7 Steps to Get Your Church Website Live before Easter

When church is online, your website speaks for your church more than ever. But what if you don’t have a church website yet? Is it too late to have an inviting, professional site before Easter?

It’s not! In one afternoon, you can build a powerful, welcoming church website from start to finish. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Get started with Faithlife Sites.

With Faithlife Sites, building your church website is so easy, you can get it set up in minutes. 

  • Faithlife Sites was created just for churches, so it guides you through setting up everything a solid church website needs.
  • It was made to be simple and beautiful, so you don’t have to know a thing about computer coding or boast impressive design skills. (But if you do dabble in HTML or CSS, you can use Faithlife Sites Premium to add your own code.)
  • It comes with a free Faithlife group for your church, which helps you stay connected, manage events, and more—all from one place. No need to do the same work twice.
  • It’s affordable and doesn’t require countless plugins and subscriptions to do what you need it to do. (Who has time to keep up with all that?)

To start creating your church website, just do these two quick things:

  1. Create your Faithlife account. (If you already have an account, sign in and click Get Started at Faithlife Sites.)
  2. Create a Faithlife group for your church. (This option will automatically appear after you click Get Started or create your Faithlife account.) 

Watch the video below for a step-by-step walkthrough of getting started—and a glimpse at how simple it is to add important information to your website (like your church’s logo and service times). In about seven minutes, you’ll see all the key elements of building your Faithlife Site; it’s one video well worth a watch.

Step 2: Choose your domain name.

Think of your website like your church building and your custom domain name like its address. Pick a domain name that’s short, easy to remember, and easy to spell—like firstchurchbellingham.com. For more pointers, see How to Choose the Right Church Website Domain Name.

easter online blog

Step 3: Create the most important pages.

Good news! When you start your brand-new Faithlife site, you’re not starting from scratch. Faithlife researched the most common pages churches include on their websites and prepopulated them into each theme’s menu. 

How to edit your church website pages

Your Faithlife site is like a fill-in-the-blank template. Themes include boxes for content: click into the boxes and type what you’d like to appear. You can easily edit pages, site design, and settings. 

easter online blog

Church website pages you need—and what to put on them

As mentioned above, you’ll see the most popular pages for church websites already populated in your menu. Just fill in content for your church, and you’re good to go! 

Top 4 pages you need before Easter

1. Home Page

This is the most important page on your website because it’s the first page visitors see. What do you want to tell them? What makes your church different? Make your content friendly and conversational—like you’d talk to someone in person.

Make sure your home page includes:

  • Service times and locations
  • A section dedicated to any holiday services, like Easter
  • Your church’s mission statement or big idea
  • A focus on one action, typically visiting your church
  • Live stream
  • A sermon/sermons that represent your church well

2. About Us 

This can be a single page or a collection of pages nestled under an About Us menu (most common). Include Leadership, Contact, What We Believe (your church’s full or summarized statement of faith), Mission and Values, and Location (both physical location and church social media accounts). 

3. Resources

You can start simple and add more later. Include resources like these:

  • Sermons
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Church blog posts
  • Study guides and other similar resources
  • Recommended reading

4. Giving 

This is a must, not only so your church can keep receiving tithes and gifts, but also so you can easily set up benevolence and coronavirus-relief giving. 

While you can use any online giving platform, we recommend Faithlife Giving because it allows givers to stay on your trusted church website rather than getting directed to a third-party site (where they have yet another account and password to manage). It’s easy for you, too. After you activate your Faithlife Giving account, you can install online giving to your site with a couple of clicks—and even choose to allow givers to cover any giving fees. 

Get a church website that runs itself

5 more important pages 

You don’t have to wait until every page is done to publish your church website. Get the most important pages (above) finished first, then round out the rest as you can.

1. Ministries

People will look to see if you have ministries that match their needs and passions. Mention all your ministries, down to support groups and affiliations (like Celebrate Recovery or Mothers of Preschoolers). Include things like:

  • When each ministry meets
  • Photos of ministries in action
  • A calendar or list of past and future events 
  • Contact info for each ministry

Just give short summaries on this page. Insert “read more” links to point people to the extended explanations. 

