9 Best Church Website Builders of 2020 (Easy for Beginners)
Have you been tasked with creating a website for your church? If you’re not a professional web designer or developer, this can be a daunting task.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to create a church website that looks great and does everything you need it to do.
In this guide, we’re going to compare the best church website builders that you can use to build a church website without writing any code.
How to Find the Best Church Website Builder for You
When you’re considering which church website builder to pick, you’ll want to look for features that help you accomplish key tasks.
Creating a calendar: You’ll need to list your regular services, and perhaps other activities, on your website.
Uploading sermons: If you plan to put sermon recordings on your website, then you’ll want an easy way to do this.
Different user accounts and permissions: You’d probably want to have certain church members (volunteers) be able to update the website when needed, without giving them access to everything.
Allowing members to register and login: You might want to have some content, like the minutes of church meetings, only available to registered church members.
Taking donations: If you plan to take donations through your website, then you need to make sure that your church website software will support this.
Design and Templates: You should pick a website builder that has a wide variety of church website templates. You also want it to have an easy design customizer that lets you customize the design, add images, update colors and more, so you can create a church website that matches your church’s brand.
With that said, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the most popular church website builders, so you can choose the best software for your need.
WordPress.org is the #1 software for building church websites. It’s the most popular website builder in the world and powers over 35% of all websites on the internet.
Note that WordPress.org, also called “self-hosted WordPress”, is different from WordPress.com (mentioned later in the article). If you’re keen to know how they’re different, take a look at our guide that compares WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com.
WordPress is a completely free website builder that gives you full control and all the features you’ll need to build a website. But since it’s self-hosted, you will need to have a domain name and web hosting to build a website with WordPress.
- WordPress has hundreds of different church templates and layouts (themes) that you can use, both free and paid. Here’s our expert pick of the best church themes for WordPress.
- There are plugins available to cover any feature your church website is likely to need. For instance, you might want the Sermon Manager plugin and one of these donation and fundraising plugins for your church website.
- WordPress has over 55,000+ free WordPress plugins which are like apps for your website that lets you add additional functionality like contact forms, photo galleries, image sliders, and more.
- You can use popular WordPress page builder plugins like Divi, Elementor, or Beaver Builder to create completely custom church websites without writing any code.
- WordPress lets you create as many user accounts as you want. These can be set up with different roles and permissions, so you can limit full admin access to just one or two people.
- With WordPress, you fully own your website. You don’t have to worry about ads appearing on your site as they do with some other free or cheap website builders.
- There’s a huge supportive community around WordPress, making it easy to get help when you need it. We even run our own free Facebook group called WPBeginner Engage where you can find lots of encouragement and support.
- You’ll need to handle updates, backups, and security yourself. There are lots of WordPress plugins that can help with this, though.
- WordPress can sometimes be a bit daunting when you’re just starting out. You may find there’s a bit of a learning curve.
WordPress itself is free, but you’ll need to pay for a domain name and web hosting. The cost of a domain name is normally around $9 – $15/year and web hosting normally starts around $7.99 / month.
Luckily, Bluehost, a popular web hosting company, has agreed to offer WPBeginner readers a free domain name and a generous 60% discount on hosting. Basically, you can start a church website for $2.75 per month.
Once you have setup your domain and hosting, please see our guide on how to make a WordPress website (step by step).
The Constant Contact Website Builder is one of our top choices for an all in one website solution. They provide web hosting, so you don’t need to buy that separately.
The Constant Contact website builder is powered by AI (artificial intelligence). This makes it very easy and quick for you to build a church website.
- You can get started with the Constant Contact website builder completely free. This is a great option for small churches or those on a very tight budget.
- It’s very quick to create your church website. Just type in “church” for the type of site and you’ll be shown appropriate stock images you can use. You can then click a few options to finish creating your site.
- There’s support available 24/7. You can contact their team by email or live chat even on the free plan. We found that the live chat team was helpful and quick to respond.
- Your site layout and design can be customized in almost any way you can imagine. Constant Contact has a huge library of images (over 550,000) to choose from. Of course, you can also upload your own images.
- Although there isn’t a specific donations feature, you can create and sell products even on the free website plan. You could create a product that’s called “Donation” or similar. Donors can’t set their own amount, however.
- All plans, including the free one, come with an SSL certificate. This allows your site to use the secure https protocol instead of http.
- You can connect Constant Contact websites with their powerful email marketing service to send regular newsletters.
- You can’t create multiple users for your site, even if you’re on one of the paid plans. If you want other people to be able to edit the site, you’ll need to give them your login. This could lead to security breaches or someone accidentally deleting pages from the site.
- If you want to use a custom domain name, rather than one ending in constantcontactsites.com, you’ll need to upgrade to a free plan. These start from $10/month. However, you do get your domain name for free on that plan.
- Your site will show ads on the free plan. You’ll need to upgrade to get rid of these.
- Constant Contact takes 3% commission on website sales on the Free and Starter plans, meaning it’s not an ideal platform for taking donations.
The Constant Contact website builder has a free plan. If you want to remove ads and use your own domain name, you’ll need to pay $10/month for the Starter plan.
