Some church website design trends fade away quickly, but others define how sites continue to evolve for years to come.
These are the types of website design trends your church needs to know about. After all, you want a site that seems current and modern. Plus, this helps to drive more visitors to your site.
While you don’t have to use all of these trends at once (in fact, please don’t), utilizing at least a few will help give your church’s site a great makeover and make it more engaging for your visitors.
Looking for some additional inspiration? Check out our post on the Top 100 Best Church Websites
1. Standout With Simple Animations
Animations really aren’t new, but they’re becoming a much more widespread trend. This isn’t the same as video. Instead, this trend involves the use of dynamic illustrations that help draw the eye without overwhelming.
Simple cinemagraphs add a nice touch and bring more personality to your church’s website. And yes, adding in slightly more advanced PowerPoint-style animations work well, in moderation.
Keep your animations to a minimum and only use them when they make sense. Also, remember to never use animations that could cause seizures.
2. Add In 3-D Illustrations
Want an element to really pop? Opt for 3-D illustrations. This is one of those incredibly fun church website design trends that’s highly effective too. These are especially useful when appealing to a younger audience, such as children.
However, adults love them too. The idea is to add more depth to your site. This makes it appear more welcoming and friendly.
3. Content Comes First
You probably already know just how important the content on your website is. No matter how great the design itself, your church’s site will still fall flat without good content.
Of course, Search Engine Journal points out that the perfect combination of content and design is what it takes to make your site successful. They’re absolutely right.
One of the latest trends throughout 2018 and into 2019 is to ensure the design places the main focus on the content. Instead of tons of colors and images, content stands out and dominates the screen. Honestly, you can probably blame much of this trend on mobile users as larger text instantly grabs attention on smaller screens.
4. Utilize Creative Typography
Typography, or the fonts you use, make a major difference in how visitors perceive your site. While you probably don’t pay that much attention normally, if you pay close attention to the sites you like most, you might find similar typography trends.
The right font does make a difference. Go bold, use outlines or use an unusual (but still legible) font. Get creative and show off your church’s personality.
5. Use Dramatic Color Combos
Most church website design trends usually tell you to shy away from dramatic color combos, but they’re actually not bad at all. The key is to avoid going too extreme.
Canva has a list of 100 dramatic color combinations. Use them as inspiration to show you how adding a little dramatic flair adds depth and naturally draws the eye to specific elements of your site.
Just remember, unless you’re a reality TV star or a teenager, too much drama never works out so well.
6. Mix Minimalism With Eye-Catching Elements
Minimalist web design has taken off in the last few years. A great example – Medium. It’s also a good example of minimalist along with the content comes first trend.
It’s one of the most effective church website design trends too. It’s not only easy to manage, but it keeps visitors engaged in the elements that are most important.
It’s often used to prevent creating a cluttered, hard-to-use website. Smashing Magazine offers great examples of how to pull this trend off.
However, the minimalist trend is evolving slightly. Make one or two elements stand out from the rest. Add a sudden video or pop of color. You’ll be amazed at just how engaging this can be.
7. Opt For Brutalism Instead
Brutalist sites are just about as straight-forward and basic as you can go. Some churches will absolutely love this trend. For others, brutalist sites might be too in-your-face for your desired audience.
Use this trend with caution. Think of it as minimalist, but on steroids. The good news – these sites are insanely easy for people to use. They’re exactly what you’d expect. A button looks like a button and links always look at links.
With so many trends that focus on links you have to search for, menus that disappear and buttons that just look like regular images, this can be a welcome reprieve for some. You also have to keep in mind that this trend doesn’t allow much room for creativity.
Ideally, using a few elements, such as more obvious navigation, can help your church’s site, especially with older visitors.
8. Don’t Forget To Add Video
Want better engagement on your church’s website? Don’t forget to add videos. No matter what type of church website design trends you embrace, make sure video is one of them.
Why? People love watching videos. They also generate higher click-through rates than text-based content. Another benefit – videos keep visitors on your site longer, which helps your Google rank. Even better is the fact that visitors of all ages enjoy watching videos, so they appeal to everyone you’re trying to target.
While you don’t have to fill your church’s site with videos, try to add in some here and there. For instance, you might add a quick video once a month as a special Bible study post on your blog.
Of course, churches can also record sermons and showcase their volunteer and ministry efforts in action. Not sure what to do yourself? Just look up other churches online and on YouTube to see all the various ways to use video for your church.
