The Top 25 Best Church Websites Of 2017

Browse our handpicked collection of the 25 best church websites of 2017. Learn from the best and take your church website to the next level.

March 31st, 2017

Behold! My yearly collection of the best church websites. Each of these sites was handpicked and compiled by Brady Shearer with help from the Pro Church Tools team. Please note: These are not ranked in any specific order.

Frequently Asked Questions

How were these rankings of best church websites assembled?

These rankings were assembled based on what I call the “new visitor” test. The average web user has about 10 seconds to be engaged by a website before they click away. My team and I tested each of these websites as if I were a new visitor in the area looking for a church.

Is this an exhaustive list?

Absolutely not! There are hundreds of thousands of church websites in the world. Naturally I can’t take inventory of all of them. If you think I missed a church’s website that deserves to be on the list, please suggest it in the comments at the end of the post.

Are these best church websites ranked in order?

No.

How can I have my church’s website considered for the list?

Add a comment at the end of the post and include your church website’s URL. That’s it! You’ll be considered for the list when we compile it again for 2018.

Why only 25 churches?

In past years, this list has consisted of 50+ churches each year. Rather than continuing to add more websites this year, I wanted to strip back and do a deeper dive into a smaller group of sites. There are hundreds of websites that deserve to be on this list. This has nothing to do with who’s in and who’s out — it’s all about what’s working in 2017 and how our church’s websites can learn from those leading the way.

The Top 25 Church Websites Of 2017

1. Church on the Move

https://www.churchonthemove.com/ & https://cotm.info/

What I Like

Church on the Move has one of the most forward thinking church websites. Why? Because they actually have two church websitesnot one. Their main website — ChurchOnTheMove.com — is targeted toward new visitors (the way it should be). On COTM’s main site you’ll find information regarding service times, locations, campus information, etc. But Church on the Move also has a second website — COTM.info — and this site is dedicated entirely to their existing congregation. This is a mobile-first site (essentially a web app parked on a domain) where you can take any next step you want to.

This dual-platform presence is the new church website blueprint for 2017. Learn more by clicking here -> You Can’t Afford To Ignore This 2017 Church Website Trend.

2. NewSpring Church

https://newspring.cc/

What I Like

When it comes to design, NewSpring is my absolute favorite. Why? Photography & typography. The typography on NewSpring’s website is bigger than most. Their headlines are a bold, chunky sans-serif, and their paragraph text is an elegant, refined serif — a perfect pairing. Not only that, but across the entire site you’ll find beautiful photography that authentically captures what it feels like to be part of NewSpring. Simply by visiting their site, you get an insider’s sense of attending on a Sunday, which is super important.

I sat down and spoke with Jon Horton, the Web Director at NewSpring, and he gave us a behind the scenes look at building this website. You can listen to my entire conversation with him here -> A Behind The Scenes Look At NewSpring Church’s Website with Jon Horton.

3. Grace Hills Church

http://gracehillschurch.com/

What I Like

Perhaps the most important part of your church’s website is the headline. The key is to make the headline about your potential visitor and not about your church. Don’t talk about yourself and how awesome you are. Instead, find the intersection between your church and a potential new visitor – Grace Hills Church does this exceptionally well.

4. Glad Tidings Church

http://gladtidingsomaha.com/

What I Like

The easiest way to improve your church’s website is to improve your main headline. It’s free and fast. But if you’re having trouble crafting the perfect set of words, one trick I love to offer churches is to just use someone else’s words! Glad Tidings does a fantastic job of this. Instead of talking about themselves, they use testimonies from people within as their main headline.

5. Cornerstone Community Church

http://go2cornerstone.com/

What I Like

The first sentence on Cornerstone’s website reads, “Real life happens everyday. Don’t face it alone.” Here, Cornerstone is tapping into one of the needs that our churches are uniquely positioned to meet: community. Every day people in your city are feeling alone and overwhelmed. Families are struggling to get by. New parents are adapting to a new lifestyle with less free time for friends and leisure. Empty-nesters are living in a quieter house for the first time in decades. People crave community. Your church can meet this need and you’re uniquely positioned to do so.