The Business Plus plan, at $20/month, could be useful if your church wants to sell products, event tickets, or anything else online.
Gator is another all in one website builder, making it a great option if you want to keep things as simple as possible. You can choose from different website templates to create your site.
- You’ll have unlimited pages, space, and bandwidth for your site. This means you don’t need to worry about running out of space or getting charged if your site gets a lot of traffic.
- A domain name is included for free (for 12 months) regardless of which plan you’re on. Alternatively, if you’ve already bought a domain name from a different domain name registrar, you can simply connect it to your site.
- There’s support available 24/7 through live chat, phone, and email.
- There are over 200 different templates available. You can customize these, though you can’t later switch templates completely.
- Unlike Wix, WordPress, or Constant Contact, Gator does not have free plans, and there’s no free trial available either.
- There’s no easy way to accept donations through your website unless you pay for the eCommerce plan.
- The pricing isn’t very transparent. Your site might end up costing you quite a bit more than you’re expecting as time goes by.
The cheapest Gator plan costs from $3.84/mo, which requires you to pay upfront for two years. If you want to pay monthly, it’s $4.99/month.
Note that all the listed prices are for your site’s “first term” only. So if you opt for the $4.99/month option, you’ll be paying $9.99 from your second month onward.
Sharefaith is a popular website builder designed specifically for churches. It is a dedicated platform and comes with a support team to help you get started.
- There are plenty of different church website templates to pick from. All of these are specifically designed for churches, so you won’t find yourself skipping through lots of irrelevant ones.
- You can view and try out the website builder without paying anything. Just pick a template that you want to demo.
- Sharefaith will migrate your old site for free (so long as you pay for a yearly plan).
- There are loads of different images, like website banners, you can choose from. You can also upload your own images to use on your site.
- You can easily add the audio or video recording of sermons to your website. With these, you can select who preached the sermon and what series it was in.
- There’s a built-in calendar feature so you can list services and other events.
- With your website, you’ll also get Sharefaith Giving. This makes it easy for you to accept donations and tithes through your website.
- Membership includes access to the full Sharefaith media library, with over 90,000 graphics, images, videos and so on.
- You can add additional users to your Sharefaith website using the ‘Advanced’ tools.
- Sharefaith definitely isn’t the cheapest website builder out there and probably won’t suit churches on a very tight budget.
- You’re restricted to the functionality that Sharefaith has. Unlike WordPress, you don’t have access to the same level of plugins or extensions.
Sharefaith costs $45/month if you pay annually or $50/month if you pay monthly for their “media + web” plan. That plan is the minimum you can purchase if you want to create a website.
This could well be worth it for you if you want to use lots of the specialist functionality, like the ability to upload sermons.
Ministry Designs is another website that specialises in providing sites just for churches.
- There are lots of gorgeous templates to choose from, all of which are fully responsive. That means they’ll look great on mobile devices as well as on computers.
- There’s unlimited training, and your assigned “Ministry Success Representative” will use screen-sharing technology to show you exactly how to build your website.
- You’ll get an hour-long initial phone call, plus as much support as you need after that to build your site.
- Ministry Designs is very geared up for churches, with features where you can upload sermons, create a calendar, and even create and manage an email list.
- You can have multiple user accounts for your site. You can have 3 users for free, or more if you pay extra.
- The support team was very responsive and friendly. You can contact them through the website’s live chat without signing up for anything.
- You’ll be paying a large upfront fee. The ongoing hosting isn’t super-cheap, either.
- The templates aren’t necessarily any better or more advanced than those that you could use on other (much cheaper) website builders.
- Ministry Designs doesn’t actually create or design your website for you. They just walk you through the process of using their templates.
Ministry Designs charges $1,000 upfront for their software and support. You’ll then be paying $20/month for ongoing hosting.
It’s a lot to pay. You may find it’s worth it if your church needs a website but doesn’t have a volunteer with the technical skills to create one without a lot of hands-on support.
Nucleus is an all in one church website builder, with a bunch of useful features like the ability to upload sermons and create email lists.
- There’s a 30 day free trial, which doesn’t require any credit card details. If you find that you need longer to evaluate the website builder, just contact Nucleus and they can give you extra time.
- Nucleus offers “scholarships” for smaller churches and startups. It’s worth enquiring about these if your church would struggle to afford the regular Nucleus payment plans.
- There’s lots of helpful documentation, plus support available through live chat.
- Nucleus is designed to be a “central hub” for your church. There’s a particular focus on signup forms so that you have a single place you can point people to.
- There’s a Facebook group you can join to talk about church website building with other people who are using Nucleus too.
- When you sign up for Nucleus, you also get access to their library of video footage clips. Note that only a small number of these are available during your free trial.
- There are lots of pre-created social media posts that you could use on your social media channels. These are all images with text overlayed and come with suggested captions.
- The support team are only available from 9am to 5pm EST, which could mean waiting quite a while for a reply at some points.
- If you want to take donations, you need to pay a flat fee for this service from RebelGive. It could well be worth it if you get a lot of donations through your website, though.
