Why put in all the work to create a church website design, only to have it fail? Many churches make common design mistakes that result in low traffic and engagement.
Not only do you want to avoid these design traps, but you also want to take active steps to create a church website that is attractive and user-friendly. Most church websites share common goals: to inform visitors about the church, its mission and values, staff, church locations, and church services. They also want to engage visitors and encourage them to return.
However, by avoiding these design pitfalls, your church can create a beautiful, user-friendly, and effective website.
Here are 12 things to avoid in church website design:
Overwhelming or Underwhelming Site Information
When a church website has too much information, it can overwhelm visitors. On the other hand, if there is not enough information, visitors may not be able to find what they intended to.
The best church websites strike a balance between too much and too little information. They provide enough detail to engage visitors without overwhelming them. The key is to focus on the most important information and present it in an easily digestible format.
Focusing On Current Members Instead of Visitors
While it’s important to maintain communication with current members, the church website should focus primarily on visitors.
The church website is often the first contact point for someone considering becoming a member. As such, it’s important to make a good impression and provide relevant information.
Some churches make the mistake of catering their website primarily to current members. This can include making it difficult to find information about the church or providing too much detail about events only members would be interested in.
Remember, the church website should be focused on visitors and potential members. Make it easy for them to find the information they need and avoid emphasizing events or happenings that only current members would be interested in.
Since so many people now use their smartphones and other mobile devices to access the internet, church websites need to be designed with these users in mind.
A mobile-friendly website can be easily viewed and navigated on a smaller screen. This includes having a responsive design, large font sizes, and easy-to-click buttons.
If a church website is not mobile-friendly, many visitors will likely give up and look elsewhere.
Overlooking Website Security
With all the recent news about data breaches and cyber-attacks, church websites need to be secure.
This means having an SSL certificate encrypts the information sent between the website and the visitor’s browser.
Visitors to a non-secure website will see a warning message in their browser, making them less likely to stay on the site.
Remember, if a church website is not secure, it’s at risk of being hacked and scaring away potential visitors.
Out of Date Church Website Content
Content is king.
Out-of-date content is one of the most common problems with church websites. Many churches struggle to keep their content fresh, relevant, and engaging.
One way to avoid this problem is to create a content calendar. This can help churches plan and schedule new content in advance, so they are less likely to let their website become stale.
Another way to keep content fresh is to encourage church members to contribute. This can be done by creating a blog or forum where members can share their thoughts and ideas.
Important information Isn’t Front and Center
When someone visits a church website, they should be able to find the most important information easily. This includes the church’s address, service times, and contact information.
Letting the most important information buried on the website is a common mistake. Be sure to put the most important info “above the fold” so visitors don’t have to scroll down or click through to find it.
Don’t Update It and Forget It
A church website is not a static entity. It should be regularly updated and maintained.
Many churches make the mistake of designing their website and forgetting about it. They might add new content occasionally, but they don’t put any effort into keeping the site up-to-date.
This can lead to a number of problems, such as out-of-date content, broken links, and security vulnerabilities.
Not Optimizing Web Pages for Search Engines
Web traffic is the lifeblood of any website. If people can’t find a church website, they will not be able to visit it.
That’s why it’s important to optimize traditional church websites for search engines. This includes using the right keywords, having unique and relevant content, and having a well-designed website.
Leave Out Your Logo
Your church’s logo is an important part of your brand. It should be prominently featured on your website.
Many churches mistake leaving their logo off their website or burying it in the footer. This is a missed opportunity to reinforce your church’s brand and make a good first impression.
Try to Use the Homepage for All the Wrong Reasons
The homepage is the most important page on a church website. It’s often the first thing visitors will see, so making a good impression is important.
Many churches make the mistake of using their homepage for things that are not essential, such as a scrolling list of upcoming events or a feed of recent blog posts.
While these things might be necessary, they should not be the focus of the homepage. The homepage’s goal should be to give visitors a clear idea of the church and how they can get involved.
Have Zero Pictures
People are visual creatures. They are more likely to engage with a website that has images than one that is text-heavy.
Many church websites make the mistake of having very few or no pictures. This can make the site feel sterile and uninviting.
Be sure to include high-quality images on the website, especially on the homepage. These images should be relevant to the church and its mission.
Forgetting to Include Definitive Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is an important part of any website. It’s a way to guide visitors to take the next step, whether signing up for a newsletter, attending a service, or making a donation.
Many Christian church websites forget to include CTAs. This can be a missed opportunity to engage visitors and get them involved in the church’s life.
Make sure to include CTAs on every website page and make them clear and concise.
Designing for a Different Audience
Churches are not all the same. They serve different people with different needs. As such, their websites should be designed with their specific audiences in mind.
Many churches make the mistake of designing their website for everyone. They try to include everything and please everyone, but in doing so, they end up pleasing no one.
It’s important to think about who the church is trying to reach with its website. Once that audience is identified, the website can be designed specifically for them.
Your church community website is one of the first places potential new members will look to learn about your congregation. So, you want to make sure it includes all the information they’re looking for.
However, many churches make the mistake of trying to include everything on their website. This can lead to a cluttered and confusing website that is difficult to navigate.
It’s important to focus on the most important information and leave out anything that is not essential.
At 12sm Agency, we understand the importance of well-designed and beautiful church websites. We specialize in creating custom websites tailored to each church’s specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services.