Our Top 7 Cringe-Worthy Church Website Design Mistakes

WebsiteDesignMistakesBlog 1024x538 - Our Top 7 Cringe-Worthy Church Website Design Mistakes

Are there certain websites you dread going to? Like your local library’s website that hasn’t been updated since 2003 or your son’s little league website that makes it impossible to find the schedule?

Bad designs lead to bad user experience. And if someone is frustrated with your website, they’ll leave—it’s as simple as that. Don’t let your poorly designed church website scare away potential visitors. Avoid these seven cringe-worthy design mistakes:

1. Designing Your Website For the Wrong Audience

If someone reaches your website and they don’t feel like they belong, they will leave—which is why determining your audiences and catering your content to them is so important.

Your church members aren’t the only one using your website. If it’s all about community groups and Sunday service and everything for only church members, new visitors may feel disinterested or like they don’t belong.

As important as it is to make newcomers welcome inside your church building, it’s equally important to make them feel welcome in your virtual church.

When you’re designing for visitors, you’ll want to ensure the following information is clearly visible and easy to find on your website:

  • Service times
  • New visitors section
  • Location
  • Contact information

Because you and your church members already know this information, it can be easy to overlook. However, if you want new visitors to your site to also be visitors to your church building, you’ll need to make sure this information is easy to access.

2. Not Having Mobile Optimization

77 percent of adults own smartphones, and many of them use their phone to access the Internet. Since most people will use their phones to access your church website, don’t make them have to squint at their screens or zoom in! If your website is not optimized for mobile users, you risk losing visitors on your website, which could translate into losing visitors at your church services. In addition, a mobile-friendly website will help:

  • Your website will get a higher Google ranking
  • Decrease your bounce rate, which means once people find your site, they will stay there
  • By going mobile, your website will be much more convenient to use while offering a friendly user experience.

3. It Looks Like It Came from the 90’s

As much as we all love Fresh Prince and Full House, who wants to be stuck in the 90’s? If your church website contains 8-bit icons and too much white-space with terrible Photoshop, it could look like it was designed in 1998, not 2018!  If you want a modern-looking website, you’ll want to check out these 7 Innovative Church Website Design Trends.

4. Too Many Special Effects

Animation and special effects are great for websites as they can increase user engagement. Beware of too many special effects, however, as it can get tacky really quickly. Instead of bombarding visitors to your website with a ton of special effects, use them sparingly and use them wisely.

Here are some advantages of using just the right amount of special effects on your church website:

  • A slideshow can be extremely useful for websites with multiple images
  • The special effect of motion can really catch the user’s attention
  • While these are some great ways to use special effects, you probably don’t want to use all of them on the same page.

5. Inaccurate Images

If your youth ministry staff wears jeans and a t-shirt normally, don’t show pictures of them in slacks, ties, and dresses. Your photos should reflect your true identity. Images of your staff should also be up-to-date. If your worship leader once had a beard with black hair but is now clean-shaven and blonde, you’ll want to get the picture updated. This will help your visitors recognize your staff when they meet.

While stock images can be good options occasionally, you’ll want to include as many real-life photos as possible. Too many stock photos can be a deterrent for potential visitors. If you use royalty-free images and stock photos, you’ll want to double check the copyright. If the copyright does allow you to use the photograph, you may need to give proper credit.

6. Slow Load Time

While this is more of a user experience mistake than a design mistake, it can still dictate your design. Using images or videos that are too large can affect your website loading time. Most consumers expect a website to load in under two seconds, and if it doesn’t, they may get impatient and leave. Making sure your website is quick-to-load can help increase your Google Ranking and increase your conversion rate. Check out these ways you can increase your website’s load time.

7. Not Having an Updated Website

All of these mistakes can be overcome by a diligent website visitor. However, the only mistake that you can’t overcome is summed up in the catch-all phrase “not up to date.” There can be nothing more frustrating than checking out a church website only to find outdated content. When someone visits your website, they want to know which small groups are taking place now, not last winter. It’s simply not enough anymore for the pastor to update their congregation by making announcements or by including changes in the weekly bulletin. It’s an absolute must for the website to be updated, especially for churches who are searching for more visitors.

Next Steps

Your church’s design speaks volumes about your church—you don’t want to have someone take a glance at your homepage and think, “Oh, my…” (in a bad way). Everybody has their own list of cringe-worthy design mistakes that we may have missed on this list. As you start designing you may think of your own, too.

Still feel like you need extra help? Take a look at our available templates here!

Announcing F1+Shelby’s Financial Integration!


f1plysshelby - Announcing F1+Shelby's Financial Integration!

We are excited to announce our Shelby Financials Integration! With this new integration, your church can be equipped with the most comprehensive People Management software on the market along with an unparalleled name in church accounting software.

FellowshipOne is about helping your ministry care for people. Shelby Financials is dedicated to the stewardship of your ministry’s resources. With this integration, your church can be excellent stewards of your two most valuable resources: People and Finances.

