There is a very apt quote about church marketing that says it isn’t about marketing. But it is about using every tool available at your disposal to bring more and more people to Christ, including websites created with the help of the best website builders.
And 33% of people in a survey said that they found about their Church through the Internet. So, to be able to bring people to Christ, you need to be found on the web first.
Another 80% of people said that they visited the church website before visiting the church. And 64% of churchgoers mentioned the website as a factor that facilitated participation in the church.
Now, it is obvious that websites for churches should be welcoming for new and regular visitors alike.
But if you don’t have the time, skill, and budget to build a religious website, it may seem like there is little that you can do.
However, website builders are Godsends in such a situation.
Never written a line of code? You can still create your own website.
Want to get online fast? A church website builder will help you do that too.
And website builders cost just a fraction of what it would cost you to hire a web developer.
But, what is the best website builder for a church?
It can be a little tricky to find an answer to that question. You can either go with the regular website builders. These are high on functionality but have limited church-specific features.
Or you can go with specific website builders designed to help you create a church website. With them, you might have to spend a little more (for specialized services).
Now, to make sure you don’t spend hours taking different options for a test drive, we did the analysis and comparison for you.
And we have found 5 excellent website builders that stand out. These builders deliver on the promises they make and help you create the perfect church website.
Check out our in-depth reviews and make sure you make the right choice.
Wix for a Church
Wix is one of the most popular website builders on the market. It is fast, easy, and effortless. But it isn’t specifically designed for churches. However, it does have church website templates for you to choose from.
Wix has seven affordable plans that you can choose from. The lowest plan costs $11/month (if paid annually). This makes it one of the most affordable options. You can create a free website first to analyze what Wix has to offer before financially committing to it.
Wix comes with a drag-and-drop editor. You just need to select the elements you want on your site. And you can drop them where you want to see them. This makes it very simple to create a customized church website design.
When you create a website with Wix, it comes with hosting. This saves you from the hassle of finding another hosting service provider. With the paid plans, you also get to use a custom domain for your church website.
The church-specific templates let you add pages for events, donations, and contact. You can post sermons on your website and also share blog posts that interest your audience. And all these templates are responsive, which means your website will load perfectly on any device.
Not optimizing your website for search engines is a grave mistake. But with Wix, you won’t be making that mistake. It comes with plenty of SEO features ranging from the basic ones to even the advanced options. For starters, you can add meta title, meta description, and alt tags. You can also link your website to Google Analytics to keep track of your visitors.
Wix has a very informative Help Centre where you can find all the information you’ll need to get started. Also, you get intuitive prompts throughout the website building process. If you still feel stuck somewhere, you can contact support via phone or email. English on-call support is available 24/7.
Wix’s only downside is that the free plan and the lowest paid plan both come with advertising. To remove the adverts, you will have to go with the $14/month plan. Also, for some users, advanced SEO with Wix can be a tough nut to crack.
If you want a professional-looking website customized to your church’s specific needs, Wix is the overall best website builder to go with.
A study revealed that 94% of the reasons why visitors don’t trust a website relate to its design.
This means the content isn’t the only thing that needs to be up to the mark on your website. You also need perfect designs. And Squarespace is the website builder that lets you do that.
It is a generic website builder known for its extensive and exemplary collection of designs and templates.
And you can find templates suitable for church websites in the Community and Non Profit segment.
The entry plan costs $12/month (when billed annually). With all the plans, you also get hosting and a custom domain name. While there is no free plan, you can take a 14-day trial to test the waters.
Squarespace’s editor is made of blocks and segments. You can drag and drop different elements to the sections and create pages that have the right balance of images, text, and widgets. Also, Squarespace doesn’t just focus on ease. It is an intuitive builder that guides those who aren’t experienced.
Squarespace has robust blogging features. With a blog that is informative and engaging, you can build a regular readership. And with Squarespace’s features like RSS feed, customizable URLs, drafts, etc., creating a blog becomes very easy.
If you want to collect donations through your website, Squarespace is your best bet. Unlike other builders that just give you a PayPal button, Squarespace has a complete system in place. You get custom checkout, suggestions for donation options as well as customized email receipts to put your donation system in place.
