If you’ve ever stood in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, looked at the hundreds of choices, and then walked away without choosing one, then you’ve experienced analysis paralysis. Options are supposed to be good, right? What happens when they become overwhelming? You don’t want your search for the right church website builder to feel like you’re standing in the cereal aisle (unless you just really love cereal). But how do you limit your choices, look for the right features, and choose the best possible church website builder for your church?
While every church website is and should be different, there are a few key features that every successful and strategic site should possess. In your search for the right church website builder, take this list of features and measure it up against the builder. Use this list of key features to prevent analysis paralysis and make the best decision for your church.
Here are 12 key features to look for in a church website builder:
#1 – Beautiful Church Website Themes and Media
In your search for the right church website builder, take a look at the themes they offer to get a feel for design, features, and style. Look for themes that are customizable and laid out in a visually appealing way. Look for a builder with great graphics you can use for your website and on Sunday mornings for a cohesive look and feel. Use the same graphics in your bulletin, worship backgrounds, and at church events throughout the year.
#2 – A User-Friendly Back End
Unless you’re a developer, you’re going to want a user-friendly system when it comes to building your site. Look for companies that offer drag-and-drop builders so your site will look and function great, even without design skills. Bonus? Find one that lets you can drag and drop sections to personalize each page.
#3 – Easy Church Website Integrations With Church Software
Your church website is just one tool in your belt. Integrations with your church management software, online giving system, live stream, and more should be simple. For instance, you should be able to add an event to your church management software and have it appear on your website without repeating the process. Incorporate registration forms and giving workflows that send thank-you messages directly to first-time donors. Church website builders with easy integrations can help you keep your focus on ministry, not troubleshooting technology.
#4 – Ministry-Specific Layouts
Think about what you want your church website to do. Some website builders may require countless plug-ins to achieve those desired results. Look for a builder that works with churches to create layouts that serve your visitors, whether that’s a sermon layout or a giving page.
#5 – Responsive Sites
Gone are the days where people just browse the web on their computers, because of this your church website needs to look great on phones, tablets, and any device. Look for church website platforms that are mobile responsive.
#6 – Easy Importing to the Church Website
As a church, chances are you will be importing and uploading all sorts of media to your site. Look for a church website platform that has a media player that is responsive, beautifully designed, and easy to use.
#7 – Simple Social Sharing From Your Church Website
Once your church website is built, you should be able to easily share pages, sermons, events and more to your social sites. Ensure that this is possible and simple in the platform you choose.
#8 – Engaging Church Website Event Features
From promoting your Christmas services to launching your next capital campaign, your church website should be able to do it all. Find a church website builder that allows you to build event pages, sections, and view it all in a calendar view.
#9 – Simple Form Building
Your church website should be a hub for event sign-ups, volunteer registration, prayer requests, and so much more. Forms make all of this possible. Make sure that your church website builder allows you to build both simple and complex forms directly in the software.
#10 – Built-In Photo Editing
Make sure that the photos you upload to your site look great with a church website builder that offers built-in photo editing. This should help you to place and resize images without having to use yet another software.
#11 – Reasonable Prices
When it comes to building a church website, prices are all over the board. However, the right church website builder will fit into your (reasonable) budget. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a site that helps your church grow online.
#12 – Real Customer Support and Consultative Services
When you call your church website builder, you should get to talk to real people. No automated machines. No voicemail. Real people. Those people should understand what makes church websites missional. Their company should offer packages to help you migrate old website content and plan a new look and feel for your new site. Ideally, you want to feel like the support team is an extension of your church office staff, ready and available to help when you need it.
Hopefully, in your search for the right church website builder, this list of features helps to guide your decision. Check out Clover Sites, which offers all the above-listed features and more. Clover has partnered with thousands of churches to help them build stunning, missional websites. Try a free demo to check it out for yourself.