Creating a website for your Catholic Parish is an important step towards creating an overall, welcoming experience in your church. Today, thanks to technology, websites are often the first stop for important information. Parishioners will visit the parish website to see what is going on at the church, and prospective attendees will visit the website before even walking through the doors. Therefore, if you want your parishioners to be happy, and you want to attract new families, you need a website that will help you do the job.
As you start out on this journey to create your website, we want you to be prepared. That’s why we created this Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Catholic Parish Website. The information you find here will put you on the fast track to success.
Consider your parishioners and their experience
First and foremost when you are designing a website, you have to design it with the user in mind. This means getting inside your parishioners’ head and thinking about what information they want to know and need to know.
- Will they want to know about children’s church?
- Will they need directions?
- Times for mass and confession are pertinent.
- Oh, and don’t forget to include profiles of the priest and staff.
In addition to providing important information, you want your Catholic parish website to give visitors a good idea of what they can expect inside of the church. Therefore, you should model your website after the experience you want people to have. If you want to portray a lighthearted, welcoming environment your website should look that way as well!
Offer beneficial content
In addition to offering the information your parishioners know they need, you also need to offer content that will be valuable to their lives in and outside of the church. As we mentioned before, of course, every Catholic Parish Website needs information about what times services are, but what about other information that will help them grow in their faith.
- Consider including a bible verse of the day with a short devotional that they can rely on every morning.
- Write blog posts about important issues in the Catholic church community and how they can address them through their faith.
- Include information on community events and other outreaches that your parishioners could get involved in and help grow the congregation.
Offering this type of information will help to increase the value of your website to your parishioners and therefore they will visit it more often.
Use easy to read fonts and appealing colors
Although the information that you put on your website is of the utmost importance, so is the design. In order for people to want to use your website, they are going to have to find it appealing.
Currently, the most popular website designs are responsive and full of vibrant imagery. If you check out WordPress, you can find inspiration for what your website could and should look like by checking out the Avada theme. This theme is the #1 selling theme of all time and is a great representation of what everyday people are looking for in website design. Furthermore, when designing your website be sure to choose colors and fonts that are appealing as well. Bold, basic fonts that are easy to read are best and light, bright color schemes compliment bold fonts well.
If you are able to find a clean, modern website design that fits your parish, creating functionality for your website will be much easier.
If you want your parishioners to be happy, and you want to attract new families, you need a website that will help you do the job.
Once you have the website content you need and a design you like, the last piece of the puzzle is creating website functionality. If you want your website to be incorporated into the lifestyle of your parish, then you need to make it easy to use. If your Catholic Parish Website is confusing, then it will likely go untouched and won’t be a valuable source of information.
When creating your Catholic parish website, consider organizing your site into these categories:
- Home Page – This page includes all of the important information such as mass times, locations, recent parish news, and an invitation for visitors to join you.
- Education – The education page on your website could include information about a school if you have it and any other continuing education classes that your parish might offer for adults as well as CCD.
- Get Involved – Use this page to encourage parishioners to take the next step in their faith by getting involved on a committee or in a parish group. Include contact information for all group leaders.
- Events – Host a calendar on your website so parishioners can view the schedule for the church a few months in advance. This will help them to plan important family events around the parish schedule.
- Sacraments – Your sacraments page will give information about how parishioners and future parishioners can get involved in your parish through baptism, marriage, communion, and more.
- Blog – This is where you will outline thoughts on current topics that are facing the Catholic church.
- Contact – Create a contact form that will make it easy to get in touch with your church. A fillable form is best, but including an email, phone number, and address will work as well.
Although you can organize the information on your Catholic parish website however you see fit, we have found this organization to be tried and true.
Although this guide is a great way to get your website started, there are certain times where working with a professional service is recommended—and this is definitely one of them.
If you are looking to create the best Catholic parish website for your community, then head over to FreshySites.
With a proven track record of creating the best Catholic parish websites, we will certainly not disappoint. We will take what once felt like an overwhelming task and make it overwhelmingly simple.