It’s so important to modernize your church website design. Why? Here’s a super-short story (see how much you can relate):
It happened just this morning. I searched for something and clicked on the first promising result. The page I reached, however, was not promising. It looked like it hadn’t been touched in a minimum of five years, and I clicked away without a second thought.
That happens with all sorts of websites, and it doesn’t really affect life that much. But when it comes to people clicking away from church websites—now that can affect life in incalculable ways.
So here are three elements to modernize your church website so your online visitors stick around.
1. Make your church’s site mobile friendly
Because of mobile’s importance, this is a great place to start. Mobile devices account for as much as 70% of website visitors.1 And with mobile devices, we’re used to getting the information we’re looking for fast. Another stat says that “61% of mobile users will never return to a website if it is not mobile adaptive.”2
Take a look at your church website builder. Does it make mobile friendliness easy?
Then go to your church’s site on mobile. Does it load quickly? Is all the information a new visitor would look for front, center, and easy to find?
Once you’ve done that analysis, you can head over to this free mobile-friendliness analyzer from Google.
2. Improve your user experience
People want to find what they’re looking for fast on mobile or desktop.
Pretend you’ve never been to your site before. Does the navigation make sense, or are there items that aren’t where you expected them to be—for example, online giving tucked under About Us?
Another good idea here is to ask someone new to your church to do some informal analysis. Ask them to just walk you through what they think when they’re on your site. This doesn’t have to be in person (that might be a little awkward). You can hop on a video call together and have them share their screen (less awkward). Or ask them to use a screen recorder like Loom or VidYard and give you their impressions (least awkward).
Scope out some easily navigated church website templates here.
3. Add video to your home page
Adding video is a quick, easy way to modernize your home page. It can help your visitors stick around longer—when done right.
• Don’t autoplay video with sound.
• Don’t use video that’s too long and increases page-load time.
• Do use video that represents your church well. It’s better to have no video than a poor-quality one or one that doesn’t reflect what you’re really like.
4. Update your photography
If your photos are from years ago, people can tell. If the quality is subpar, people can definitely tell. High-quality, recent photos are even more expected on websites today than they used to be, so do a photo audit. Remove any dated or poor quality photos, then replace them with new, high-quality photos from around your church. You can also use church stock photos in moderation, but make sure they match the look and feel of your church and its culture.
For a mobile-friendly church website that’s easy to navigate (and add video to), explore Faithlife Sites. You can create a website for free—yes, free—keep it for as long as you like, and only upgrade if you choose to. It even has built-in stock photos to use forever, or just until you can schedule a photo shoot at your church.
Since Faithlife’s church website builder is part of the integrated ministry platform, it can also do things other church website builders can’t, like update automatically. Take a look.