When crafting the main headline on your church’s website, make sure that you tap into an existing problem that your church can help with.

6. The Oaks Fellowship

http://theoaksonline.org/

What I Like

Similar to Glad Tidings Church, The Oaks Fellowship does a great job of putting real stories front and center. Under the headline We Found a Place to Belong is a story of a young family finding a home at The Oaks. Sure, you can craft the perfect headline, but nothing beats storytelling. It’s the most powerful form of human communication.

Learn more about the skill & power of storytelling here -> 5 Reasons Storytelling Is Your Most Important Church Marketing Tool.

7. The Village Church

http://thevillagechurch.net/

What I Like

The Village Church uses their main headline to tap into a problem we all face. Instead of tapping into our human longing for community, this headline addresses our universal craving for hope. Each one of us, at one time or another, has felt hopeless. We’ll think things like, “This is as good as it gets. I’m broken and my best years are behind me.”

Much like community, hope is another universal need that your church can meet. People are looking for hope and you can help them find it at your church. You can help them find unending hope through a relationship with Jesus.

8. Risen Church

http://risenchurch.com/

What I Like

Risen Church has one of the more unique church websites I’ve come across. It doesn’t have a single pixel of white space on the homepage. The entire site is built on top of stunning photos. But Risen’s site also has a great main headline. In years past I’ve been critical of Risen’s headline being very inward focused. To my delight, when I checked their site for this year’s list, I saw that they had reworked some of the language to be more outward focused.

That’s the key. When someone lands on your church’s site, they’re not there to hear about how awesome you are. They’re there to see what your church can offer them. Talk about them; don’t talk about yourself.

9. Bridgetown Church

http://bridgetown.church/

What I Like

There’s an old rule on the web that states you only have about 10 seconds to make a good first impression on a visitor to your site before they leave. A quality headline can resonate with a new visitor in a big way, but nothing can hook your visitors faster than visuals. One of the best investments your church can make is to hire a photographer a couple of times a year (if you don’t have a photographer in your congregation already) to shoot a couple hundred photos of what life at your church looks like. These visuals will help your new visitors get a picture (see what I did there) of what life at your church is really like.

10. The Commons

http://thecommonsforall.com/

What I Like

The first photograph that you’ll see on The Commons’ website is a photo of the church serving in their community. Rather than their pastor on stage, or a hand raised in worship, you’ll see volunteers. I like this a lot.

The Commons also has one of the coolest navigation menus I’ve ever seen. Check out the vertical nav menu on the left, but also the links in the four corners of the photo.

11. Greenhouse Church

http://www.greenhousesouthflorida.org/

What I Like

I’ve talked about photos on your website, but what about video? Consider a video background above-the-fold as Greenhouse Church has done.

12. Hill City Church

http://hillcityrva.com/

What I Like

Sadly, the word “church” comes with a stigma for many people. Church is a place where there are strict rules. Church is a place where you are judged. Church is a place where you need to believe what we believe — or else. Knowing that this stigma exists, Hill City does a great job of immediately putting new visitors at ease with their website’s main headline. Hill City wants you to know that if you’re a part of their community, you’ll always a safe place to explore your faith — belonging before belief as they say.

Moreover, Hill City pairs their headline with a crazy-fun video background of the church celebrating with confetti.

13. College Park Church

http://www.yourchurch.com/

What I Like

Let’s talk about domain names for a moment. There are three simple rules for your church’s URL: (1) keep it short (2) memorable and (3) easy to spell.

College Park Church has one of the coolest church domain names I’ve come across (yourchurch.com).

14. Rockville Church of Christ

https://rockvillechurchofchrist.org/

What I Like

You don’t need to be a famous church or a huge church to have a great web presence. Rockville Church of Christ’s online platform was built using Squarespace with the Hayden Theme. Just $10/month can get you a great church website through Squarespace. A great church website comes down to the basics: quality visuals, a great main headline, clear calls to action, and a memorable domain name. And you don’t need an extravagant budget to accomplish any of those things.

