The world is constantly changing. Churches are changing their approach all the time to reach their audience. One way that churches are pivoting is multiplying by having multiple locations all apart of the same family. This is commonly known as a multisite church and we are focusing on the connection they are able to make through the use of the multisite church website. They are taking something that is working and capitalizing on it.
According to The Leadership Network, “The new official statistic is that there are more than 5,000 multisite churches in North America. That’s more than 5,000 different churches, each of which has two or more different geographic campuses – one church in two or more locations. This finding was extrapolated from a national survey of churches of all sizes, and validated by Leadership Network’s constantly growing database of multisite churches.”
We wanted to give you a little look at some of their websites, showcasing the best ones.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our list of the Top 100 Church Websites.
1. Elevation Church
We start with maybe an obvious choice, Elevation Church. Sometimes when things are really popular it’s because they are just really good. Simple as that. They have 18 different locations. They have a great map and picture icons for each church. Giving you a sneak peek at what you can expect to see before you visit. Anything you can do to give a visitor information that will help them come and assimilate it is very important to do it!
Elevation Church has done well to show who they are through their site and did a wonderful job of their multisite web page. The multisite location map provides a way for a visitor to easily see which location would fit for them. The different sites are in an eye-catching tiling. The square tiles with rounded edges look clean and give just enough of a look at each geographic location. A clean white background helps the photography to stand out as well as their pop color of orange.
2. Eagle Brook Church
Eagle Brook Church has very engaging videos that catch your attention quickly. They have adult and children is the videos appealing to a wide audience. We really appreciate a well-done opening video often capturing interest better than a still photo.
They have 9 locations. The locations/ churches are easily available. The menu links are completely focused on the visitor. This is a great idea because members of your church WILL use your website but you want to appeal to the person who is not yet a member of your church or user of your website. If you want more information you can use the drop-down menu to find the right one. You can also link from the main site to the smaller locations. There is also a button on the main page to link you to service times and locations. We also appreciate how Eagle Brook kept their site very simple. Just the right amount of information but not so much you are overwhelmed. Great job!
3. Woodside Bible Church
Woodside Bible Church shows the value they place on their many locations all being one church by putting a button right on the landing page. The accent color draws the eye and prompts action. The scrolling photography communicates that everyone can be apart and all types of people are represented.
The 14 locations are all represented by a photographic link. It is striking how different all the locations buildings are. You would never guess they are all in the same group of churches. If you hover over a location link you are also provided with an opportunity to “Read More” about a location before actually leaving to that page. This is a smart choice for multisite church websites.
4. Dream City Church
Dream City Church anchors to a landscape, namely the Arizonan desert. The beautiful aerial video is a great way to show pride in a place and also give a visitor a glimpse of the building they will be looking for when they first visit. We also think that they have a pretty clever logo. It looks a little corporate but it captures the idea of dreaming well.
They have a dual menu bar that is interesting if you have 2 distinct menus. It’s not a good idea if what you really need to do is edit down your separate pages. Dream City Church has 7 different locations. On their locations page, you can also find what the different service times are. This eliminates the need to go off the page if you are looking for simple information. One last thing that we thought was smart was social media invite links. There are 4 different invite links that are a modern way to invite a friend. Although not as personal as a verbal invite it is how people invite friends to things in this modern age.
5. Church of the Highlands
With 23 different locations, Church of the Highlands is a large multisite church. Simplicity in the organization of the site is really important. We love the color scheme. The very pale blue is reminiscent of the color of the sky which works really well with the darker accent blue color.
3 large tiles dominate this multisite church. These 3 tiles answer 3 main questions a visitor might have; “What does the teaching sound like?”, “What do I do…I’m new”, and finally, “What time should I be there?”. There is a ticker countdown clock that is a thin banner over the site letting the visitor know when the next live service begins. This provides a sense of excitement as well as delivering simple information.
6. Bethel Church
Bethel Church has a very striking home page. The image is full bleed on the page without even a menu to be seen. It looks like an Instagram picture with the text over. The sepia wash continues through all the photography on the site. There is a menu available by clicking a button or if you scroll down to the next block the navigation menu is also available there. There is a general natural feel to the site.
Although still a multisite church website in functionality, Bethel’s website does communicate that there is one main church with some smaller affiliation churches. There is a little less emphasis on the visitor. It made our list for the most part because it really didn’t look like the majority of the other sites. Unique can go a long way.
7. North Point Church
North Point Church has 6 churches in the Atlanta metro area. There is a number of short videos introducing different age groups. These are effective and communicate that there is a place for you at North Point. It is so important that you are aware of the message you send your visitor through your website. You want to try hard to identify your values so you know how to communicate what’s important to your organization.
Something that we have seen on almost all of the multisite church websites we are featuring is the ticker clock for their next live service. This is a great way to build a feeling of excitement around joining live with a service. Another feature we often found alongside the ticker clock was service times being available. You never know how long someone will be able to spend on your website. You want to capitalize on the time and give important information easily.
8. Cross Church
We love what Cross Church did with their left side menu and campus finder. When you hover over a church in the campus finder it will give you information about where they meet and the service times. In the right-hand bottom corner, they also have locations and service times available in a second location. Providing this information in multiple places shows that the church has thought about and prepared for visitors. They are not an afterthought but a value.
It is worth a mention that although there is some good intentionality of design we feel that there was an opportunity for an accent color to allow for some more visual interest. The color palate lacks some life causing it to look a bit corporate. Churches of this kind of size often ride the line between a bit of a corporation and group of people with common core beliefs and worship practices. Anything that causes your church to pop off the screen is a good thing.
9. Doxa Deo
We really enjoyed this look at an international group of churches called Doxa Deo. They have churches in the UK, New Zealand, Europe, and Africa. The first obvious choice on the main website is to choose a location. There are a few different panels on the site that encourage interaction. These are just simple questions but they engage your visitor and hopefully helps them a step closer to actually visiting your church IRL.
Another thing we noticed is that there are pages that a similar in message but the colors had been altered depending on the location. This further points to the message, “We are alike and yet have our own personality”. Simple and smart solutions on how to connect multisite church websites to each other.
Life.church is a great example of a church that is really using a website to the fullest. This one main site is connecting churches in 11 states. This is a robust site that offers good connection between their multiple locations acting as one large group together.
We love the larger look at the body of Christ and how we can all work together. Life.church makes a very large amount of free resources available to other churches and ministries. When an unchurched visitor is on the site they are sure to be refreshed by such a spirit of love, care, and generosity between churches.
11. Saddleback Church
Good photography that communicates real emotions and human relationship is a vital tool in the multisite church website. Saddleback Church does a fabulous job of this. People are emotional creatures and if you can honestly appeal to your visitor with a warm emotion you will be doing well. Organization and intentionality are well and good but if they fail to appeal to the emotions and the heart you are missing a big opportunity. You would be hard-pressed to find a more joyful picture than is an awesome baptism photo capturing this big moment in a member’s life.
Saddleback churches tagline is “one church, many locations”.
“We are one church in many locations. Whether you’re from Orange County, Hong Kong, or somewhere in between, we have a campus for you.” This is clear information that says, “we prepared for you. You are wanted here.” They have churches across the nation and even across the world.
Let Us Help You!
At REACHRIGHT we specialize in custom websites for churches. We also specialize in multisite church websites. Check out our site and see some of our work and how we might help you!