation to all aspects of their church services, which include everything from live-streamed musical performances, lotteries to win a free Disney vacation, and personal growth services from like-minded peers and mentors looking to help those interested in helping themselves.
Sonship Bay Ridge
Sonship’s church is located in downtown Brooklyn, NY, and their heavily visual and minimalist site offers some fantastic fundamentals for great web design practice. Their homepage’s full screen video loop shows the Brooklyn Bridge in half-faded sepia tones to give a sense of emergence and new beginnings under their bold logo. Their three calls to action just under the video offer fantastic navigation for more info on their Sunday services, what to generally expect of their community, and a short history of how the church came to be.
Radiant Church wants you to remember their website, even if it’s mostly just through images and concise, declarative text. Their slogan, “Welcome to Radiant Church” may seem too initially basic, but it floats cleanly just above an automated image slider showcasing their members in musical, service-oriented, and community-focused situations. Such immersiveness helps visitors feel already welcomed and like new community members. Their main navigation menu is hamburger-styled with a concise list of only the most important and observable aspects about the community that more descriptive sub-page text describes after clicking any section you’re looking to learn more about.