If you would like to post sermons on your website in the form of podcasts, you can do that with Squarespace. It offers an option to syndicate the podcast, which is necessary for adding it to Spotify or Apple podcasts.
A lot of visitors to your website use mobile devices for browsing. And Squarespace supports Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). When you enable the AMP option, you can create lightweight pages that load fast on mobile devices. Also, the templates that you get with Squarespace are mobile optimized.
Squarespace has both a forum and a knowledge center that you can use. Also, you get 24/7 email support and a live chat option.
If you are using one of the Business plans for your church website, Squarespace charges a 3% commission on donations. This fee is in addition to what your payment partner would charge. If you want to get rid of Squarespace’s commission, you’ll have to go with eCommerce plans, which are a little expensive.
While it is no doubt focused on design, Squarespace doesn’t skimp on other features. It is an all-round church website building solution.
Each member of the Ministry Designs team has worked for a church ministry in the past. Their experience and skills make Ministry Designs a great pick for building Christian websites. Especially for those who want to get support and specific functionalities.
Ministry Designs’ monthly hosting plan costs $20/month. Plus, you have to pay $1000 upfront as a one-time fee when you sign up.
Ministry Designs comes with plenty of beautiful templates suitable for use by churches. No matter what kind of a template you are looking for, you’ll find it with Ministry Designs. Also, all these templates are responsive. This means your website will load perfectly on all devices and screen sizes.
You get a lot of features that are tailor-made for churches. You can create a calendar, add sermons, and also build an email list. These features are added, keeping in mind the need to bring in more viewers and keep them coming back for more.
Your Ministry Designs account will, by default, be a multi-user account. This helps you bring volunteers on board to help you with website building and maintenance. You can add up to three users for free. And for adding more users, you’ll need to pay extra.
Ministry Design also lets you add multimedia content to your website. You can add podcasts and video backgrounds. Plus, it comes with blogging tools as well that help you build readership.
When you sign up with the builder, you get an hour-long phone call as a welcome gesture. Then you are assigned a Ministry Success Representative who can help you learn how to build your website using screen sharing. Also, there is unlimited training available. And you can contact support as and when you need help.
Ministry Designs’ hosting package is by no means cheap. And the one-time fee that you have to pay upfront makes it an expensive option.
If you need a lot of tech support, Ministry Designs is the website builder that will suit your needs. Customer support is where it shines brightest. But, be prepared to pay a hefty upfront fee and a high monthly charge.
Over 8,000 ministries have created their website with Sharefaith. And that says a lot about its efficiency and suitability. It is a dedicated church website builder that uses cutting-edge technology to spread the word of God.
Sharefaith’s Web+Media package that you need to build your website costs $45/month. It includes free hosting and a donation system. It also comes with support for switching your site from another platform to Sharefaith.
All the themes that you find in Sharefaith are suitable for churches. You just have to look for a theme that matches your needs. Also, you can get a demo of the templates without having to pay even a dime.
If you want to keep your audience engaged, you’ll need to add images, banners, and other multimedia content. And with Sharefaith, populating your website with graphics and visual content is a breeze. You can also add audio and video recordings of sermons on your website.
Sharefaith comes with a built-in calendar feature that lets you create a list of events, services, and more. This is a feature that you won’t easily find in generic builders.
To accept donations, you can use the Sharefaith Giving feature. There is no setup fee. Only a 3% transaction fee is charged. You can easily set up an online form and start receiving donations.
Sharefaith lets you add other users to your website. This is made possible using Advanced tools. You can use this feature to add volunteers to the website builder’s backend to update and manage the site. The level of access that additional users get can be controlled
Sharefaith’s expensive pricing is its biggest downside. You can get better features at a fraction of the price with the generic website builders.
If you don’t have budgetary constraints and would like to have a specific website builder suitable for churches, you can choose Sharefaith.
If you want to make sure that your church has active participants and not just passive spectators, Nucleus is the website builder for you.
Well, that is what Nucleus says about itself. And with over 1,000 churches using the platform, it is evident that you can trust it too.
The website builder in itself costs $99/month. But for the whole package, it will set you back by $125/month. This includes hosting. And you get a 30-day free trial to take it for a test drive.