15. Gateway Church

http://gatewaypeople.com/

What I Like

Gateway Church is another example of a great domain name (gatewaypeople.com). If you’re a church with a common church name like Gateway, Central, or First Baptist, you’ll likely need to get a bit creative with your domain name choices. Just remember to follow three rules of domains:  (1) keep it short (2) memorable and (3) easy to spell.

Also, don’t be afraid to explore alternatives to the .com extension. Three of my favorites are .cc, .church, and .co.

16. Terra Nova Church

https://terranovachurch.org/

What I Like

The designers at Terra Nova Church do fabulous work. The orange and purple colors are instantly recognizable and consistent site-wide. This isn’t a look that most churches will be able to pull off (and it isn’t necessary), but I wanted to include it on this list because it’s stunning nonetheless.

17. 12Stone Church

https://12stone.com/

What I Like

Notice the first word on 12Stone Church’s website — “you.” 12Stone isn’t here to talk about how awesome they are and all the cool things their church is up to. They’re here for you. It might seem simple, but 9 out of 10 times when I land on a church’s website, the first thing I’ll see is a headline about how awesome the church is. So I’ll say it again, craft a headline that speaks to your web visitors and their life and their problems. Don’t talk about yourself.

18. Central Church

https://www.centralonline.tv/

What I Like

The video above-the-fold on Central Church’s website is longer than most. And instead of using it as a background, it actually takes the place of the main headline. If you have a team of skilled videographers, this might be something to consider. While a headline is explicity stated in words, a video communicates in a more subjective way.

19. Cross & Anchor Church

http://crossandanchorchurch.com/

What I Like

I’m a sucker for gradients. Learn more about that here -> The 2017 Design Trend & Why It’s Great News For Your Church.

20. Celebration Church

https://celebrationedmonton.com/ (designed by https://www.boxclever.ca/)

What I Like

Celebration Church does a phenomenal job of maximizing their available real estate. There are 11 different links/calls to action above-the-fold which is more than I would normally recommend, and yet, the layout is enjoyable to look at. Props to their designers and web team for making it work.

21. Remnant Church

https://www.remnantrva.com/

What I Like

Remnant Church’s full-screen video background is immersive and engaging. In less than 10 seconds you’ll have a grasp of what it means to attend this church on a Sunday, as well as what it feels like to be a part of the community. This is what makes video backgrounds such a great web design tool. A well-captured video background can communicate more in ten seconds than a photo or headline could, and when you’re working with small time windows, this can be the difference between someone leaving your site never to return again or making the decision to attend your next service.

22. Piedmont Chapel

http://piedmontchapel.com/

What I Like

Piedmont Chapel is a newer church plant meeting in a high school. Their monochromatic color palette is simple & elegant. And I especially like their Plan A Visit call-to-action button.

23. Doxa Church

http://doxa-church.com/

What I Like

I wanted to highlight Doxa Church’s website because of their call-to-action button that reads, What’s Sunday Like? Because your website is likely going to be targeting potential new visitors, it’s best to think about what questions they will be asking. A button that invites a new visitor to see what a Sunday experience is like is a perfect response.

24. Sojourn Heights

http://www.sojournheights.org/

What I Like

Sojourn Heights’ website is the only site on this list of 25 that doesn’t scroll at all. The entire site is contained in a single window. The main call to action reads Plan Your Visit and then there are some additional pages listed below. If you’re wanting to build an especially stripped down church website, this would be a great one to model.

25. Elevation Church

http://elevationchurch.org/

What I Like

If your church life is built around the Sunday message as much as Elevation’s, then it makes sense to put your weekly message front-and-center. This shouldn’t be what most of our churches attempt to emulate, but when you have a speaker with a profile and following like Stephen Furtick, it makes sense.

One cool thing about Elevation’s site is that they update the video background every single week as soon as the most recent message has been released.

Conclusion

If you’d like to have your church’s website considered for the best of 2018 list, just post it in the comments!

Also, if it’s even possible to choose, which one is your favorite from the list of 25? Let me know in the comments and post your church’s website as well!