2. Getting Involved

This page gives you a huge opportunity to ask site visitors to give their name and email address so you can follow up with more information.

Cover things like: 

  • Signing up to receive emails
  • Membership
  • Baptism
  • Small groups
  • Volunteering

Instead of using special names like “Ignite,” be descriptive: “First Baptist Youth” or simply “Youth Group.”

3. Events/Church Calendar

You can feature top events on your home page and have a separate Events/Calendar page, often nestled in the About Us or Connect menu.

Great news: events you create in your Faithlife group will automatically carry over to your church website.

4. Visit 

Include details about service times and locations, but then go a step further to help visitors know what to expect. Give a summary of what happens in your services, what you sing, your preaching style, what kids do during the sermon, how people dress, and anything else visitors might need to know. (For example, where to find visitor parking or how to engage in online church services.)

5. Optional: COVID-19 Updates

While this page is entirely optional, it makes it easy for members and guests to get all your church’s COVID-19-related updates and resources in one place. 

This page could include: 

  • Resources to help members and guests through anxiety 
  • Directions on how to give or volunteer during social distancing  
  • Instructions on how to join your live stream
  • How to submit prayer requests or join an online small group
  • Devotionals 
  • Newsletters 

Step 4: Incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When you optimize your site for search engines, it helps people looking for a church to find yours. The most important step to becoming search-engine friendly is to register your church with Google

Next, you’ll want to choose smart keywords—like your denomination and your city’s name—then incorporate those throughout your site, especially in headlines. For a step-by-step walkthrough that makes SEO simple, read How to Get Your Church Website on Google.

Step 5: Adjust for online church & Easter services

Normally, your website’s goal would be to get people to visit. While churches can’t gather in person or are gathering with reduced number, include an emphasis on getting site visitors to view your live stream and connect with you. 

Add your church’s contact information so it appears on every page of your site. Make sure your live stream is set up before Easter—and that it’s prominent on your home page. 

Also feature your important announcements front and center on your home page, like this one: 

easter online blog

Clicking on Easter’s event, for example, takes visitors to an Easter online page. From that page, people can easily click to watch the service live stream starting at 10:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday. With Faithlife Live Stream, visitors won’t have to go to Facebook or YouTube or anywhere else to watch—you can include the live stream right there on your site.

To encourage engagement in your online church services, we also recommend adding a downloadable worship guide to your resources page. 

What might you include in your worship guide? 

  • Order of service
  • Songs and lyrics
  • Verse references
  • Sermon outline 
  • Kids’ activities
  • Correlated Bible reading
  • Directions on how to give or volunteer 
  • Instructions on how to join your live stream
  • How to submit prayer requests or join an online small group

Step 6: Preview your site

You’re almost there . . . it’s time to give your site a once-over for errors and mobile-friendliness. To do that, look in the top-right corner of your screen and toggle from Edit mode to Preview mode.

Then click on each device’s icon to see how it appears on mobile, desktop, and tablet.

Step 7: Publish your site

Go to the top-right corner again and click Go Live. After you do that, your church website is live in time for Easter online!

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More church website help

Faithlife Sites help

Get started with Faithlife Sites today and build your attractive, welcoming church website by Sunday. How good will that feel? If you get stuck and need help, check out the links above or give us a call at 888-634-2038.

To get your church website, church communications tools, online giving, church presentation software, and more with one bill and one login, check out Faithlife Equip’s integrated ministry platform.

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Written by
Faithlife Staff

Faithlife (makers of Logos Bible Software) is the largest developer of Bible study software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing. Faithlife partners with more than 500 publishers to make more than 120,000 Bible study resources available to customers around the world. More recently, Faithlife has launched the world's first integrated ministry platform, a full suite of ministry, communication, and management tools for churches.

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Written by Faithlife Staff