You definitely don’t want to pick the wrong website builder for your church site. Why? Not only could it be a waste of precious time you could be investing in your community, but it may also compromise your financial data.To avoid these potential issues, you need to make sure the website builder you choose is trustworthy, but also has all the features to make your church site the best it can be – everything from newsletter signup to a video player for your sermons. I tested dozens of website builders to bring you this list of the five which have what it takes to build a secure, engaging church website.
Short on Time? These Are Our Top Website Builders for Churches in February 2023:
Wix – Has over 900+ fully customizable templates, including 20 designs for church and community websites
Squarespace – Offers great ways to keep in touch with your church members, including newsletters and custom contact forms
SITE123 – Lets you easily implement donation forms, even on the free plan
Wix gives you two options for building your site. The easier one is Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) that generates a website for you based on a series of questions related to your church.
If you prefer, you can choose a template and customize it in the drag-and-drop editor to make it your own. Some templates come with prebuilt features, such as a donation page, event calendar, social media links, and even a place to share your sermons.
To add even more functionality to your site, you can easily add apps from the Wix App Market, such as social media streams, holiday badges, and customizable welcome messages.
Notable Wix Features
Media sharing – Upload or embed audio and video content, or host live streams of your weekly gatherings so church members and guests can join you at home or on the go.
Forums – Give your parishioners a place to interact online. You can have both public and members-only areas dedicated to prayer requests, news, and questions about religion.
Event management – Make it easy for members to learn more about upcoming church events and register for them. You can also track RSVPs, sell tickets, and send out reminders before your big gathering.
Donor support options – Use your site to show all the ways members can support your church, including online donation forms, email, text messages, and in-person donations.
Read our in-depth Wix review to learn about other apps and features you can add to your church site.
Offers a Free Plan or Trial Period?
Lets You Collect Donations?
Number of Templates
Starting Price of Paid Plan
A word of warning: Once you’ve chosen a template using the Wix Editor, you can’t switch it later. You can, however, customize it to make any changes you like. If you use Wix ADI, though, you can switch themes (color variations) and page layouts.
Squarespace is known for its collection of 100+ professionally-designed templates. It doesn’t offer any specifically religion-themed templates, but you can choose any design you like and customize it with your own images. No matter what template you choose, you’ll be able to take advantage of any of Squarespace’s built-in features, including appointment bookings, event pages, and social media integration.
The Squarespace editor has a clean, uncluttered interface. The structured templates and built-in integrations save you from unintended design mishaps and technical issues that can come from using third-party apps.
Notable Squarespace Features
Excellent mailing list management – Send out church event invitations, special announcements, and regularly-scheduled parish newsletters.
Donations and recurring payments Set up pages for one-time donations and recurring payments so church members can make pledges when it’s convenient for them.
SEO Features – Squarespace lets you customize your page titles and descriptions; this can help people who are looking for a place to worship find you via localized searches. There’s also an SEO checklist to help you identify relevant keywords and optimize site content.
Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan, although you do get a free 14-day trial period. You’ll also need to upgrade to a Business or Commerce plan to accept payments on your site, and transaction fees apply to donations.
#3: SITE123 – Lets You Build a Site in a Matter of Minutes
If you want a quick, yet fully-featured website, SITE123 could be the builder for you. It’s very easy to use, especially if you’re short on time or technical experience. There aren’t any religion-themed templates, but you can customize any of their 175+ templates with your own image uploads or its library of royalty-free content.
I was impressed with how quickly I could add useful features such as clickable maps, a music player, and worship team bios. You can even include call-to-action buttons that make it easy for visitors to reach you by phone or social media accounts. In our expert SITE123 review we provide some extra tips for easy website customization.
Notable SITE123 Features
Easy-to-implement donation forms – Not sure how to set up a donation form? No worries, SITE123 offers pre-made forms you can customize with church images and a choice of donation amounts.
Ready-made content pages – Ready-to-implement pages contain placeholder content you can modify for your specific needs, such as event promos, faith testimonials, and even a countdown page for your next church gathering.
Historical timelines – You can show your faith community how you’ve grown over the years with an interactive timeline page that breaks down the most important achievements you’ve made along the way.
Single or multi-page sites – If you’re just starting out, you can build a basic single-page site that includes the most important features, such as a contact form, map, and mass schedule. As you grow, you can upgrade to a multi-page site.
Zyro doesn’t have a specific template category dedicated to churches, but you can find a few religion and community-oriented designs in the Services section of the template gallery. Also, all 100+ Zyro templates are completely customizable, so you can select any template and modify it to fit your needs.
