There are many website platforms available for churches to take advantage of their powerful features.
WordPress is one that allows for a powerful system to be created from the ground up to meet the needs of the church. Themes can be purchased that have beautiful features already created and can be customized with the church’s content; for example, themeforest.net is a good source for such themes.
WordPress is a strong web platform that allows features to increase infinitely to meet the needs of a growing church and provides a powerful content management system to allow for updates by non-experts. WordPress has a large presence on the web, with many people working to enhance the software, constantly adjusting it to the ever-changing web. Widgets can be added to increase features as the church grows.
There are also companies who specialize in church websites and who have created specific platforms to serve churches. One of these is ascend98.com, which we ourselves created. It is a custom WordPress-based application specifically designed for churches. This product uses the power of WordPress and comes with built-in features to serve most churches with a subscription to the application. Because it is an application, it is maintained for optimal performance on the web while keeping the ease of use in place for the church to make frequent updates.
WordPress is a nice platform, but be sure to search out services that are created for serving the needs of churches. They all have strengths to benefit your church. Many of the custom platforms as designed to make the updates as easy as possible and to integrate with other services such as your church database.
Example: LifeMission.church website
Life Mission Church built its website on a WordPress platform with the focus of allowing people to connect with key areas of the church and be informed of what the church has to offer. The site has a priority on target audience putting the non believer first, church seeker next and then serving the regular attenders.
This church is growing with one large campus which serves as a central hub for 2 other campuses. With over 2000 people attending weekly, the church had resources to have a custom site created and needed to have the flexibility to add to the site as needs increased.
WordPress was chosen to build the site with because of the robust features it could offer as the church grows. A developer and designer worked together to produce a customized experience to meet the needs of the church’s audience. A theme was purchased from themeforest.net to provide a mobile optimized starting point with rich features.
We personally worked with the church to strategize the user experience and design of the site. We focused on the target audiences–unbelievers, seekers, and members–letting them drive design decisions. This church also wants to appeal to people who have a passion to change their world by being active with their faith. They want to attract those who start businesses, start ministries, go out into the mission field and boldly seek ways to impact the world. The design was established to be appealing to these people.
The structure of the site allows for new people (non believes and church seekers) to learn about the church. A simple main navigation leads users through pages which give descriptions visually of various areas of the church. As the user has interest in an area they can drill deeper by clicking further within that area.
The design featured rich photography of the church experience showing people worshiping and interacting with each other. We wanted to give people a genuine feel through the website of what the atmosphere of the church is.
The result of the strategy and planning resulted in a web platform which serves the church’s vision.
What has your personal experience been with different platforms?