Top 5 church website design mistakes

As 2013 wraps up we think forward with communication. Here are the top 5 church website design mistakes in our opinion. 

  1. Not using header tags correctly and increasing the size of text instead. While this may bring prominence to the phrase in your text, it is out of the design guidelines set by the CSS of the website. Keep things nice and neat by using header tags properly. 
  2. Rotating banners created by someone without a design gift. We understand you need to get things done on a budget, but don't sacrifice the quality of your site to do this. Once bad web banner can hurt your church's brand. This is why we have added web banner design to our monthly packages, so you don't have to worry about this anymore. 
  3. Stealing a graphic from the web that looks cool on a given site... but not on yours. When you are reactive in church website design, it can lead to liking design ideas and trying to implement it on your website. The problem is, your design may not fit the style of the element you are taking, causing your website to look slapped together. 
  4. Poor content. A great website design is only the beginning. You need clear and unified content to bring value to visitors. A common mistake is to have each department head write their own content for the web and put it online. This causes the content to look more like a mosaic than a unified brand. Pick one person on your staff to be the content brand manager and align everyones content. 
  5. Out of place navigation. Sometimes when people are put in charge of updating the church's website, they think their content is more important than everyone else. This leads to the youth group tab being in the main navigation instead of in the ministry folder. Make sure to follow good sitemap architecture. 

We hope these top 5 mistakes of church websites help you dial in your current site. If you need or want help looking at what else you can do to increase the impact of your church website, give us a call.

How to make Church Website Banners

Church Website Banner Ideas.

Website banners can make your Church Website stand out to your users. The key is finding the right photo and placing the correct font type in spacial symmetry.  Here are some pointers to creating great website banners for your church website. 

Quick Tips to Creating Church Website Banners

  1. Choose photos that match the tone of your church website.  If your site is bright and aggressive find photos that feel comfortable in the design.  
  2. Use photos with people in them.  Make sure that the photos are organic and capture the emotion well.  If the people are posing it can come across insincere. 
  3. Make sure the photo quality is good.  There is nothing worse a pixelated photo.  When creating the banner in Photoshop make sure it is set at 72dpi and actual size for the web. 
  4. The type font should feel apart of the photo.  This means it should not feel awkward.  If you are not sure, ask someones opinion who has fashion sense. 
  5. Use a contrasting color for the type font against the photo.  This does not mean contrasting primary colors, rather a color that fits the tone of the photo but allows it to pop. 
  6. When all else fails look through some examples to get ideas. 

Remember a bad church website banner can do more damage than no website banner.  Take the time to create quality designed banners.  If you are not comfortable you can always contact us to help you out.

Making your Church Website Banners Count

Church Website Banner ExamplesIt is very common to see rotating banners on church websites.  They are great for communicating your recent sermon series podcast or upcoming events.  Website Banners can be both a blessing and a curse.  If you select the wrong photos or poorly edit them, it can cause more damage than good.  A banner can bring you web-cred (respect) if you do them well, or it can discredit your church website.  Make sure you find great designs and get a second opinion... from someone who will be honest.  

Here is a create resource for finding free website banners, Creativemyk.  Just remember to crop them to size and not squish them down. 

I would recommend investing in Adobe Photoshop (PSD) to edit your banners.  Here at Sheepish Design we provide our clients with PSD templates of their banners so they can make future changes.  There are plenty of great tutorials on how to use the program.  A little Photoshop can go a long way for your church website design. Here are some great link for online tutorials; Lynda and Creative Live.  I hope these free resources help you create amazing banners for your church website.  or church wordpress themes 

Do photos help your church website?

The images you choose to display on your church website matter.  If you do not take the time to find quality photos you will miss the opportunity to connect to your audience.  As humans we are visual by nature.  Your church website design can only take you so far. The icing on the cake is the images you use in your rotators and pages.  Take the time to find images that communicate what you are talking about. 

This image would be a great one for a sermon podcast on confusion.  A picture is worth a thousand words so choose wisely.  

Free resource to find great photos