A church website template is like the outlines in a coloring book.
You’re the one adding life to the page and creating something worth looking at . . . but wow, it sure helps to have the outlines. You don’t have to be an artist to look like an artist.
The finished product—your church website—depends in large part on the outline you begin with—your church website template.
Here are five things to look for so you choose one that helps your church website shine.
1. Strategic design
Did the designers who created the church website template focus only on making it look gorgeous? Or did they think through the experience of the real people who’ll be visiting the church’s site?
For example, it’s all too easy to make these mistakes:
•Hide the headline too far down the page where people won’t even see it.
• Create a fancy-looking icon menu that most people can’t actually understand.
• Sacrifice functionality for “visual appeal.”
If people can’t find what your church is about in seconds, many will be off to the next search result without a second thought. Same for if they can’t easily find what they’re looking for. (For example, it’s Sunday morning, and someone is searching for a local church to live stream. If it’s not easy to find, they’ll assume it’s not there.)
2. Mobile friendliness
If your church website isn’t mobile friendly, even the most strategic design won’t matter. People will still have problems getting where they need to go, and the experience won’t leave them with a good impression.
3. Modern color schemes
Speaking of leaving a good impression . . .
At the same time, it can be surprisingly tough to find the right shades so you can emphasize what should be emphasized, yet keep your site looking harmonious and welcoming. Your church website template should take the guesswork out of it for you and not offer you dated or bland schemes that won’t do your church any favors.
4. Video background options
You know it . . . people love video.
The option to include a video background can help visitors stay longer on your church’s homepage and nudge them deeper into your site. (Marketers care a lot about how much time people spend on pages, of course, and 80% of them say including video has increased that time.2)
Plus, let’s face it. Video backgrounds can look really impressive.
5. User friendliness
Your church website template should produce a website that’s easy for visitors to navigate—but creating that website should also be easy for you.
If your template is great for visitors but difficult for you, it’s going to cause problems:
• You’ll probably end up frustrated instead of with a website you’re happy with.
• You’ll likely miss out on what the template could have helped you create, if only you could figure out how to use it.
• You’ll eventually stop updating the website as often as it should be, since it’s such a hassle.
And all of that detracts from your website’s appeal. When potential guests see out-of-date pages or designs, they could leave with the impression that your church isn’t prepared for them to visit, doesn’t plan ahead well, or doesn’t have much attention to detail.
So what can help you avoid all that? What makes a church website template easy to use? Here are a few big things.
• A suggested menu prewritten for you, so you’ll never have to start from scratch
• Suggestions for what content to include, for example on the About page
• Autofill for things appearing on several pages (like your church’s location and logo) so you only have to add them once
• No coding! What you see is what you get.
If you haven’t updated your church website lately, it’s a great time to find a solid template and consider implementing it.