With FellowshipOne + Shelby Financials, your church can:

  • Enjoy seamless reconciliation by keeping contributions and receipts perfectly in sync with bank accounts.
  • Maintain a high degree of data integrity by reducing the degree of errors caused by manual data input.
  • Eliminate time wasted on manual data entry with a new intuitive workflow, saving the church on labor costs.
  • Easily find and sync specific subsets of transactions based on the date range and contribution type or batch.
  • Create separate journal entries for each unique Company, Year and Period all in the same export.
  • Maintain separate journal entries for receipts and contributions, even when attributed to the same fund and accounts.
  • Keep contribution data private and financial data secure.

Picture1 - Announcing F1+Shelby's Financial Integration!

Click here to visit our website and learn more about FellowshipOne + Shelby Financials. Join FellowshipOne and our partners at PSK CPA for a FREE webinar covering financials on June 28. You can register here.

Product Update: FellowshipOne GO

A new dashboard option has been added to the FellowshipOne GO navigation menu.  The Dashboard option is in a user-friendly location within your FellowshipOne GO system allowing you to view your important church metrics.  It is easily configurable with multiple variations to customize a dashboard of widgets.

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FellowshipOne Mobile: Put the Power of FellowshipOne in the palm of your hand.

FellowshipOne is thrilled to announce the release of FellowshipOne Mobile! Designed exclusively for Pastors, Ministry Leaders and church staff, this new application provides convenient accessibility to important Individual and Household information so that Ministry leaders can prepare for interactions with congregants.

FellowshipOne Mobile has an enhanced individual profile view that allows churches to gain valuable insight into individuals and households. With visibility into Group Membership, this new application helps users understand individual involvement. Access to Attributes and Requirements can not only help Ministry Leaders discern a congregant’s journey of spiritual growth or assimilation, but also provide visibility into background checks or other prerequisites to volunteering. In addition, FellowshipOne Mobile utilizes the security of FellowshipOne Note Types to give users the ability to both view and add important notes to the individual profile.

Continue reading “FellowshipOne Mobile: Put the Power of FellowshipOne in the palm of your hand.”

FellowshipOne Product Release- InFellowship: Your Registrations

inFellowship registration

In response to customers who have long requested a way for congregants to have visibility into events they have already registered for, FellowshipOne is excited to release InFellowship: Your Registrations. Compatible with all screen sizes, this new feature reduces administrative overhead by negating the need for congregants to call the church office for information on registrations. With Your Registrations, congregants can easily access important details about both upcoming and past events that family members are registered for, including:

  • Event Name
  • Event Date/Time
  • Attendees
  • Payment Status
  • Balance Due and Date Due (if applicable)
  • Confirmation Code

InFellowship: Your Registrations is the first installment of a group of InFellowship enhancements that are designed to increase functionality and improve the user experience for church congregants. Stay tuned for more news on what’s next from FellowshipOne!

FellowshipOne Insights in Action: Feedback from a Church Partner

ProductNotesFB 1024x538 - FellowshipOne Insights in Action: Feedback from a Church Partner

When we launched FellowshipOne Insights six months ago, the immediate response was amazing! Hundreds of people attended the Intro to Insights webinars hosted by the Professional Services team and within the first month, many FellowshipOne Premier customers were actively engaging with the Insights dashboards.

But Insights is so much more than dashboards!

And now, more customers than ever are utilizing this business intelligence tool that also includes Attributes Dashboards. With almost 700 customers regularly leveraging this technology and functionality, we wanted to know not only ‘What’s it like working with Insights?’ but also ‘How has Insights changed the way you manage your church?’

 “One of the best things I’ve seen from FellowshipOne!”

When we asked these questions of Marlene Abbey, Operations Director at LifeMission Church, she was quick to share that the starting point for her was the Contributions reporting for their different campuses. The addition of Insights even revealed areas where the church leadership needed to change the way they refer to certain data points like: unique givers, average giving unit, and number of contributions. “Understanding unique contributors and average dollars per giving unit has been a really big deal for us. It’s helping me eliminate steps I was doing manually.” By leveraging bookmarks and saved filters, Marlene’s next goal is to delegate reporting to her assistant.

 “You’ve given me dashboards I didn’t even know I’d like to see.”

“Insights gives me exactly what I’m looking for,” Marlene said. “You’ve given me dashboards I didn’t even know I’d like to see.” And the church leadership is responding positively to the upgrade in reporting visibility too. “The overview format is extremely helpful for our leadership. My pastor can see overall trends, and I can drill down to see the actual numbers behind it.” It’s the best of both worlds!

Read more about the benefits of FellowshipOne Insights here. Connect with one of our Solutions Specialists at Insights@FellowshipOne.com.

More Mass Action for Assignments

One of the great features of Fellowship One is the ability to perform a mass action. This could range from sending a communication to hundreds of your members or updating the records of many with a single click.

By popular request, we have added two additional mass action features to the Assignments list. This is the ability to delete and email members directly from the assignments overview page (Ministry > Assignments > View All).

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