10 of the best church websites

This is not a definitive list, or a ‘top-ten’ of church websites, but I thought it would be instructive to look at some of the best church sites to see what makes them stand out. Until recently many church websites were somewhat behind the times but this is no longer the case. Larger churches in particular are devoting a great deal of effort creating good content, great design and engaging with social media.

Mosaic Church Leeds

Mosaic Church, Leeds

www.mosaic-church.org.uk

This site is a far from the typical church website and has a very minimalist and simple design. Big bold typography and deep-scrolling reflect recent web design trends. Definitely at the leading edge of web design, it is truly ‘responsive’ website – ie the layout will automatically adjust depending on what screen you are using so its content and design is optimised and changes for mobile phone, ipad or PC etc.

What’s great: Bold, modern design allied to great photography.
Not so great: Hard to fault apart from an odd color palette and supersize text and images may not be to everyone’ taste

 

CC_Mayfair

Christ Church, Mayfair, London

www.christchurchmayfair.org

Another bold and modern site, with fully responsive design and similar to Mosaic church but with a softer more approachable feel.

What’s great: Generally clear and informative with great photography and navigation system.
Not so great: Slightly dated logo clashes with design and typography of the site.

 

Mars_Hill_Church

Mars Hill Church, Seattle, USA

www.marshill.com

Love them or loathe them, Mars Hill and its Pastor Mark Driscoll are one of the most influential churches in the world. A large multi-campus church, their website is the gold-standard for church websites and succeeds in presenting a great deal of content in an attractive and manageable way. Navigation is nicely handled with complex drop down menus and sections and pages themed with custom-designed images and thumbnails. Obviously such a large church can afford a first-rate in-house professional web and media team and it shows!

What’s great: Great consistency of design and layout throughout a large site
Not so great: Hard to find faults!

 

CCK_Brighton

Church of Christ the King, Brighton

www.cck.org.uk

A very confident bold design appropriate for one of the most influential churches in the UK. The homepage dominated by very large images. Quirky push-down navigation system and nice “related content” and “upcoming events” links within the site enhance the user journey though what is a large site with a lot of content. Winner of “Best Large Church Website” at the Christian New Media Awards 2012.

What’s great: Animated straplines below the logo convey the church’s values in a clever way without being distracting.
Not so great: Boxes butting up together at the bottom of the homepage don’t always work.

 

LiverpoolOne

LiverpoolOne Church

www.liverpoolonechurch.com

A punchy and vibrant site that doesn’t worry too much about design finesse but grabs your attention with strong graphics and a red/black theme. Welcome video and slide show animation on the homepage co-exist well and it feels like there is a lot going on with being too cluttered. Winner of “Best Small Church Website” at the Christian New Media Awards 2012.

What’s great: ‘In your face’ style of homepage in particular.
Not so great: Typography on main content pages is a little dull.

 

East_End_Church

East End Church, London

www.eastendchurch.co.uk

A unique site for a small church that has real personality. This site proves you don’t have to be a large church to have great content. Preparing good written content and photography can often be overlooked but in this site the copy is provocative and speaks directly to its community in plain language. Its simple design has an unpretentious feel with photography that has an urban edge.
(*I must declare an interest as designer of this site)

What’s great: Great copy and images with straightforward, uncluttered  presentation.
Not so great: Lack of updates about current news and events.

 

Zion_Church

 Zion Reformed Church, Ohio, USA

www.zionchurchpca.org

This site has shows no pretentious to be particularly modern and cool but is a good example of a small church site that is conveys friendliness and does not overwhelm the user with information or images. It is essentially an adapted blog but has been done with taste and style.

What’s great: Simple presentation of information and neat and consistent typography.
Not so great: Lack of images (in particular images from the church) can make some of the content pages feel a bit dry.

 

Planetshakers

Planetshakers, City Church, Melbourne, Australia

www.planetshakers.com

Most of the pages of this site have intricate graphic design elements and it really feels like a work of art in places. Not a typical approach to a website look and feel but works great when a church can afford a talented in-house designer. Makes great use of social media to support the site and is sure to be very effective at engaging with a younger audience.