- Currently, you can’t have multiple users for your website. When we asked the support team, they said this feature would be added in the future.
Nucleus costs $125/month if you pay monthly or $99/month if you pay upfront for a year.
You don’t need to pay more if your website grows. It’s a single flat fee that gives you access to all their features.
WordPress.com is an all in one hosted platform that’s based on the same underlying code as WordPress.org.
It’s easy to get confused about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The key thing to know is that WordPress.com is a commercial offering whereas the WordPress.org software is free and open-source.
There are restrictions on what you can do with WordPress.com and the free plan is quite limited, which is why we normally recommend WordPress.org instead. However, WordPress.com can be the right choice in some situations.
- WordPress.com is hosted for you, so you don’t need to worry about backups, updates, or security. It’s all handled on your behalf.
- There are hundreds of different themes (designs) that you can choose from for your website. This includes many options, both free and premium, that are suitable for churches.
- The paid plans are fairly cheap if you’re on a tight budget.
- It’s quite straightforward to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org in the future. This helps keep your options open.
- You can’t customize your site to the same degree as you can with many other website builders.
- WordPress doesn’t have a drag and drop interface like some other website builders, so it can be harder to get to grips with.
- The free plan is very limited and doesn’t provide any support.
The paid plans are fairly cheap, starting at just $4/month (billed annually) for a custom domain name and 24/7 support.
If you want more features, the Premium plan is $8/month (billed annually).
Weebly is another all in one website builder. Most people find it really easy to use, and it comes with lots of designs that you can use as a starting point for your website.
- All of Weebly’s designs are fully editable using the drag and drop interface. It’s very beginner-friendly and easy to use even if you’ve never created any sort of website before.
- There’s built-in eCommerce support, which you could use to take donations. However, Weebly charges a 3% transaction fee on sales through your website.
- There’s an App Center that you can use to add extra features to your site. There are a number of different audio players you could add, for instance, if you want to put sermons on your site.
- The support team are available 24/7 through email, and during extended business hours (6am to 6pm PST) by live chat. If you’re on the Pro plan or higher, you can also call them on the phone.
- If you’re on the Pro plan or higher, you can create a membership area for your site. This means you can protect information that you only want church members to be able to view.
- Unlike other website builders such as Constant Contact, Weebly doesn’t have an AI creation process. This means it may take you a bit longer to create your site.
- The apps you can install are limited and you won’t be able to get such relevant features as you could with other website builders. There isn’t a specific “sermon” app, for instance.
Their paid plans start from $6/month (billed annually), but this won’t let you remove ads. You’ll need to pay for the $12/month Professional plan if you want to remove ads and have unlimited storage.
Squarespace is a very popular website builder that again offers an all in one platform.
It’s easy to use and allows for multiple users, which could be really handy if you want to have several people working on your church’s site.
- It’s simple to add images, videos, and audio files using Squarespace’s block editor. This could be particularly handy if you want to upload sermons to your site.
- There’s a good number of different templates available on Squarespace.
- You can take a free trial without needing to enter your credit card details.
- There are a huge number of fonts available with Squarespace, which could be helpful if you want to match your website fonts to specific ones you’re using in printed materials.
- You can add contributors (other users) to your website and you have some degree of control over what permissions they have. The Personal plan only lets you have 2 contributors, but the other plans are unlimited.
- Squarespace handles images well, making it easy for your images to look great on different devices. You can browse and pick free images from Unsplash within Squarespace itself.
- If you’re on the Business plan or higher you can take donations through your website, using the ‘Donations’ block on any of your pages.
- There aren’t any Squarespace templates specifically designed for churches. The “Community & Non-Profits” templates might make a good starting point but you’ll likely want to modify them a lot.
- There are some third-party extensions available for Squarespace, but not nearly as many as you could get with a different platform like WordPress.
- If you’re on the Business plan rather than an eCommerce plan, Squarespace charges a 3% fee on donations. This is in addition to the fee charged by the payment processor.
The Personal website plan is $12/month (if you pay annually).
We’d recommend going for the Business plan, at $18/month (also billed annually). This gives you access to premium blocks and extensions, as well as the ability to take donations.
Expert Pick: Which is the Best Church Website Builder?
WordPress is hands down the best website builder for churches. There’s a reason why it’s the most popular website builder in the world powering over 35% of all websites on the internet.
It comes with dozens of church templates and design customizer options that you can use to build your church website without writing any code.
From a cost perspective, it’s the most affordable with the Bluehost web hosting offer that includes a free domain and free SSL.
You can also quickly add any feature like donations, sermons, contact form, photo galleries, membership, email marketing and so much more with popular WordPress plugins.
To create your church website, you can follow our step by step guide on how to make a website with WordPress (video included).
If you want a WordPress alternative, then we recommend using Constant Contact’s website builder. The free plan lets you create a full website for your church even if you’re on a very tight budget. It seamlessly integrates with their marketing automation platform, so you can send email newsletters to your community members.
We hope this article helped you learn about the best church website builders. You may also want to take a look at our list of the best WordPress plugins for non-profits.
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