Church website design is similar in many respects to any other type of website design. The standard procedure for building a website involves looking at the available tools and seeing how much of the process has already been done for you, and how much it will cost to start from scratch instead. For example, if one were building a site for a car wash, you might check to see if there are car wash website templates available, minimizing the amount of design work needed to be done. The process is identical for church websites, the only difference being that many, many more tools are readily available and easily implemented.
For example, while using a site with a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, the tools are present to simply use plugins to handle the bulk of the work. After choosing a church template (many of which are free or very affordable), you can drop in plugins with the click of a button to handle podcasting, streaming sermon broadcasting, image slideshows, and online giving. The process of implementing these features is not at all complicated, and is set up from the website dashboard, no coding required. We recommend these CMS programs for the novice web designer, especially WordPress, as it is incredibly well-documented, and very widely used. In addition, it is completely free.
For the user with a little bit more experience, or a background in web design, Joomla and Drupal are both very popular options. Both of these tools are designed with modular use in mind, meaning that they are also plugin-based. However, Joomla and Drupal are geared towards a more experienced web designer and provides additional tools to “tweak” the fundamental design of the site at the code-level, allowing customization and freedom that many other tools can’t match. Drupal in particular is known for being a good tool for someone with a background in PHP. Joomla is known for being somewhat more usable than WordPress, and also a great way to build a template-driven website that is dynamic. Joomla has many modules to support things such as blogs and RSS feeds, but is also very customizable. Like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are both open-licensed and are free to use.
With the tools to create your website, having a choice of church website design templates is also a way to customize your website and save money in the process. Find a church web hosting provider that offers both easy design tools and church website templates that fit the needs of your church or business.
Part of the benefit of using these free web design CMS products is that the money that would have been spent on a proprietary tool can be used elsewhere to improve the final product. For example, by using WordPress instead of a proprietary tool, the cost to use the software is nothing; however, money can then be spent on premium themes or plugins that can drastically improve the look or feel of a website. The benefit of using free tools in the first place is having the option to use pay-only features, but not be forced to do so.
There are many choices to be made when choosing your church web design tool for your website. Though it may seem overwhelming, oftentimes the barrier for entry is very low, and we recommend trying out many different free web design tools until you find the right one to fit your needs. All that you need to get started today is right at your fingertips.