Church websites are extremely useful for creating awareness and for communication purposes: church location, church activities, sermon information, and purpose. Generally, such a website is created for people who want to find and allocate the church, helping in the growth of the church in the long-run. This website will also communicate to church members and regular attendees at church events and other emerging programs.
When it comes to designing church websites, some specific key qualities have to be put into place to maximize site’s effectiveness. These are some elements that need to be considered for quality church web design:
Communication to the right audience
Churches have two classes of audiences: the regular attendees, who are the church members; and the visitors or new members, who are searching for information and details about the church. Members visit the site for specific information, like an upcoming event or some ministries of the church. The church visitor, on the other hand, visits the site to find out where the church is located – directions or address, service time, and church practices and beliefs. Therefore, the information displayed must be easy to understand and interpret, and must match the audience expectations for it to be effective.
Every church possesses its own unique practices, culture, and style. This information should be diligently displayed, reflecting the same style since the website visitors will typically look for ideas regarding what to expect when they attend these churches for a worship service. These cultures and styles must be communicated, whether contemporary and informal or traditional and formal; the style does not matter, as long as it communicates effectively (these practices to its audience).
Directions and service information
The church website should list clearly scheduled services, time and dates as well as location and address. Making it easy for web visitors to access this information will stimulate them to attend the service. Extra information needs to be provided in case of multiple services, this information should be extremely easy to find from the site homepage, just by a click or two.
The website must display the ministries provided by the church. This information might present opportunities for interested church members to get involved, and the new members to find out what the church has to offer. The web also needs to provide basic information about the various ministries and the contact information of persons in charge of them.
Church contact information
At least an email address or ideally a phone number of the staff, pastor, or office needs to be provided for convenience.
Visual appearance counts. The design might not be as important as the information and content provided, but it will defiantly create an impression, thus effective design is needed for a positive first impression. A responsive design will be helpful for website visitors accessing the information through tablets and smartphones.
Therefore, the design style chosen must clearly outline your marketing goals. Your marketing efforts will, therefore, be determined by how well you appeal to your audience. You need to clearly master your future goals in relation to your church website. So, you need to analyze the purpose of developing the website, what you intend to achieve and your target group.