The best website builders for churches

Getting a website developed by a professional is very expensive but with these website builders you can create your church website yourself.
Jun 1, 2020 • 27 minute read
Edward Kost @EdwardKost
Technical Co-pilot
Cover photo for The best website builders for churches

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Learn how to build a website for your church without any coding knowledge

So your church is in desperate need of a website but you can't afford the prestigious services of a specialized web agency. What do you do? 

You could spend months (or years) saving up the funds to hire a professional agency.

You could forgo a website completely and miss out on being discovered online.

Or you could build the website yourself using a simple website builder without any coding. 

In this post, we'll show you how to do just that. We've evaluated 4 different website builders (Nucleus, Weebly, Squarespsace and Wix) to help you choose the best website builder for your church website.

In our evaluation, we assessed how effectively each website builder meets the following essential criteria.

Price

If it's too expensive it's not affordable, and if it's too cheap, it might be too limited. 

Ease of use

Church staff need to be able to create a stunning website with as little effort as possible.

Functionality 

The ideal church website builder should support the primary functional requirements of the online church. This includes:

  • livestreaming

  • Sermon archiving

  • Contact form submissions

  • Multiple logins for collaborative creation

  • An online donation gateway. 

Why all churches need a website

There are two reasons why all churches should have a website. Most people spend a majority of their waking hours online. In fact, 33% of church attendees discovered their church while surfing the internet and 64% of churches use their website as a platform for engaging with attendees. 

The other obvious reason why having a church website is important is the Coronavirus pandemic. Lock down laws have forced churches globally to close their doors and quickly adopt a livestreaming alternative to their traditional Sunday services.

While many expected this dramatic shift to be detrimental to the church, it actually resulted in a substantial spike in church attendance. Let's take a look at the numbers.

stats church attendance coronavirus

Building a church website with Nucleus

Nucleus is a dedicated church website builder focused on cultivating an active church community. Unlike conventional brochure websites that only display information, Nucleus claims that encourgaes user engagment through next step prompts. 

Nucleus website builder pricing

Nucleus combines all the tools and resources needed to establish a virtual church presence into one convenient digital platform. Its pricing includes website hosting, sermon archiving and even a 4K video stock library that can be used to produce stunning social media content.

Nucleus isn't a cheap solution, so if your church has a very lean marketing budget, the other website builders in this post may be a better option for you.

The annual Nucleus subscription is priced at $1188 (or $99/month).

The monthly Nucleus subscription is priced at $125/month.

But do Nucleus's features justify such hefty pricing? To find out, we'll sign up to the platform and attempt to build a new church website from scratch.

How to design a church website with Nucleus 

Nucleus does not offer a free subscription plan, however they do offer a free 14-day trial which is a great opportunity to test the ropes before committing. 

To sign up, head over to nucleus.church and click on the purple 'Start Free Trial' button.

Once signed up, we can start building our website. First, let's create all of our pages. To do this we'll click on 'Pages' in the top menu bar. Any created pages are an addition to the home page which is already created by default.

how to build a church website with nucleus

You can either create a new page from a blank canvas, or you can use a template which is a great option if you're short on time. Let's select the template option to create our 'About Us' page.

how to build a church website with nucleus

Next, we're asked to select our template style. You'll notice that Nucleus's template library accommodates all of the primary page categories of church websites. This is great attention to detail that could significantly speed up the church website creation process, if the actual web builder is any good of course.

We'll obviously select the 'Staff/Leadership' option for our 'About Us' page.

how to build a church website with nucleus

This brings us to Nucleus's website editor. Since we're using a website template, it's now just a matter of editing the text and replacing the images of the template design.

Clicking on the 'View Page' icon in the top right will open the web page in a new tab, this is a great way to continuously monitor the progress of your design efforts.

  how to build a church website with nucleus

Our selected template design consists of a banner image with headline text followed by a list of pastoral staff and their biographies.

how to build a church website with nucleus

how to build a church website with nucleus

Let's attempt some edits.

First we'll change the banner image.

