Build a Better Church Website: 17 Features You Can’t Afford to Miss

May 28, 2024

Key Church Website Design Features: Essential Practices for Engaging Your Congregation

Your church website serves as the digital front door to your community, offering a first impression that can either welcome visitors or leave them confused and frustrated. Below, we’ll explore the vital elements every church website needs to be well-organized, informative, and engaging.

Mission Statement
The mission statement is a concise description of your church’s fundamental purpose. It answers the question, Why do we exist? This statement should resonate with both the congregation and potential visitors, giving them a clear idea of what drives your church’s activities and what they can expect regarding spiritual direction and community involvement.

Value Proposition
The value proposition goes hand-in-hand with the mission statement but focuses more on what your church offers that others might not. It explains the unique benefits members and visitors can gain by engaging with your church. A strong value proposition helps to differentiate your church from others and can be a decisive factor for newcomers choosing where to worship.

Welcome Message or Video
A friendly message from the pastor can make a big difference in making visitors feel invited and valued. You can also share your church’s beliefs and practices here. This element personalizes the experience and can help demystify what new visitors might expect, aiding in their decision to attend a service.

Service Times and Locations
This is one of the most crucial sections on your website, as most people are likely looking for this information first. List your service times and all locations if your church meets in multiple places. Galilee Missionary Baptist Church did this really well on its website. So people can immediately get the information they need but also get a feel for what it’s like to be part of their church, Galilee lists all of its weekly gatherings along with a scroll-over photo gallery right at the top of its homepage. Additionally, consider adding a Plan Your Visit section with information about parking, childcare, and what newcomers can expect.

Navigation Menu
A clean, intuitive navigation menu helps people quickly find the information they need. Essential links might include About Us, Contact, Ministries, Sermons, and Giving. Ensure the menu is easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices.

Contact Information
Visitors often come to your website looking for quick information on how to reach or visit your church. Essential details like your phone number, email address, and physical address should be prominent, typically in the footer, along with a Google Maps link to help people find your location more easily.

You should also include a form that people can fill out with their contact information. This gives members and newcomers a chance to connect with a person from the church and have their questions answered, or to sign up for your church’s newsletter and emails. To more easily reach newcomers, Union Missionary Baptist Church has an automatic pop-up form that allows you to easily join their email community.

Social Media Links
Social media is a key tool for engagement and outreach and shows the church’s most real-time updates. Include icons linking to your church’s social media profiles to connect with members and visitors on platforms they use daily.

Online Giving Button
This one is a no-brainer. Facilitating tithes, offerings, and church donations is crucial, and a visible giving button makes it easy for members to support your church financially with just a few clicks.

Watch Live
Providing links to live streams on your church website is crucial for ensuring that all members of your community can partake in worship, regardless of their physical location or schedule constraints. Additionally, including easy access to past sermons not only helps to engage congregants who may have missed a service but also serves as a valuable resource for those looking to deepen their understanding of your teachings.

Photos and Videos from Your Church
To keep an authentic feel, try to use real photos and videos instead of stock footage whenever possible. Being able to see real members’ faces while attending a worship service or church event gives visitors a chance to see the true heart of your church community. This is also a chance to catch people’s attention, like the animated stained glass window feature on New Salem Baptist Church’s homepage.

Event Calendar
Regularly updated with current and upcoming church events, this section keeps your congregation and visitors informed about opportunities to engage and participate. It also demonstrates the vibrancy and activeness of your church community.

Prayer Request Section
Offering a dedicated form where members can submit prayer requests provides a personal touch and strengthens community bonds. It’s a way for members to feel supported by their church family during both challenging times and happy occasions. We love this Prayer and Praise Wall that Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church has at the bottom of its homepage!

Accessibility Features
Ensure your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This includes options for larger text, high-contrast visuals, and screen reader compatibility. Multilingual options are also welcome so that everyone can access and benefit from your website without barriers.

Staff Directory
A section on your church’s website dedicated to introducing the staff and leadership team can help the visitors feel more connected to those leading the church. New Psalmist Baptist Church added an excellent personal touch by including photos and bios of not only the church’s Pastors but also of its First Ladies.

FAQ Section
A Frequently Asked Questions section can help new visitors learn more about the church in an easy and accessible way. Cover topics like what to expect during services, how to get involved, and details about your church’s beliefs and practices.

Testimonials and Stories
Sharing the experiences of community members and how they’ve been impacted by the church can be compelling reasons for newcomers to join or learn more. These authentic accounts help illustrate the role the church plays in individuals’ lives, providing relatable and moving evidence of the community’s support and spiritual growth. Including a diverse array of testimonials also showcases the inclusive nature of the church, inviting people from all walks of life to find solace and fellowship within its walls.

Your Church’s History
If your church boasts a rich history, consider adding a detailed timeline of significant milestones. For example, New Hope Baptist Church proudly showcases its 100-year legacy of growth and community impact, allowing visitors to explore how it has thrived through the decades.

Your church website design should effectively communicate who you are, what you do, and how new visitors can engage with your community. By ensuring these essential elements are present and prominently displayed, you can enhance the functionality and accessibility of your church’s online presence, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in your ministry.

Why Choose Our Church Website Building Services?
In a crowded market of generic website builders, our specialized church website builder is designed with the unique needs of religious organizations in mind, ensuring that your church’s digital presence is both powerful and easy to manage.

Ready to elevate your church’s online presence? Contact us today to explore how our website solutions can transform your digital outreach. We provide options at all budget levels, and we’re eager to build you the best church website! Call 412-349-0049 or request a consultation here.

Next, consider optimizing your church’s email marketing strategy. You can start with our recent blog post about the 10 Ways Your Church’s Email Marketing is Hindering Your Goals.