Website Main Menu

Should “GIVE” be in your church website main menu?

Your church website is important. Why? The world has transitioned from a print communication hub (bulletin, newsletters, brochures) to a digital communication hub (website, social media, email). And people seek information on a website as quickly as possible. Most only want a website session to last about 30 seconds. That’s not long!

In that brief time, most are only clicking 3 times allowing 10 seconds on each page. However, many only like spending about 3 seconds on a homepage. This suggests that when someone visits a website, they quickly glance at the main menu opposite the logo near the top right of the page.

Therefore, the organization of the menu and website is critical to find what they’re looking for. You should limit your menu to fewer than 7 main items. Many churches use one of those spots for “GIVE”.

Is that the best scenario?

I wrestle with this. Since everyone goes to the main menu to peruse the site’s content, do we want to be asking for money there? Would we ever greet a car in the parking lot with an offering plate? I dare say we wouldn’t. What about inside the main entrance? Or when people enter the worship service?

It all seems too soon. So, instead, we let someone experience the worship service and in the middle of worship, we take up the offering. It just feels right. Not that it’s biblical but it makes sense with that timing. Some even wait till the end when people are leaving. The offering IS an act of worship. That is biblical.

Here are 3 options for asking for GIVING on your church website (because it is important to ask):

Scenario 1: The main menu. Many churches do it this way. I’d caution you though to not use a special colored button to call attention to it. The church’s perception is tainted with the idea we’re all about money. Having a glaring button in the header of your website asking for money feeds that perception. Website hierarchy says that anything at the top of a page is seen as more important than things at the bottom. The top menu already gives the GIVE menu item priority. Another tip: Because we read from left to right, we perceive things on the left as more important than things on the right. So, I’d suggest putting the GIVE menu item on the right. Maybe just before the CONTACT item that’s usually the final menu option.

Scenario 2: You want online giving but not in the main menu. This is closer to our congregation’s view of the offering in the worship service. But where should we put the “ask”? It could be an option under the ABOUT dropdown menu item or under CONTACT would also work. This keeps it more secondary. Another secondary option than in the primary menu? Add an eyebrow menu (usually a thin color bar at the very top above the main menu) it could have a place next to SEARCH, MAP, and/or service times.

Scenario 3: Like in-person worship, why not have a GIVE button or link on inside web pages when you’re sharing stories, ministry victories, or on the events or gallery pages that shares pictures of events. Perhaps a line of text saying: “We can’t do these ministries without your generous gifts, offerings, and tithes. Thank you for giving. (with GIVING being a link or button). It makes it part of worship and ministry!

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