Clicking on the banner image option in the Nucleus editor will instantly give us the option of uploading our replacement image.

how to build a church website with nucleus

 

Once uploaded, we'll hit the 'Save and Publish' button at the bottom to save our work. Clicking 'View Page' will now display our updated design in a new tab.

how to build a church website with nucleus

So far, nice and easy.

To edit any of the text, simply edit the corresponding text fields.

how to build a church website with nucleus

how to build a church website with nucleus

All of the other design elements are just as easy to edit, simply click on the photos to upload a replacement and insert your preferred text in all of the text fields.

If you want to insert additional design elements, simply drag and drop any of the widgets from the left menu.

Let's insert a paragraph element above the 'Meet Our Leadership' title.

how to build a church website with nucleus

After typing our text and hitting 'Save and Publish' our newly added paragraph will be visible in our preview window:

how to build a church website with nucleus

Let's get creative and drag an audio widget underneath one of our church leaders. Now we can insert a personalized audio greeting. 

how to build a church website with nucleus

The audio editing options then appear on the left. The only option for inserting an audio is via a URL. Nucleus doesn't specify the details of the URL source. It seems like you need to host your audio files on Soundcloud and then paste the share link into this field.  

How to publish sermons with Nucleus

Clicking on the 'Sermons' option in the top menu will take us to the sermon upload dashboard. 

how to build a church website with nucleus

Uploading a sermon then becomes a simple matter of filling out all of the required field and hitting publish. 

You also have the option of uploading either a video file or an audio file.

Clicking on the audio file field will instantly open your computer window browser to upload your sermon audio. So there's no need to host your sermon audio with a third party audio host (phew!).

how to build a church website with nucleus

After filling in all of the fields and hitting 'Save Changes' there's no option to view the published sermon page like there is when building a web page, so we're not sure what our sermon page looks like.

There also isn't a category field when uploading sermons, so Nucleus doesn't appear to be very accommodating to sermon series. 

Another concerning fall back is the inability to preview your entire website build beyond individual web pages. So you cannot navigate to the home page or the other pages in a full live preview. Most web builders provide this option and without it, it can be difficult to experience and, therefore, optimize the visitor journey. 

How to livestream a sermon with Nucleus

A year ago, the option of livestreaming was never a primary requirement for church website builders, now it's absolutely essential.

Most churches livestream their sermons via Vimeo or Youtube. Both platforms provide an embeddable code for each livestreaming session that can then be inserted into a web page. To access the embed code on both Vimeo and Youtube, click on 'share' and then select 'embed'. This HTML code will then need to be copied and inserted into an HTML editor on your selected web page.

Nucleus makes inserting HTML code, and therefore a livestreamed sermon, super easy.

Simply drag an HTML widget onto your page and paste the livestream embed code into it.

how to build a church website with nucleus

how to build a church website with nucleus

Pretty easy. Then it's just a simple matter of sharing this web page with all of your congregants.

Nucleus social media posts

Nucleus offers a library of beautiful social media posts that can be downloaded and posted on your social media channels. This offering, however, provides very little value. 

Not only is the selection of social posts extremely limited, the posts can't even be edited within Nucleus which makes the 'social media package' seem more like a superficial attempt to inflate the perceived value of the platform.

The only way to edit the social posts is to download them as a Photoshop file and then edit them in Photoshop which requires its own separate (and expensive) subscription. 

how to build a church website with nucleus

If there was a way of editing these posts within Nucleus and then publishing them to all social channels straight from the Nucleus platform, the social media package would provide enough value to justify Nucleus's expensive price tag. 

Does Nucleus allow multiple website editors?

Nucleus does not seem to facilitate multiple editors, so only one member of the church can log in to edit the content at any time. This makes that collaboration with multiple content creators very difficult and inconvenient.

How to create a contact form with Nucleus

All church websites should have a contact form rather than just displaying an email address and expecting visitors to copy and paste it into their email browser.

With Nucleus, you can create a contact form page in a few quick steps.

Simply navigate to 'Web' in the top menu then select Pages > Add New > template > I'm new/connect card.

