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Every church is working with different resources—budget, staff size, technical knowledge—as they set out to engage their audiences online. Thankfully, it can be incredibly simple to set up and maintain a church website. With the right website builder, anyone can do it!
Here’s what it looks like to build a church website in six simple steps:
With so many website builders to choose from, it’s important to find one that is powerful, easy-to-use, and built with churches in mind. The best church website builders are simple to use and update, offer online giving integrations, include a robust media delivery system, and provide access to support and customer success experts.
As with all things, you get what you pay for when it comes to website builders—the cheap options make it a lot harder to build a church website than people would hope. Unfortunately, popular platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix aren’t user-friendly and they lack many essential features. Some website builders can also require costly add-ons in order to get the functionality you’re looking for.
Once you’ve decided which provider you’ll use to create your church website, it’s time to select a domain name. A domain name is the address that members and visitors will type in their browser to access your church website.
The best church websites have domain names that are short, simple, and easy to remember—like True North Church’s domain, truenorth.cc.
If your church has a very common name, like Calvary Chapel, consider tying the location to the domain. This can improve your church’s online presence, making it easier for people located near you to discover your community. Calvary Chapel Chattanooga’s domain, calvarychatt.com, is a great example of incorporating location rather than struggling to find one that’s already in use.
The best website builders support custom domains regardless of where they were purchased and registered. All church websites built on SnapPages—part of the Subsplash Platform—support custom domains.
While a domain name acts like the street address for a home, the web hosting acts like the land the home sits upon—it’s where the website content actually lives. If you’re thinking about building a church website, this is an essential step requiring careful research, because you could overpay hundreds of dollars every year if you choose the wrong web hosting provider!
Churches have the option of independently purchasing web hosting or getting it through your website builder. Both web hosting options can cost between $3 to $30 per month for basic packages or well over $100 per month for advanced plans, although some basic website builders offer hosting for free.
Finding a website builder that includes hosting is the best option for both your wallet and your workflow. Why spend upwards of $350 a year with web hosting services like Dreamhost or Bluehost when solutions like SnapPages automatically include hosting in every package and don’t require technical knowledge to set it up?
Unlike other hosting solutions, SnapPages is completely hosted in the cloud. This creates a quicker and more secure way to access your web content. In addition to 20GB of storage, SnapPages also stores previous versions of your website so you can always revert back if needed.
Now for the fun part! It’s time to start actually building out your church website.
Starting from the ground up might seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be! Thankfully, most website builders include customizable templates for the perfect starting point for building your church website while also allowing you to customize it with your church brand and content. The best website builders for churches, such as SnapPages, take it a step further by offering church-themed templates. These pre-built templates enable you to create a beautiful, powerful website in a fraction of the usual time.
Build your navigation
When building a website for your church, it’s important to consider the user experience. Your average website visitor is most likely either a current member of your church community or someone exploring your ministry for the first time. In either case, it’s key to have a well-organized website that makes it easy for visitors to find information.
Building an organized and easy-to-use church website starts with the navigation menu. A navigation menu is a collection of links that point to key areas of your church website. Most menus are placed horizontally at the top of your website but are automatically reformatted for mobile devices.
Most church websites should include:
If someone can’t find the info they’re looking for on your website, that could negatively impact their participation in your ministry and even affect visiting your church at all. That’s why creating a website for your church that’s easy to navigate is so crucial.
Now that your church website is organized, it’s time to add your content. The best church websites have:
Now that you’ve built a website for your church, it’s time to get the word out! A church website isn’t very useful if your community doesn’t know about it.
Here are some simple ways to let your community know about your newly launched church website:
It’s never been easier to build a website for your church! SnapPages is the best website builder for churches because of its intuitive drag-and-drop editor, custom church templates, and powerful integration with the rest of the Subsplash Platform. After just a few simple steps, any church can easily set up a website in order to increase engagement, expand reach, and make more disciples.