What’s great: Lots of depth and variety of styles without feeling disjointed.
Not so great: Main navigation rather small.

 

St_Pauls_Hammersmith

St Paul’s, Hammersmith, London

www.sph.org

Effective and under-stated site for large thriving Anglican church with a traditional past but a modern outlook. Strong underlying grid for the layout with a good mix of information on the homepage and easy to find what you want quickly.

What’s great: Consistent treatment of images and handy crumbtrail navigation helps the user stay orientated.
Not so great: Some may think it feels a bit corporate.

 

Kindom_Faith_Church

 Kingdom Faith Churches, UK

www.kingdomfaith.com

Really an umbrella site for 5 churches, this site has a great deal of content and it manages to keep good design consistency thought despite its complexity.

What’s great: So much content beautifully presented. Perfect example of how to use rounded corners in a website well.
Not so great: Possible information overload in places. Main text very small.

Comments

  1. Wow I love these designs! Hasn’t church website design come on such a long way?

    But how can most churches hope to have professional church website like these. The examples above will have been created by rooms of people who make a living from web design. The churches I have worked for have one or two volunteers who maintain their websites, and they are stuck with a design that someone with the skills set up often many, many years ago.

    • Hey Matt, don’t be discouraged! We are currently working on a next to zero dollar budget, yet we’re still making a pretty nice-looking website. Obviously it doesn’t compare to Mars Hill, but it isn’t that bad at all!

      I recommend finding a beautiful template (probably for WordPress) and edit it until it fits your needs! You might spend up to 100 dollars for a template, but if you buy the right one, you won’t need to buy another one for a few years. (Also, the right template will actually make it easier to update your site, allowing your volunteers to be more focused on content creation, and less on design.)

      I personally just fell in love with a new template I found online for less than 60 USD.

      And if even that isn’t in the budget, ask around… You might find someone who has subscribed to a template service, where they’re allowed to download a certain amount of templates, perhaps they could even give you one.

    • Hi Matt – I know how you feel as we had the same problem. However we have just revamped our site by using a template from wix.com which is entirely cutomizable. I have no training in design or website creation but it was easy enough to use that we actually had fun doing it! We think that the result is amazing. Check out what we got done at http://www.northwestchurch.com.au.

      Hope it helps!!

  2. Great list of sites, Mosaic Church is probably my personal favorite from the above.

    I think it’s so encouraging to see churches being creative and striving for excellence.

    I recently created a website for my local church, you can view it here… http://gracegeneration.co.uk

  3. You should definitely check out Freedom Church’s website.

    http://Www.freedomchurch.cc

  4. This a great article. It was super helpful for us as we had our website designed for our church (lighthousechurch.tv). We’d love to see what you think about our new site and review it for us!

    Thanks!

  5. Nice article with good list of church websites.

    I know the article is related to best church websites but I would like to suggest a free wordpress plugin specially developed for church websites which can be very useful for someone who is looking to build a church website. This plugin will help to receive online donation

    “WP Church Donation” https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-church-donation/

    Hope it will help someone start receiving donation online.

  6. Hey everyone! My name is Tyler, I’m the founder over at Ministry Designs – We help churches put together amazing websites just like the sites in this list. We also just put together our “best of” list for 2016. Take a look: https://ministrywebsitedesigns.com/best-church-websites/

  7. I am wanting to get some help in adding some finishing touches to my church’s website.

    Any recommendations?

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  9. Hi. My name is Jadif, and i am working on our church website too. Stll in development progress. I found out that Worpress offer amazing templates and plugins for a church website. Even a free template, though it some limit feature, but if you use them perfectly, you can amazingly create such a beautiful website.

  10. Bread We Break is a young adults ministry reaching 60+ churches in Winnipeg and across Manitoba! Check out https://breadwebreak.com

  11. Thank you this list is helpful as are the comments. I am the new communication liaison for my church and updating the web site is job # 1, so I’m learning WOrdpress and looking for tips.

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