church web design

Church Website Design Month – 7 Ways OCC Can Help You

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Church website design – it’s the theme or template of your church website. It includes the background, color scheme, header, footer, menu and general layout of your church website.

As we recently reported, a Pew Research study found,

“Nearly half (47%) of those who have looked for a new congregation within the last five years say they relied on the internet as part of their search.”

Your church website is your church’s first impression.

It’s also your church’s second, third and forth impressions as visitors to your church website try to use the navigation menu to find information about your church, it’s mission, it’s location, it’s worship services and more.

You can spend hours every week updating your church website – updating the calendar, uploading sermons, posting pictures, providing info on upcoming events – but if your church website design is poor – if it’s not mobile friendly, if it looks a throw-back to the 90s, if the navigation menu is not intuitive – it will hinder your mission.

Focusing on content before design is putting the cart before the horse.

So, this month we are focusing specifically on church website design. Here’s how we’re going to do that…

7 Ways OurChurch.Com Can Help You with Your Church Website Design

1) Church website design blog posts. All month our blog posts will focus on helping you understand website design concepts and make better website design choices. We started with Monday’s post, Church Website Design: Custom vs. Pre-made. Which is Better?

2) Migrate to WP-EZ. If you’re still using our old NE1 website builder, for the love of Pete (and Mary, and all the other people in your community), please migrate to our new WP-EZ Website Builder. Our migration tool will copy all your current pages into your new site, and your new site will look better and be mobile-friendly. If you have questions or concerns, our amazing support team is ready to help.

3) Discuss a custom-designed website. If you want to make sure you have a good church website design, and you’re concerned you don’t have the time or expertise to create the site your church wants, take a look at our church website design services. Complete the consultation request form on any page, and we’ll schedule a call to discuss your church’s unique mission, goals and budget. No obligation, no pressure, we just want to help you understand your options.

4) 10-Point Website Check List. Want to know how your website is doing and the areas to focus on improving? Check out our 10-Point Website Check List. If your website meets all 10 points (or you update your website so it does), we’ll recognize and promote it with a Best Church Websites award or Best Christian Websites award.

5) New WP-EZ themes. We’ve added almost 100 new themes for our WP-EZ Website Builder in the last 2 months.  We’ll be adding 50 more this month. Stay tuned.

6) New Survey. We’ve created a new church website design survey for web administrators. It’s an opportunity for you to help us understand your needs, challenges and ideas so we can better serve you.

7) Church website design quotes. Last but not least, follow us on social media for insightful and inspiring quotes about church website design like this one we posted today…

Thinking about design is hard, but not thinking about it can be disastrous. -Ralph Caplan

quote-ourchurch-thinking-about-design-is-hard

Click to share this image on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest or Instagram

Post a comment and tell us… what do you think? Do you think the design of a church website is important? Which of these 7 things do you think will be most helpful for you? What else could OurChurch.Com do to help churches with their website design?

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

5 Comments

  • I am still working on the “draft” version of my WP-EZ site, but in the beginning I spent a lot of time customizing my theme and getting the site to look reasonably nice. At that time I found that if I tried different themes, my customization would be lost and if I switched back I would have to start over. Is that still the case? I would like to be able to experiment with the new themes, but it’s not worth losing all the settings I have changed on my current theme. I would like to save my current theme variation.

    Also, I would like to be able to change the colors and header on individual pages. We have a few pages devoted to some special patriotic events, for example, and in NE1 I am using a patriotic theme for those pages. I would like to be able to do something similar in WP-EZ. My green background/yellow menu on the header doesn’t convey “patriotic,” although I like that theme for the rest of my site because it fits with the natural beauty of the East Tennessee mountain area where we are located (and the mountains which are on our logo).

    Something else which would be nice to see from OurChurch.com would be a large collection of free high-quality clip art which I can use on my site without copyright concerns. When I think of a type of graphic I can add to a page or a post, I have had to do a lot of internet searching to find something suitable.

    • Hi Jean, it’s always good to hear from you!

      >> I would like to be able to experiment with the new themes, but it’s not worth losing all the settings I have changed on my current theme. I would like to save my current theme variation.

      That sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, it is not possible yet. I’ve added it to our “wishlist” of ideas for future development. This would take a significant overhaul from the way themes are managed now, so I’ll be up front with you that it will not happen before the end of the year.

      >>Also, I would like to be able to change the colors and header on individual pages. We have a few pages devoted to some special patriotic events, for example, and in NE1 I am using a patriotic theme for those pages.

      I understand what you’re saying, however, that’s kind of the old way of doing websites. In hind sight, I wish we hadn’t made it possible in NE1 for different pages to use different themes. It can confuse people as to what website they’re on. Today the best practice is to use the same theme throughout a website to provide a consistent experience and consistent branding to visitors. Typically there is very little imagery in the theme itself and images are used more heavily in the page content.

      >>Something else which would be nice to see from OurChurch.com would be a large collection of free high-quality clip art which I can use on my site without copyright concerns. When I think of a type of graphic I can add to a page or a post, I have had to do a lot of internet searching to find something suitable.

      That’s an idea we’ve discussed internally, and we may add it in the future. In the mean time, we have published a couple of blog posts about free stock image sites:

      http://blog.ourchurch.com/2016/07/26/great-church-website-photos-that-are-completely-free/
      http://blog.ourchurch.com/2013/10/08/5-sites-that-provde-free-stock-images/

    • Hi Vicky, all of the sites we custom design for clients as well as all of the sites users create with our WP-EZ Website Builder have SEO-friendly URLs and an SEO plugin for customizing the title and description tags. But if you are looking for someone to do the keyword research, create a keyword plan, do the on-page optimization, do content marketing and monitor your website, we offer SEO services that include these things: http://www.ourchurch.com/seo/

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