This will then create a new contact us page with a submission form. After editing all of the text fields, hit 'Save and Publish' and your contact form will be live. 

Accepting online donations with Nucleus

Nucleus facilitates online donations by integrating with RebelGive which appears to be its sister company.

While RebelGive promises that 100% of donations are kept by the church, they do charge a yearly fee of $768 (or $84 monthly).

Once signed up with RebelGive, it can be instantly integrated with Nucleus through the 'Giving' option in the top menu bar.

how to build a church website with nucleus

Nucleus for churches final thoughts

Despite its claims of cultivating church member engagement through next step prompts, we didn't notice any unique features that elevate Nucleus above other website builders. In fact, the other website builders reviewed in this post are more feature rich and cheaper.

If Nucleus delivers on its promises of maximizing and measuring church member engagement, or at least makes these features more obvious when signed up to the free trial, the platform has the potential of benefiting large congregations that struggle to measure the responsiveness of their congregants. 

Building a church website with Weebly 

We're moving on from an expensive church website builder to one that's absolutely free. That's right, Weebly's most basic subscription package is 100% free with no hidden charges.

Let's see just how capable this free builder is.

Weebly pricing

Weebly offers 4 different subscription plans.

Free plan: $0/month

The most basic Weebly plan is absolutely free. It does, however come with the following caveats:

  • Your website displays a Weebly ad on each page.

  • You cannot set up an ecommerce store

  • Your URL is a subdomain of Weebly.

Personal plan: $9/month, or $6/month billed annually 

The personal plan gives you a clean customizable URL but Weebly ads are still displayed.

Professional plan: $16/month, or $12/month billed annually 
  • All of the Weebly ads are removed 

  • Clean and customizable domain name

  • Ecommerce store establishment

  • Unlimited storage 

Performance plan: $29/month, or $26/month billed annually 

Comes with everything offered in the Professional plan with additional advanced ecommerce features such as automated abandoned cart emails and integrated shipping solutions. 

How to design a church website with Weebly 

Now let's dive deep into Weebly's design features. We'll be assessing Weebly's Free plan.

Once signed up, the first thing we need to do is specify the type of site we want to design. We'll select just a simple display website.

how to build a church website with weebly

We're then directed to Weebly's template library where we can select a template design to edit. Weebly has about 50 templates to choose from and all of the designs are conveniently categorized by industry.

Of course, you're free to select any template design you like, regardless of its industry category. We'll select our theme and then hit the blue 'Start Editing' button.

Next, we're asked to specify our domain name. Because we're using Weebly's free plan we can only settle for a Weebly subdomain. Once a subdomain becomes available for your specific search term, click 'Choose'

how to build a church website with weebly

Now let's start editing our website template. First let's get all of our pages sorted. To view all pages, select 'Pages' in the top menu bar. You'll see a list of default pages that come with your chosen template design. To delete any of them, click on them and then select 'Delete'

how to build a church website with weebly

To add a fresh new page, click on 'Pages' in the top menu bar, and then click the plus icon.

how to build a church website with weebly

There are 6 different new page styles to choose form:

  • Standard page

  • Blog page

  • Category page

  • Product page

  • External page

  • Non-clickable menu 

The category and product pages only apply to ecommerce websites, so we'll ignore those. We'll create a new standard page titled 'Sermons'

how to build a church website with weebly

If you hover your mouse over the website title in the top left, you'll have the option of removing it completely, uploading your logo or editing the text. Editing the website title on this page will edit it throughout the entire site. We'll hide the website title to give our design a clean and spacious look.

how to build a church website with weebly

Hitting the blue 'Publish' button in the top right will save all changes. Make a habit of clicking it after each modification to keep your hard work preserved.

how to build a church website with weebly

When you click 'Publish', a pop up window will appear displaying your website URL. You can click on it and leave it open in a new tab to reference your design progress. Just make sure you refresh that page every time you view it.

To change the headline text, just click on it and type in your replacement. 

