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Congregation Websites

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3 Resources
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Designing Your Congregation's Website
This report shares advice from several congregations who reevaluated their web presence,...
web resource
Church Tech Today: Technology for Today's Church
This website views technology as a vehicle for congregations to communicate and also shares...
web resource
What Makes a Good Church Website?
This blog highlights important considerations to make when designing a website.

About the Contributor

Contributor
Aaron Spiegel

Aaron Spiegel directs the Congregational Resource Guide and is Center for Congregations’ information technology director. He is a rabbi, author, and president of the Synagogue Studies Institute.

Church Websites

If religious leaders want to keep in touch with their congregation, one of the things they may want to consider is making sure that they have a strong website. Today, lots of people use the internet when they are looking to keep in touch with other people and organizations and when they are looking for a religious community. This can include not only text messages and emails, but also social media platforms and online portals. A website can be helpful for congregational leaders and also for church members, visitors and attendees to take advantage of available technology in order to better communicate with each other. This can prove to be of particular importance in keeping in touch with the younger members of the congregation. This is where having an informative, interactive and user friendly church website can be so helpful. There are plenty of hosting platforms and tools that can be used to set up free church websites. These platforms allow a congregation to design a free website in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, there is no coding knowledge or experience required in order to get a website successfully set up. Nowadays, it can prove to be easier than ever before to get a website started.

Because of the ease of creating a website, it might be worth a congregation’s consideration to get a strong website in place. Congregations of all sizes can benefit from this outreach tool. It can be good to use this website not only to communicate information about the group, but also respond to concerns that might be raised by their members. Then, they can also use their church website to improve their online presence, helping to attract other members, visitors and seekers to the congregation as well. If they are looking for ways to build a website for their group, there are several important points that they may do well to keep in mind. That way, they can get the most out of the website they design for their group and congregation.

Church Websites Template

Even though it might be possible to build a website for a religious group from scratch, this is simply not necessary. It can take a lot of time, effort, money, and coding knowledge in order to build a website entirely from the ground up. Instead, it might be better to think about using church website templates. There are numerous places where people can look for church website ideas.

When looking at using a church website template, it can be good to think about the website’s theme. What type of message does the group want to send to the congregation? Who are they looking to attract to the group? Remember, there is oftentimes not going to be a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, it might be a good idea to try and make this first impression count by putting a church website template to effective use.

It can also help to make sure that the website template is going to be responsive. Some templates can be bigger than others, and it can be good to keep in mind that people are often going to be visiting this website from a variety of sources, such as desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, and mobile devices. With this element in mind, it might be good to ensure that the website does not take too long to load on these devices. Otherwise, people might get frustrated and go somewhere else.

In the end, there are lots of resources available, and it should be possible for religious leadership to find a strong website template that they can use for their own congregation. From there, they can either get it set up themselves, or have a technology assistant in the group set up the website for them. Remember, it can also be good practice to try and take a look at the website on a regular basis. That way, it might be possible to make sure that it operates exactly as it should. The website is going to act as a digital storefront for the congregation, and making sure that it sends a positive message to those who visit it can be immensely helpful.

Church Website Builder

Once a template has been selected, there are numerous ways in which the church website can be deployed. There are naturally lots of different tools available out there for building websites, and a church website builder is different from a custom solution. The goal of a church website builder is to help congregations to get their church website deployed as quickly as possible. When looking for affordable church websites, a church website builder just might prove to be the way to go, as it can be a fast, inexpensive, and easy to use solution. At the same time, though, religious groups might be looking for custom church websites, as well.

In the case of a large church that has a lot of branches, then they may want to customize each individual branch of this website to meet the needs of a specific location. In this situation, custom church websites might be the ideal solution. And even though it might take a little bit longer to get the website deployed, there may stand to be a good chance that the group is ultimately going to like the results a little bit better. Each individual feature, widget, graphic, and video can be customized to make sure that it is a positive reflection of the congregation, and that it is able to send out the appropriate message.

In the end, it can be good for religious leaders to think carefully about the tools they are going to use to deploy their church website. In some cases, a church website builder might be better, which can be faster and less expensive, if they want to get their website up and running. In other cases, however, they might want to instead go with a custom solution. While this can take a little bit longer, this will likely yield more control over the final product. And in some cases, it might even be a good idea to go with a website builder at the beginning, and to then use the custom solution later, as the website continues to grow. It can be possible to successfully blend both worlds, when leadership decides to go back and improve the website later.

Church Website Content Ideas

Ultimately, a church website is potentially only going to be as good as the content that the congregation has on it. Therefore, it can also be helpful for these groups to think about church website content ideas. If they want to make their website easy to find, then perhaps they should produce high-quality content on a regular basis, which might be able to help improve the overall ranking of their website in online search results rankings.

It might be a good idea to first set up a church website outline. The group can layout the homepage and figure out what they are going to include. A picture of the building might be a great place to start. It may also be good to consider including the contact information of the congregation, including the name, address, and phone number. Be sure to double-check that this information is accurate on every page. It might also be worth including some of the names of the members of the church leadership and how people can get in contact with them on the website.

Having a contact page, a sign-up form, and a way for people to subscribe to the email list will probably be helpful - along with an “About Us” page, where people can learn more about the congregation.

Finally, leadership may decide that they want to start a blog, as well. This can represent an easy way for them to share information about activities that take place in the congregation and some of the events that might be coming up, as well as potentially double as a way for them to include keywords that are relevant to the group. Lastly, they might also consider sharing music, videos, and other forms of multimedia, to help keep people interested and engaged.

Designing A Church Website

There is a lot that can go into designing a website for a congregation. When designing a church website, it might be a good idea to work with a church website design company. Church website design can often include a lot of factors. For example, making sure that the website is responsive can become a priority task, helping to ensure that it loads quickly when people visit the page. It can also be good to make sure that the website has a welcoming, inclusive feel when people visit it. That way, the congregation can make a good first impression on everyone who visits the page. Finally, it might prove to be good practice to make sure that the website is communicating appropriate themes throughout its entire body. Naturally, it can be good to have religion permeate throughout the entire page; however, the group may want to focus on other aspects, as well, shining a light on what their congregation does in the community and helping to make sure that people know that it is a positive force. That way, the congregation can present themselves in a positive light.

How to Create a Church Website

Ultimately, if people are wondering how to create a church website, they might be trying to figure out how to get started. If leaders find themselves saying, “my church needs a website,” then it might just be a good idea to start out with a church website checklist. They can also visit online church websites to see how other congregations have gotten their own websites up and running. It may also be good to take a look at church website packages, as there are all sorts of convenient packages available out there that could help enable a congregation to deploy their website in a matter of minutes.

When a religious group finds itself wanting to start a website, the first thing they will likely need to do is find a hosting company. That way, they will be able to have a server that will keep the website up and running. Then, they can pick a domain name, making sure that it is not in use and that they have the right domain which fits them perfectly. The congregation will probably want to reach for a .com or .org website address, in this instance. Finally, they may also find themselves needing someone who can help get their website successfully up and running. In this situation, they might want to consider reaching out to a trained professional and asking for assistance. That way, they can begin taking steps to have the best website possible.

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