9. Get Unique With Hand Drawn Elements
Want to add a more personal touch to your church’s site? Add in some hand drawn illustrations. For instance, you might have someone sketch your church and use that for your logo or website header.
While it might sound outdated with all the digital design tools available, that’s part of its charm. It adds a more human touch to the screen, inviting people to come and explore your site. Some churches even create hand drawn designs for their blog posts.
Just add in a few here and there and it will make a difference in the look and feel of your site.
10. Skip The Usual Colors And Go Black & White
Have you ever seen those black and white paintings that somehow seem to have more life and depth than a full color picture? It’s incredible isn’t it!
Now, imagine doing that with your website. It might seem bland, but this is one of those surprising church website design trends that actually work. Instead of focusing so much on all the colors, visitors have to pay more attention to the content, including images.
Want to make it even more effective? Add in just one or two bright colors. Think back to those black and white paintings and portraits where just the eyes or one piece of clothing or jewelry is in color. It’s eye-catching and impossible to look away.
11. Create Inclusive Designs
This is one of the most important church website design trends to utilize. Actually, it’s not so much a trend as a must-have if you want your site to be accessible by all.
For instance, what if someone is color-blind and can’t tell that your red call-to-action text is clickable? What if you have blind people who want to read your blog posts?
There are millions of people who have disabilities that prevent them from interacting with websites like others. While it’s not always something you think of, taking the time to create an inclusive design makes your site and church much more welcoming.
W3C helps explain the importance of accessibility, usability
Smashing Magazine goes even more in-depth to discuss the lenses of accessibility. It’s an eye-opening read that showcases all the various ways to make a site more accessible.
12. Add Engaging Chatbots
Chatbots probably don’t seem like they’d go hand-in-hand with churches, but hear us out. Unless you’re a mega-church, you can’t have someone replying to messages 24/7. It’s just not possible.
However, a chatbot is always available. While they can’t handle everything, they can tackle common questions and requests. For instance, your chatbot could answer questions about service times and special events.
You could also use chatbots to engage visitors with Bible study or even Bible trivia games. This is a great way to create a more interactive website.
If your church is on Facebook, you may even want to consider using Facebook Messenger chatbots. With the popularity of Messenger, this could be a great way to build your following on Facebook and drive more traffic back to your church’s website.
13. Stay Fluid With Organic Shapes
If you’ve ever talked with a web designer, you’ve probably heard about grid-based designs. Those are nice and still incredibly popular. However, websites don’t have to just be grid-based.
Life is all about organic shapes. After all, people don’t exactly fit into the grid design. Add some natural movement to your site by using more organic shapes.
For instance, instead of a square or rectangular header, use a wave shape to distinguish between your header and the body of your site. Have your menu pop out of the side in the shape of your church.
Have some fun with this trend. Don’t be afraid to design outside the grid lines just a bit.
14. Use Micro-interactions To Engage
Mobile has really helped micro-interactions become one of the best church website design trends to boost engagement. Mobile apps have made these types of interactions so common that users expect them on websites too.
They don’t have to be complicated either. For instance, if you want visitors to sign up on your site to comment on blog posts, participate in forums or even tithe online, you’ll need to provide an account setup form. A useful micro-interaction would be to have a real-time password strength indicator to show users if their passwords are secure enough.
Useful animations, such as a thumbs up when
The Nielson Normal Group goes more in-depth into the types of micro-interactions and when they’re most effective. While it’s kind of technical at times, it’s useful for deciding what types of micro-interactions you want to try.
15. Design For Thumbs
As of 2018, mobile devices accounted for 48.2% of all Internet traffic. By the time 2019 is over, experts believe over five billion people will be using mobile devices.
If you want to reach as many people as possible with your church’s website, you have to design for thumbs. Since that’s the main way users type and interact on mobile devices, your site needs to be compatible. While a responsive design is a great start, that doesn’t make it 100% mobile-friendly.
For instance, if your buttons are placed too close together, it’s impossible not to make a mistake when trying to click. Think about how easy it is to interact with your site on mobile, design with this in mind and you’ll easily master this trend.
16. Make More Use Of Your Footer
Your footer is just that thing at the bottom of your site with a few links, right? Right now, it is. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Your footer can be a highly engaging part of your site. Add a contact form, your most useful links, a map, social media links and even a newsletter sign-up form.
This is useful real estate, so use it. You don’t have to dump everything in it, but think of it as a second menu. Summarize the best and most important parts of your site in the footer.
Ready to embrace some of these church website design trends yourself? Contact us today to learn how we can help you create a more engaging site.