It’s a good idea to take a look at your church’s website now and again to see if it could use a little bit of a facelift. Many site owners skip this step because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of a full website upgrade.
However, what if you could makeover your church’s website in a day? With some smaller changes, you can change the look and feel of your entire site.
The best part is most of these changes are easy to do within a single day. You can change a single thing or opt for multiple changes if you want a more noticeable makeover. Just making a few changes is often enough to increase engagement and time spent on your site.
Change The Template/Theme
The easiest way to makeover your church’s website quickly is to change the template or theme you’re using. If you have a WordPress site, you can do this in just a few clicks. Just prepare for a little cleanup work to ensure everything still displays the way you want.
Changing your template or theme works well to quickly reorganize content, change fonts, adjust colors and add new features. For instance, a previous theme might require your home page to have multiple sections. But, a new theme may turn your homepage into a single image, video or animation background with just a few important areas of text.
If you’re doing this on your own, create a copy of your church’s website first. It is possible for things to go wrong and you want to make sure you have a backup in place to quickly restore things as they were.
If you’re not confident in doing this yourself or you just want to avoid any risks, contact your site designers to handle the changes for you. This is especially important if you have a custom template or theme in place. Just tell your designers what you’re looking to change and they can adjust the existing template for you.
Add Missing Sections
While we’ve talked about the six most important pages to have on any church site, these aren’t the only pages you can have. In fact, there are probably quite a few other sections and pages your church website might need.
Don’t worry if you’re drawing a blank right now. Instead, ask your members to check out your church’s site to see if there’s anything they’d like to see added. If you get numerous answers, add a poll to your site for visitors to vote. Instead of just trying to come up with something, you’ll know exactly what your visitors and members want most.
A few general ideas to help get you started include:
- Online prayer
- Member and site visitors stories – These can be inspirational stories or how these people found their way to God.
- Blog – This is a great one to start with if you don’t already have a blog.
- Forums – Helps increase conversations and engagement. Ensure you have moderators in place and don’t allow anonymous posting.
- Library of sermons – This is only if you don’t list past sermons on your Sermons page.
Even just adding one new section or page to your church website gives your site visitors more to do. Plus, it provides another page for search engines to index and leads more visitors to you.
Start A Blog
A church blog is so important it deserves its own section. This is a super-easy way to makeover your church’s website. Plus, you get to add new content to your church’s site regularly. All that new content keeps visitors coming back and helps boost your organic search engine traffic.
You’re probably thinking that’s a lot of extra work, but we have a few resources that we think will help you get started quicker:
- How Your Church Blog Can Turn Around Your Dwindling Numbers
- How To Write The Perfect Church Blog Post
- Creating A Church Blog Strategy
- 10 Church Leadership Blogs You Need To Be Reading (Great inspiration)
Remember, you don’t have to dive in headfirst. A single post a week or even every few weeks is better than no posts at all. Also, quality is much better than quantity. All you need to worry about is creating a useful post that will resonate with your readers. Think of it as a short sermon.
If you’re still not convinced a blog is worth adding, consider the following:
- Sites with blogs have up to 434% more indexed pages, which leads to more organic search traffic
- 77% of people online enjoy reading blogs
- Over 68% of Internet users think a blog makes a site seem more credible
- Up to 80% of people ignore paid search results and prefer to click organic results, which your blog helps give you
- Site traffic can jump by up to 30% after writing 24 to 51 posts
These are just a few of the many blogging statistics gathered by Hosting Tribunal. The site also has some interesting facts about blog post lengths and how users engage with posts to help you write better content.
Create A New Header Image
Is your header image a bit outdated? Even worse, is it just a stock photo? Make your church’s homepage look shiny and new with a great new header image.
Now is the perfect time to take a great picture of your church. It can be a shot of the outside of the church or your church family in action. The more personable and friendly it looks, the more welcoming your site and church will seem.
If your site theme doesn’t have a header image section, consider using a picture for your homepage background. It’s a great alternative and is more engaging than just a solid color background. Remember to get permission if you’re using pictures of any of your church members. This is especially true if any children are in the picture.
Rearrange Content Sections
Do you know how people view your site? If you want to increase engagement, one of the best and quickest ways to makeover your church’s website is to rearrange content sections.
Believe it or not, numerous studies have been done on how people view webpages. The way you organize content on each page of your site affects how people interact with it. For instance, if you’re not getting as many signups to your newsletter as you’d like, it could just be a matter of where the signup box is located.
