Ever noticed those “best church website” posts feature a whole lot of megachurches? Yeah, that disappoints us too when we look at them, because our own churches are decidedly smaller. Considering that the average church worships 75 people, we wanted to honor normal churches that have exhibited a commitment to a vital web ministry.

Now obviously, we couldn’t review every one of the hundreds of thousands of small church websites out there, but these 18 truly are some stellar ones. We hope they inspire you as you think about upgrading your own church website! Learn more about our methodology and criteria after the rankings, and let us know about others you love. We’ll definitely be adding more to our list.

Score: 23/25

Weekly Attendance: 30 people

Tech: Squarespace

Why We Like It:

Located in the heart of Boston, Old West Church celebrates diversity and is committed to proclaiming the word of Jesus through service. This commitment to service is reflected on their website, with the striking city scape really brings their focus to life. All together, Old West Church has a very impressive site, especially considering their average weekly attendance is only 30 people!

Score: 22/25

Weekly Attendance: 25 people

Tech: Hand Coded

Why We Like It:

Wow! Can we just say, what a beautiful site! But it’s not all just looks that make this site stand out. We were especially impressed with their Getting Involved page. The text is clear and logical, and the photos speak to the welcoming nature of the church.

Score: 21.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 65 people

Tech: WordPress, Divi Theme

Why We Like It:

The white color scheme really opens up their site and lets it breathe. We were especially impressed with their “You’re Invited” page. Here they provide numerous frequently asked questions, going above and beyond to make sure visitors feel welcome.

Score: 21/25

Weekly Attendance: 250 people

Tech: Joomla

Why We Like It:

The discover grid, located halfway down on the homepage, does a fantastic job of showing visitors how they can get involved through bright colors and graphics. We also appreciate the light color scheme with contrasting menu bars that is repeated throughout the site.

Score: 21/25

Weekly Attendance: 50 people

Tech: Weebly

Why We Like It:

We loved the mosaic hero image on New Hope Presbyterian’s home page. It sets the tone for the rest of the site and is beautifully accented by the rest of the elements elsewhere. In addition, their site is fully searchable, and you should check this feature out. Can you call a search bar sexy? Because that’s what we want to do.

Score: 20.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 55 people

Tech: Cloversites

Why We Like It:

We especially like the Connect page, which is welcoming to visitors and does a great job highlighting their commitment to service. We are impressed overall with how readable their site is. They did a wonderful job overcoming the challenge of making white text work on a dark background.

Score: 20.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 45 people

Tech: WordPress, Kause Child Theme

Why We Like It:

In their own words, Life’s Journey UCC is an “extravagantly welcoming, open and affirming community of faith.” Their site communicates this extravagante welcome clearly. Everything from their hero image with an intergenerational community to their text is welcoming and inviting. We’d love to check them out!

Score: 20/25

Weekly Attendance: 235 people

Tech: WordPress, Unknown Theme

Why We Like It:

Faith Lutheran Church is doing an amazing job communicating a warm welcome to visitors through their color scheme. Their use of neutral colors with warm accents communicates creates a warm feeling. They also use bright sunlit photos throughout their site.

Score: 20/25

Weekly Attendance: 55 people

Tech: Weebly

We love the bold condensed type that is repeated in the header images throughout the site. What a great way to add consistency and effective design flair! We also want to call out their awesome use of their website to post sermon videos, which are easily accessible on their sermon page.

Score: 19.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 70 people

Tech: WordPress, One Page Express Theme

Why We Like It:

We think First United Methodist Church’s use of the asymmetrical triangle section divider on the hero images is working…and working very well, actually! We also love their use of icons throughout the site. They are especially successful just under the hero image on the home page. They communicate clearly to visitors who are looking to get involved with the church.

Score: 19.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 131 people

Tech: DreamWeaver

Why We Like It:

The open, airy, almost effortless feel of this website is what really caught our eye. We love the light color scheme and white background. Ashland First United Methodist Church also makes a great use of their home page with a connection grid partway down. The simple and circular icons and clear text helps users get involved while staying true to the church’s overall brand image.

Score: 19/25

Weekly Attendance: 80 people

Tech: WordPress, Custom Theme

Why We Like It:

Our favorite element on this site is the Upcoming Events listing that appears throughout the site. It’s clean and readable and matches the website header. Spirit of Joy! includes a great deal of information for new members and visitors. This welcoming gesture really sets them apart from other church sites.