All templates are mobile-responsive, and you can edit the mobile view separately from the desktop view. Zyro’s editor is pretty flexible – you can drag and drop any element almost anywhere on the page, and it will snap into place on a predetermined grid. You can add image slideshows, dropdown menus, customize contact forms, and more.
If you’re really in a hurry, Zyro’s AI writing tool will generate SEO-optimized content for you, based on your industry and the type of content you want.
Notable Zyro Features
AI business tools – These include a logo maker, business name generator, and slogan generator.
Website Importer tool – If you have an existing site, you can import all your content into your new site, and arrange it on your own.
E-commerce features – If you want to sell products, you’ll be able to set up an online store quickly, and Zyro doesn’t charge transaction fees.
Read our full Zyro review to learn more about the platform’s apps and integrations.
Offers a Free Plan or a Trial Period?
Lets You Collect Donations?
Number of templates
Starting Price of Paid Plan
Zyro doesn’t have a free plan or a free trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. All plans are priced quite reasonably, and you can save more money if you sign up for annual subscriptions.
Although GoDaddy doesn’t have religion-themed templates, you can find polished designs with a similar vibe in the Community and Nonprofit section of the template gallery. All templates are mobile-responsive, so your website will look good across different devices.
GoDaddy’s point-and-click editor is incredibly easy to use, even if you’re a newbie. There are hundreds of ready-made content blocks you can add to your site, including photo galleries, a blog, a calendar, contact forms, newsletter signup forms, and more.
There aren’t many customization options, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you don’t want to spend too much time figuring out the design of your website.
GoDaddy doesn’t have an app market like Wix, but it does have solid social media and email marketing features. Every plan includes email marketing messages, and you can sync your site to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and create posts directly from your dashboard.
Notable GoDaddy Features
Search Engine Visibility tool – This feature is included in all plans, and it walks you through the process of optimizing your site’s keywords, site title, meta descriptions, and header text.
Audio and video features – You can embed videos (YouTube and Vimeo) and audio (SoundCloud) to share your sermons.
Downloadable content – You can include downloadable digital content on your site, such as PDFs and eBooks.
Donation options – You can collect donations by adding a PayPal button to your site.
Now that you know you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money to create a church site, which website builder do you choose? Here are my recommendations:
If you want a church website that’s packed with content but also affordable and simple to maintain, Wix offers everything you need. The religion-themed templates give you a variety of beautiful designs to work with. Plus, there are lots of apps, in-depth tutorials, and customer support options should you need it.
If you want a professional-looking site with excellent blogging features and the ability to collect recurring donations, Squarespace is a great choice. The combination of attractive design with powerful features makes this builder ideal for churches trying to grow their online presence.
Thanks to the user-friendly builders listed above, creating a website for your church is a quick and hassle-free process that doesn’t require technical experience. All of these platforms have easy-to-use editors that enable you to choose a design and customize it to your liking, and if you’re really short on time, web builders like Wix and Jimdo can generate a website for you in a matter of minutes. Most importantly, these builders include a robust set of features that can help you interact with the churchgoers, accept donations, grow your congregation, and much more.
Is Wix good for church websites?
Wix is an excellent option for creating a church website because it offers a variety of religion-themed templates in its Religion and Non-profit section of the template gallery. It also offers plenty of features that can be extremely beneficial for church websites, such as donation pages, event management, the ability to embed social links and videos to grow your online presence, and the option to host live streams of your weekly sermons. Read more in our expert Wix review.
How do I create a free church website?
The website builders we singled out here have either free plans or free trials available, so they provide relatively affordable ways to create a church website. Wix, for example, offers a free plan with some useful perks such as video embedding and SEO Wiz, but it also comes with ads and it doesn’t allow you to accept online payments. Weebly’s free plan includes the ability to add contact forms and SEO features, but if you want to connect a custom domain and accept online payments, you’ll have to subscribe to Pro plan or above. If you decide to get a paid subscription, you can still cut down on your expenses by checking out our coupon page.
What makes a good church website?
It all depends on your needs and intentions, but generally, a good church website should have a clean and professional look and it should be easy to navigate. Also, it’s important to offer different ways of interaction with your community via features such as forums, event promos, call-to-action buttons or newsletters. It’s always helpful if your site uses SEO best practices so that existing and potential church members can easily find you online. If you’re still unsure and want more web building options, take a look at our list of the bestwebsite builders for 2023.
Jill is a writer, artist, and graphic designer from the Pacific Northwest. Her areas of interest include print-on-demand technology, surface pattern design, and small business marketing. She enjoys cats, chocolate, 80s music, yoga, and visiting NYC whenever she can.