CrazyEgg gathered together some of the most useful findings from multiple studies. Some of the key takeaways include:
- Many people scan webpages in an F-shaped pattern (which can break if users are scanning for something specific)
- Visuals grab attention first
- Anything that looks like an ad tends to be ignored, especially at first
- Avoid being too unique when it comes to standards, such as deviating from the standing blue links
HTML.com also lists important findings and tips for rearranging content and things to avoid, such as skipping overly fancy fonts and using the right font sizes for your most important content.
Optimize For Search Engines
A website makeover isn’t always about the look. It can also be about driving more traffic to the site. For this, you just need a simple content audit. Unlike a full content audit, you’ll just make a list of major keywords and phrases your church should target, such as your church’s location, denomination, ministry group names and so on.
WordStream and Ahrefs both list free and low-cost keyword research tools to help you with discovering the best keywords for your church. You can even spy on your competitors a bit to see how they’re driving more traffic to their church sites.
The next step is to scan the content on your main webpages. For this exercise, skip your blog. You can take some time each week to improve on old blog posts over time. This exercise is just a single day SEO makeover for your church’s site.
Find areas where you can rework the content to fit in some better keywords and phrases naturally. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. This can actually cause your site to get banned from search engines if you go too far.
Add New Visuals
People love visuals, so give them what they want. If your church website is sparse on images, add some new ones. Separate sections of content with engaging photos you’ve taken. You can even take site visitors on a virtual tour of your church through a slideshow.
Of course, don’t forget about adding videos. While people love images, they love watching videos even more. Why do you think YouTube is so insanely popular?
Add short videos to introduce new people to your church. Showcase your volunteers in action. Upload video clips of events you’ve held.
If you don’t have any videos readily available, it may take you more than a day for this one. Spending the time to make high-quality videos is important. Otherwise, your videos won’t go over so well.
Change Your Fonts
If you read through the section about rearranging content, you might have noticed that fancy fonts are a bad thing. However, this doesn’t mean you should keep the same font that you’ve used for the last 5-10 years.
The fonts you use drastically affect how people perceive your site. Changing them is an easy way to makeover your church’s website without much effort. The biggest problem is where do you start?
Google Fonts are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. These fonts have been created specifically for websites. Plus, Google focuses on creating a more accessible Internet, so the fonts are usually easy to read. To narrow it down, try one of the top 20 Google Fonts chosen by Awwwards.
Quick Sprout also has a great guide on choosing the right website fonts and even provides advice on how to pair different fonts.
Outside of choosing the right font, you should also play around with font sizes. Using larger and bolder fonts helps your most important content stand out. If you have quite a few older members who frequent your site, you might want to consider using a larger font overall to make it easier for them to read.
Update The Color Scheme
Has your church decided on a color scheme yet? If not, now is the perfect time. Even if you have, it might be time to update your color scheme a bit. For instance, if you’re using a dark red, you might want to consider using a slightly brighter red to grab attention more.
Brands often play around with colors. Your church can do the same thing. You can update your site’s color scheme to introduce new colors to your church’s brand for a completely fresh look. Or, you can have a more subtle change by using slightly different shades of the same colors or just adding or removing a few colors.
If you’re trying to pick a color scheme, use our guide to choosing your church’s perfect color scheme.
Simplify Your Homepage
The homepage is often the first page visitors see. Quickly makeover your church’s website by simplifying this page. It’s easy to want to put everything on this one page. However, you don’t need to.
Create a welcoming page with a few important sections, such as a quick intro about your church, guidance on where to go next, contact details and some engaging pictures. Some churches actually just have a full-screen background image with a few content sections.
In simplifying your homepage, you might also consider revamping your menu. If it’s too cluttered, it’ll be difficult to use. If it blends in too much, users might never find it. Play around with different menu options to see what works best.
Revamp Your Footer
Finally, makeover your site’s footer. It might not seem that important, but your footer appears on almost every page of your church’s site. If someone is looking for something specific, such as contact details, they might scroll directly to the footer.
Make the footer more useful by adding contact details (or a link to your contact page), your address, service hours, links to popular pages and social media links. City Church is a great example of optimizing the footer without going overboard.
Ready to makeover your church’s website, but need some help? Whether it’s a quick one-day makeover or something more drastic, contact us to help make your church’s site even more amazing.