Score: 19/25

Weekly Attendance: 74 people

Tech: Wix

Why We Like It:

The design of this site is working with the light background and contrasting elements, but what we think makes this site really special is their hover. When users hover over text in the menu bar of this site it turns navy, echoing the look of the dividers that are used throughout the site. This seemingly insignificant element really ties the site together in a way that is visually appealing.

Score: 18.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 150 people

Tech: Squarespace

Why We Like It:

This church embodies each of the criteria used in the selecting of websites for this post. The “What to Expect” page speaks directly to visitors and the “Get Involved” tab provides a next step option for new members. Their design is simple, yet functional, helping visitors easily navigate the site.

Score: 18.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 225 people

Tech: MotoCMS

Why We Like It:

Wellspring makes excellent use of actual photos of their church activities on their site, which really gives visitors a feel for the church. They go beyond inviting and make visitors feel like they already belong. This attitude is repeated on their volunteer page where you can join a team directly from the website, no questions asked.

Score: 18/25

Weekly Attendance: 250 people

Tech: WordPress, Aaron Theme

Why We Like It:

We were excited to see that Onalaska United Methodist Church is using a blog for their announcements. The most recent pages show up on their home page. This is a great and easy way for small churches to keep church members in the loop! They also have exceptional resources for guests, including directions and information about what to expect when they visit.

Score: 17.5/25

Weekly Attendance: 196 people

Tech: WordPress, Divi Theme

Why We Like It:

If you’re a northerner like we are, that hero image sure is appealing! But even for people in that area, an image like that may feel more friendly than a photo of a church worship service might. First Christian Church in Clearwater makes very good use of icons in their headers. In addition, they have done an effective job of making use of outside services for managing their Life Groups, giving, and sermons.

Score: 17/25

Weekly Attendance: 290 people

Tech: WordPress, Divi Theme

Why We Like It:

The People Church’s website highlights an active congregation with members who are actively involved with their faith. The video hero images are captivating and show their members in action. Their countdown to worship feature helps raise excitement for their worship service, and their decision to organize giving time and money under the Give link is a creative approach to two connected aspects of Christian life.

Our Methodology and Criteria

Research

We checked out dozens of websites suggested to us on social media, plus dozens more that we found through a popular church website directory. Each site was scored on a spreadsheet using the criteria below. All told, we ranked over 100 sites that seemed promising. Now, on to our criteria…

Church Size

We only considered churches with an average weekly worship attendance under 400, since the United States average is still around 75-80. Smaller churches often have to sacrifice to prioritize their web ministry and should be commended. The smaller the church, the higher they ranked.

Design

We looked for sites that were laid out in a manner that’s easy to digest, with consistent fonts, colors, and other brand elements. In addition, we confirmed they looked good on various screen types and were esthetically pleasing.

Welcome

Here we considered how welcoming the site is to guests. We looked for an obvious invitation into the life of the church, friendly language with a lack of jargon, and warm, inviting media.

Discipleship

Next, we looked for sites that encourage users to deepen their relationship with Christ through participation in the life of the church. Important factors included having an engaging description of ministries, sign-up forms, and an active church calendar.

Local SEO

We used the MOZ Local (https://moz.com/local/search) search tool to rate the strength of each church’s local findability. This includes having good location indicators on the website as well as being cross-referenced on social media and online directories. For more information about how to improve this score, check out our post How to Get Found on Google.

No Aboundant Sites

There are some amazing church websites on our Aboundant network that would rank highly, but we wanted to maintain impartiality in our rankings. So, we excluded these sites from the start.

Recommend a Small Church Website

We’ll be keeping an eye out for many more small church websites that are amazing so we can keep our list updated and growing. If you know of one we should check out, tell us about it.

  • Please enter a value less than or equal to 400.
    If a church worships more than 400, chances are they have the resources to pull off a great church website. We are more interested in honoring churches that are able to do it with less.
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Make Your Own Amazing Church Website

Making a beautiful, full-featured church website is incredibly easy using Launch Pad, our quick-start system that gets you going in as little as 10 minutes. Don’t believe us? Why not give it a no-commitment try yourself! Here’s a start-to-finish look at what happens when you go through Launch Pad.

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  1. Website Highlighted! – First United Methodist Church of Ontario - […] The Best Church Websites of 2018, Non-Megachurch Edition […]
  2. Wishing for a Top 25 UMCs List We Could Actually Use | Hacking Christianity - […] of this trend is a recent survey of best church websites that excluded Megachurches altogether: The Best Church Websites…

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