4 Tips to Make Your Church’s Homepage More Inviting

August 11, 2022  •   LPi

church website on home computer

We hear it all the time, “When people visit our website, we want them to know that we are a welcoming and inviting community!” At LPi we are fortunate enough to have our own professional user experience designer, Megan, to help guide this process. When we sat down with her to ask if she had anything to share about homepage best practices, she shared four tips for parishes who want to create the most welcoming homepage user experience possible.

Tip 1: Use a HERO Image that reflects your community.

A HERO image is the first image people will see when visiting your homepage. This might be your website’s banner, background image, or simply a featured image that will be a focal point on the very first screen someone sees when navigating to your page. Consider featuring a diverse group of parishioners in this image or a snapshot of a community celebration. Images of actual members of your community instead of images of church buildings can help a potential new member envision themselves as part of your church family.

Tip 2: Collect information into easy-to-access menu groups.

Along with your hero image, visible menus with buttons should be placed directly in the visitor’s immediate line of sight. When considering how to group information items into your homepage’s menu, think about the main reasons somebody may visit your website: Mass times, ministries, contact information, Sacramental information, etc. Put the most searched for topics front and center! Lots of churches make the mistake of having too many things in their navigational menu all at once. When churches collect items into groups that are similar and present their menus more simply, this can create an easier, and thus more welcoming, homepage user experience.

Some common menu groupings that she finds successful have been:

About | This could include your parish’s history, staff information, updated photos, media mentions, testimonials from parishioners, location, and more.

Ministries | This menu item can lead a visitor to view a list all of your church’s ministries or even to a sub-menu of ministry categories where they can easily navigate the wonderful work your parish is doing.

Parish Life | Use this grouping to highlight events, calendars, celebrate recent accomplishments, share photos, or make your community’s swag available to purchase.

Sacraments | You know the ones: Baptism, Frist Communion, Confirmation, RCIA, Reconciliation, and Marriage.

Worship | Lots can be couched under this category. Some of these items might include Mass times, prayer requests, livestreaming, Holy Day schedules, Confession times, music/choir information, Adoration times, Funeral information, and more.

Faith Formation | This important category could also include a sub-menu for Adults, Youth, Elementary, Young Adult, Bible Studies, or any other formational programs your church offers.

Connect | We prefer the term “connect” rather than “contact” because it can include social media, your church’s digital bulletin, staff information, a pastor’s letter, links to ministry newsletters, all alongside the parish’s general contact information.

Tip 3: Use good quality images

Quality imagery is super important in making your homepage look inviting to new visitors. Sometimes churches make the mistake of relying on old or grainy pictures, or they depend too much on stock imagery instead of featuring their actual community. Having vibrant, up to date imagery of your church, real parishioners, and events/holidays is one of the simplest ways to make your website more engaging and welcoming. LPi has an extensive library of professional images available for you to use on your website via WeCreate, our art and content tool: https://4lpi.com/solutions/catholic-art-content/

Tip 4: Don’t forget about cell phones!

Statistically speaking, recent data suggests that over half of all visits to a church’s website are from phones and tablets. Don’t believe us? Check out some statistics here. At LPi we find that 68% of our website visits come from mobile devices! This means that you should expect that at least half of your visitors will be using their phone to view your content as well. Your homepage should be designed to be attractive and easy to use when someone navigates to it via their cell.

At LPi we have incredible people like Megan and an experienced digital design team that works with parishes to create branding tools and resources to get your homepage, social media, bulletin, and over-all visual parish identity dialed in. We also have a vast library of ready-made images and tools for you to create your own, custom, high resolution imagery to use on any digital or printed resource you may have. To put these four tips to use and to create the most welcoming homepage and inviting digital experience for potential new parishioners, contact our team to see how we can give your online presence a refresh. Find out more information here: https://4lpi.com/solutions/catholic-church-websites/

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