How do I make a church website?

Almost every business – including churches – will benefit from having a website, but for most people, it’s difficult to see how to get one. They’ll often need to use a professional website development team to get their site online, and may never understand the terminology. Building a website from scratch can seem very intimidating!

This is a quick guide on getting started yourself, and finally answering the question “how do I make a website?”

There are 4 parts of a website that need to be set up to get you online.

1. Domain Names for Church Websites

The domain name is the address of the page – for example, The domain name can be purchased separately or as part of a package, so if you have an idea for the name but aren’t ready to get the site online, you can start piece by piece.

Choosing a domain name is a big part of marketing your site, as it will be one of the first things people see. It should be short, snappy and relevant to your church.

Complex words that are hard to spell, words that can be misread and interpreted incorrectly, or anything unrelated to your church should be avoided.

If your church has a common name, for example, “St Mary’s”, you might find that your ideal domain name is not available. Every domain name needs to be unique, so adding your city, or a keyword related to your church, can be a good way to find an available domain name.

For more information on choosing the perfect domain name for your church website, check out our post on choosing a domain name.

2. Hosting Your Church Website

The next part you need is hosting. This is where your site “lives” – a website is made up of files – code, images, text, and possibly more. To get your site online, you need somewhere to store these files. This is known as hosting.

All the files that make up your website are stored on a server, and when someone types in your domain name, they are connecting to that server and viewing the files.

Hosting can be purchased as part of a package deal with your domain name, or separately. It’s important to choose a quality hosting provider, as a slow or unreliable server will make your site frustrating to use.

We recommend using Cloudways for hosting your site as you can choose the spec of the hardware. However, you may find that alternatives such as GoDaddy of Fasthosts provide a more affordable and easy-to-configure solution.

Do you always need hosting?

If you are designing and building a site from scratch, then yes – hosting is important. However, if you’re using a platform like Squarespace or Wix to build your site, hosting is part of your account.

These platforms offer drag-and-drop design elements which make it easy for anyone to get their site up and running.

They act as a content management system, or CMS. This is what allows you to create and edit the pages on your site without needing to know any code. However, the most popular CMS by far is WordPress – but this is where it gets a little complicated.

Frameworks such as WordPress are built from many individual files. If you are not using (a free site where you can create a site, but in quite a limited fashion) you will need to install the WordPress software on your hosting platform. Once installed, you create an account to log in to which allows simple editing of your site.

So, in short:

Building from scratch – you need hosting

Using the platform – you need hosting

Using Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc – you don’t need hosting and you can use your domain name to redirect visitors to these sites, you don’t need to worry about individual files.

Check out our church website builder comparison here.

3. Church Website Design

If you’re coding from scratch, the design is entirely up to you. For WordPress there are hundreds of customizable themes available, while there are some predefined styles and even complete site layouts available on Squarespace and Wix.

All of these options are basically templates that give you a good start on layout. They can be tweaked and adapted as needed, with varying levels of customization available.

You can also purchase pre-made website designs from marketplaces like Themeforest, which will save you a lot of time if you don’t want to design everything yourself. However, keep in mind the cost – Themeforest designs are not usually free.

4. Building your site

Now that you have your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to start building your church website.

If you’re coding from scratch, you can start with a blank document and begin adding your content. If you’re using WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix, you can sign in to your account and start adding content to the pre-made templates.

You’ll need some content to get your message across. The content of the site is the words and images you use to describe your church, tell your story, etc. You can have content prepared before designing the site, or you can add it in once you’re happy with the way everything looks. From a technical perspective, content is the easiest step – from the site creator’s perspective, it may be the hardest part to complete and you may need to use a professional content writing service to write the words for your site.

How to Get Started

Determine your level of technical know-how and proceed accordingly. If you don’t feel at all confident with any of the above, you may do best by creating a church website team to help with everything – names, hosting, design and content.

If you have some knowledge, many hosting companies provide the option of a simple WordPress installation by clicking a single button. Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy and others offer this option.

If you are competent with desktop applications and enjoy a drag-and-drop visual interface, Wix or Squarespace may provide a better option. Using these tools may be slightly more expensive than using your own WordPress hosting, but the ease of use and the ability to edit your own content may be a deciding factor.

If you need a site designed for you, please get in touch and we’ll help you get started.

How Do I Make a Website That Ranks Well?

Search engine ranking is based on many factors, but some of the most important are ensuring that the site loads quickly, the content is relevant and informative, and that you work on your marketing to ensure that people already know you exist.

With a well-designed site that meets these targets, you’re likely to do well with your ranking.

Building a church website is not as difficult as it may seem. By following the steps above, you can have a website up and running in no time. And, if you need help along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help!