All churches need an effective website; but are there certain pages you must have on a church website? Yes! There are many options but, when asked, a church member suggests they mostly want three pages. And when someone in a community is looking for a church, they say they’re mainly looking for 3 pages too.
Are both audiences looking for the same pages though? That would make it easier! But interestingly, the answer is “almost”. They both seek the first two pages listed below. And then the congregation (member) wants the third, while the community is looking for the fourth page listed. So, really, if you improve these four pages, you’ll satisfy both audiences and give them the content they need.
Pages you must have on your church website: concentrate on these four before working on the others:
- Service Times and Location (Home Page): Both audiences want to know where you’re located and when they can attend. Since this is the number one desired content, ensure it’s in a prominent place (high on the home page). You may consider having an eyebrow menu (a line of menu items above the main menu that’s perceived as secondary). Then simply list times (linked to service details if necessary) and having a clickable address (e.g. Sun 9 & 11am | Online Anytime | 7 Church St, Parishtown, Maine) that points to a map website (e.g. Google Maps).
- Staff Page with Pictures: Next, the congregation wants a staff page that lists the church team who are in charge of ministries. If they would be needed by a member, they should be listed with an easy way to contact them. The community, on the other hand, is looking for staff pictures. They want to see if they’d fit into a group that’s led by this team. They’re probably judging what everyone looks like so only show head and shoulder pictures that are friendly and complimentary. Have the pictures cropped similarity as possible so no one stands out. Have everyone dress like they’d expect most to wear when attending services. Neither of the audiences seem to care about long bios so create a few bullet points that highlight what the congregation or community would need to know. Keep it short.
- Events Listing or Calendar: This page is mainly for the congregation. They want to be able to find what’s going on for them or their kids. Make it easy! Either have a listing or a calendar grid (or both). For quick discovery, filterability allows someone to only see events they want (e.g. click on “men’s” and all the other events go away to show only men’s events). Give them the details they’ll need to decide to attend. If it’s too much for a short listing, consider having a link to a dedicated page.
- “About” or “New?” Page: Finally, for pages you must have on your church website that your community will seek after, give them a page that explains: denomination/beliefs, what you’re known for, and why they’ll love to attend. Include service times and possibly a short video showing what to expect when they enter the building and a bit of a typical service from their vantage point. On the page, have links to other areas of your website so they feel introduced and welcome!