church web design

6 Crucial Elements of a Church Homepage (plus 2 bonuses)

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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Do you know what it takes to prepare your church and your church website for fall outreach? 

Welcome to August! It’s that season when most people are back from vacations, kids are going back to school (or preparing to do so), and other activities start back up. People are figuring out their fall schedules and more open to getting connected with a church.

Many churches recognize this opportunity and focus their efforts on outreach during August and September.

To help, we are making our theme this month Church Outreach Month, and we’re kicking off  a blog series designed to help you better use your website and other online communication tools to support your efforts to reach people in your community.

Now more than any time in history, potential visitors to your church start by visiting your church’s website before visiting the actual church (in person).

Your church website is your church’s front door.  It is absolutely crucial that your website is accessible, attractive, and includes all the information that first time visitors are looking for when they come to your site.

They want to see what the church is about, what the people look like who attend and work at the church, when services are, and where you are located.

Below is a list of 6 elements your church must have on it’s homepage in order to give a great first impression to those who are considering visiting your church in person:

1) Logo:  Many church websites have the name of the church in plain text in the header.  However, it is becoming more important to have a logo on the church website that incorporates the church name name, style, and key elements of the church’s personality.  In addition, once you have a church logo, you can use it on all other print and digital media to create a brand that will be recognizable in your community.  Click here to view some of the logos we have created for clients.

2) Large image or image slider “above the fold:” Whether you use a single image or have an image slider, having a visually appealing element people see immediately when they visit your website is important.

3) Welcome message:  Every church homepage should have a written welcome message. (A welcome video is great too!) The written welcome  should be accompanied by a picture of the pastor, so the visitor can associate the welcome coming from the pastor.

4) Pictures of people who go to your church:  We are a visually oriented society and most people would rather look at an image that read text.  Also, before attending a church many visitors want an idea of what the congregation looks like.  This means that you should use images of people who actually attend your church and stay clear of using stock images on your homepage, unless it is just the background to text that is trying to convey a message.

5) Service times:  One of the main reasons that a visitor comes to your church website is to see when the services are.  Make it easy for them to find this information and include it on your homepage. If your church live streams its services, make sure to note that as well with a link to the live stream.

6) Contact information:  For someone to visit the church, they must know where it meets.  Include the physical address and phone number on your homepage.  If possible, also include a map (embed a Google map) of where the church meets.

In addition to the above 6 crucial elements to include on your homepage, here are 2 bonus elements that would be extremely beneficial to have on your homepage:

  • Most recent sermon:  Have a section on the homepage with your most recent sermon or service.  This can be in either an audio or video format.
  • Testimonials:  Many new website designs offer a testimonial slider.  Even if your design doesn’t have the ability for a testimonial slider, a single testimonial that is changed out every few weeks is a good alternative.

The website is the church’s front door.  Keep it clean, well maintained, and easy to access.  – Mark Steinbrueck

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Comment and discuss:

  • What do you think of these elements for your church’s homepage?  Are there any others you think are important to have on the homepage?
  • Share your thoughts and ideas about church outreach in the August Listening Post survey.

If you are interested in talking to someone about a logo or church website design, fill out the consultation request form below.

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    About the author

    Mark Steinbrueck

    Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold.