What belongs on your website?
In the olden days of a decade or more ago, the internet was the Wild, Wild West. Everyone “needed” a website, but didn’t know what to put on it. So, they included everything. At Kairos, we over cluttered our website with the best of them. But web audiences have changed and tastes have become more refined. If you want your church website to work for you, here are a few tips for clean and effective design.
There are two main camps when it comes to church website design. One camp says that your website is the main vehicle of communication. You should put everything your church does up on there. You should have a blog, a church calendar, streaming videos, every outreach ministry should have their own page and blog. And on, and on. The other camp says a website should be simple, well-designed, and have just the essential information about your church. That’s the camp that I belong to, and here’s why. Technology changes all the time! When you build a large website that has all the bells and whistles, it is difficult to keep up to date and it takes a LOT of work. Because of all that it becomes old very quickly.
Who Is Your Website For?
One way to view your website is as a glorified billboard. It should have just the basic information that people are looking for and they should be able to find that information quickly and on any device. That should make you ask two questions: 1. Who are the people looking at your website? 2. What information are they looking for? You might be surprised that the majority of people that view your website are not your members, but people that are trying to find a church. It’s guests that look at your website. And what information are they looking for?
• When are the services?
• Where is the church located?
• What are the church’s core beliefs?
• How can I and my kids get involved?
That’s it! That’s your churches website. You don’t need any more than that. Now, there is an obvious piece missing from this idea, and that is the interaction between the church and the members. How do you tell people what events are going on, how to volunteer for those events, what prayer requests are there, what Bible studies are going on, and so on? In today's world, those things are done through a church app. (More on that in a future post.)
What Should Your Website Look Like?
Your Website should have, at most, 3 colors—one primary, one secondary, and one for accent or Pop! If you don’t know how to find a trio of colors that matches, coolors.co can help you pick out a great, contemporary color palette.
Fonts, like colors, can work for you or against you. Limit yourself to three fonts. More than that is just too visually confusing. Just like with colors, there is a great website to help you out. FontPair.co has all the latest fonts already paired up for you to use.
Running a website can be super complicated, where you hire a designer or a developer and any time you want to make changes, you have to run them through that person. If I may be so bold, just stop it! We want to be 21st -century churches, so let’s use 21st -century technology. Two companies that I think are great for a church are SquareSpace and Wix. Both of these companies provide hosting and have great looking templates for your site. They are basically a one stop shop and are very reasonable prices. If you just really want more flexibility you can use Wordpress.
You can get go a lot more in depth on website design, logo design, and choosing a theme or template, but these basics will get you started. Use your website as a way to delegate and develop leaders. And use it to give potential guests a first glance of what visiting church might look like.