Does Your Church Website Make a Good First Impression?
The First Thing Visitors See
When you first visit Grace Fellowship Church of Toronto’s website, you know precisely what this church is about: “Delighting in God… To the Glory of God… For the Good of all People.” Not only that, but you know that this church is about people and not a building. This beautifully designed website, built by Church Plant Media, has a lot to teach us about good design for church websites.
*To any pastors or church staff who may be reading this, this is something to take note of: placing attractive photos of your congregation (or high quality, realistic stock photos) on your website is of vital importance! This factor alone could determine whether or not someone will visit your church. This advice goes for anyone who is trying to represent any group of people on a website!
The photo chosen for GFC’s home page is a perfect fit. It is high quality and displays well on a web page. This a key requirement for website photos. It gives the impression of a warm and friendly congregation. The conversation taking place in the photo looks natural. The color scheming is well-planned. If you visit the website, you’ll notice how the shade of purple in the picture complements the shade of purple throughout the website.
When choosing a photo to be placed at the top of a page, it is is helpful to take a lot of time deciding on nothing less than the perfect photo. This is the first thing visitors will see when your website loads. So take your time with this step! If you don’t have a high quality photo like this one, we encourage you to hire a professional photographer or find good stock photography. A professional photographer can attractively capture the personality of your congregation with well-taken, high quality photos. And some stock photos can be downloaded for free or purchased very affordably.
Another smart choice made with this photo is that it is set as a single image as opposed to a photo slider. Photo sliders have their place on certain websites. But in modern web design, they have their disadvantages. Thijs de Valk, a contributor on Yoast.com, notes some of these disadvantages: https://yoast.com/opinion-on-
- Only 1% of the people actually click on a slide, and the slide they click is almost always the first slide;
- People simply ignore your slider, because it triggers banner blindness;
- They slow down your site, negatively impacting your SEO and conversion rate;
- They don’t always work well on mobile devices,
- They push your content down, which Google recently mentioned yet again is not smart;
- It dilutes your message, because suddenly there are multiple messages on your homepage.
We hope you found this post insightful! What are your thoughts? What is your first impression when you visit Grace Fellowship’s home page? What is the first impression visitors get when visiting your website? What first impression would you like them to have? Let us know if you have any thoughts or questions in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading! If you liked the article, we encourage you to pass it along by clicking one of the social media icons below. For more advice about designing a church website, we encourage you to read our ultimate guide to redesigning a church website.