Nucleus comes with all the church-specific features. These include uploading sermons, beautiful and responsive templates, and an option for your users to get notifications and sign up for events.
Signup forms are at the core of Nucleus’s offering. You can create stellar signup forms and direct people to the forms. This helps you create a central hub for your church.
Nucleus comes with a lot of pre-created social media posts. The images come with a text overlay and suggested captions. You can use these posts on your social media channels to build a following there too.
Nucleus has a responsive support team and many informational resources that are helpful for first-timers. Also, you have an option to apply for scholarships. If you have a small church and the platform’s fee doesn’t fit your budget, you can inquire about the scholarship.
Unlike most other options in the market, Nucleus lets you test the website builder without the need to give out your credit card details. This significantly increases the trust factor. If you feel you want to use the test version for a couple of more days, you can contact the support staff for a trial extension.
Nucleus’ support team is available only from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm EST. This can mean you have to wait for a couple of hours before your issue gets resolved. Also, the cost at which it comes is expensive when compared to other builders.
If you want your website to be the nexus of your church, Nucleus is the builder that lets you do that by centralizing control, though the facility comes at a cost.
Depending on your specific needs, you can pick the best church website builder from this list. And create a website that helps you connect existing and new visitors to your church and Christ.
Guide for Building a Church Website
1. The Utility Of Church Websites – What Purpose Do They Serve?
A church’s website is its digital profile. It introduces prospective members to your church’s appearance, location, history and services. It also keeps existing members more connected. According to LifeWay Research, at least 80 percent of US churches have a website.
If you’re creating a church website, it’s essential you remember the purposes it’s required to serve:
Identify, Introduce And Promote Your Church
Your church website should be able to guide a new member to the church’s physical doorsteps! It must include photographs and videos, the church’s basic information and directions. It should act as a quick introduction to what your church is all about. The online visitor should be able to learn of your church’s leadership, vision, history and services.
Your website also needs to succeed as a digital poster for your church. It should speak in a clear, appealing way, highlight your church’s offerings and encourage people to come and visit the church.
Inform And Engage Your Congregation
The website’s interface and utility needs to be tailored to the needs and expectations of the congregation. As such, it can act as a digital platform to inform them of the church’s regular activities, future events and important updates.
Features like members’ directory, chat, blogs and online sermons are simple, effective ways of keeping the congregation engaged even on days other than the holidays and Sundays.
2. Importance Of A Competent Church Website
To help your church grow, you need a website that meets the current standards of technology and social engagement. Here’s why a competent website is important:
It Adds To Your Church’s Credibility
A competent website lends credibility to the church. It relays the church’s mission, past and present activities with the site visitors so they can develop trust in your church.
IT Is An Excellent Expansion Tool
A competent website can help your church grow monetarily and in congregation size. According to statistics, 24 percent church donations are done online. In addition, 57 percent donors prefer to donate through mobile apps. A mobile friendly church website allows users to make tithes and non-traditional donations online in a familiar, trusted and time saving manner.
3. Must Have Features Of A Church Website
What makes for a competent church website, sets it apart from the generic websites? It’s these essential features:
Easy To Find Information
Your website must include your church’s address and contact information such as working phone numbers and email and the church service schedule. This information should be easy to locate on your website, preferably through the top menu on the website’s Home page.
Your church website should have an online giving option, so members can tithe and offer other donations in a quick, easy way. According to church giving surveys, online giving is the preferred mode for 26 percent of people that attend mass regularly.
Online Giving report of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) has revealed that 32 percent of working age Catholics have made online donations at some point of their life. A website using reliable contemporary online giving options can significantly improve your church’s finances.
Strategically Placed Video Content
According to cisco.com, by 2022, over 82 percent of all internet traffic will be driven by online videos. It’s clear having video content on your website is important to increase user involvement. Video related to recent events and live sermons should be embedded on the website’s home page.
A YouTube channel is a great way of promoting your church and draw in your congregation. Ensure the links to the church’s YouTube channel are strategically placed on the home page. You can also include a dedicated tab for sermon video library in the home page’s main menu.