Clicking on the background will reveal its editing toolbar. We'll change the image by clicking 'edit background'

how to build a church website with weebly

The parallax effect will keep the background image static while scrolling down the page, creating a stunning yet subtle visual effect. 

how to build a church website with weebly

To add design elements, simply drag them over from the left widget menu. All of their unique editing options will become visible once you click on them.

We'll drop in a header widget and a paragraph widget beneath it.

how to build a church website with weebly

How to insert anchor links with Weebly

When an anchor link is clicked, a webpage automatically scrolls down to a specified location. Anchor links are usually used in buttons within a banner image. Most popular websites use anchor links because they create an enjoyable navigational experience. So if you want your church website to be memorable, incorporate anchor links.

In this world tour template design, let's add an anchor link to this 'Enter' button so that when it's clicked, the page autonomously scrolls down to the headline 'Be one with the mountain'

how to build a church website with weebly

how to build a church website with weebly

First, we need to drag a code block to our intended destination.

how to build a church website with weebly

Next, we need to give our anchor point a unique ID. You can name it whatever you want, just make sure there are no spaces.

We'll name our anchor ID 'scrollhere'

This ID will then need to be inserted in our newly added code block within the following line of HTML code. Replace the term YOURID with your anchor ID:

<div class="anchor"><h2><a name="YOURID"> </a></h2></div>

Here is an example of our HTML anchor link in our codeblock.

how to build a church website with weebly

Make sure you include a space at this point so that your anchor HTML does not display any text on your page.

how to build a church website with weebly

Now we need to connect this anchor point to our 'Enter' button.

To do this, we'll click on the button, naviagte to link > website URL and paste a URL in this format: 

YourpageURL#YOURID

The URL of our current page is:

churchofrenewedhope.weebly.com

So our anchor link will be:

churchofrenewedhope.weebly.com#scrollhere

how to build a church website with weebly

And we're done!

Hitting publish will allow us to test out our new anchor link. We, however, discovered a problem. Clicking the 'Enter' button scrolls the page a bit too far hiding the headline beneath the menu bar like so:

how to build a church website with weebly

To fix this problem, simply drag the code block to a higher position by clicking on its 8 dotted bar and dragging it up.

how to build a church website with weebly

How to publish sermons with Weebly

Since Weebly is a web builder for all types of websites, it doesn't have any features that are specific to church websites, that includes sermon archiving. However there is a work around.

A single sermon page can list all of the available sermons by category in a text widget that then link to their own dedicated sermon page, like so.

how to build a church website with weebly

Here's the process for creating individual sermon pages that would link off this main table of contents

We created a new page by following the same process outline above (Pages > + > Standard Page) and titled it 'Sermon Series i' but we checked the box 'Hide in Navigation' to prevent this new page from being visible in the top menu.

how to build a church website with weebly

To navigate back to our semon list page, we'll hit 'Done' followed by 'Publish' in the top right (don't forget to keep doing that!) and then click the back button and finally the sermon page 

how to build a church website with weebly

how to build a church website with weebly

To link this new page to the first dot point, we'll highlight the entire text, select the link icon and then choose the destination page under the 'Standard Page' category.

how to build a church website with weebly

Now let's head over to that 'Sermon series i' page and demonstrate the process of uploading sermons with Weebly.

If the design widget library on the left ever disappears, selecting 'Build' in the top menu will reveal it.

The free plan comes with 500MB of storage which is not sufficient to support an extensive sermon archive. What you could do instead is upload all of your sermons to Youtube and then embed the videos onto each sermon page. This process doesn't require storage space so you can build up a comprehensive sermon library without limitation concerns.

To embed a Youtube video, click on the share button and then click 'embed'. This HTML code will then need to be pasted into your sermon page through the following process.

Drag and drop an 'embed code' element into place. If you cannot see it, you may need to click on "show all elements"

how to build a church website with weebly

how to build a church website with weebly

Now just paste the embed HTML code from Youtube into that widget and you're done!

The process of designing all of the other web pages with Weebly are the same, simply drag your intended widgets in place and edit them. Weebly does a great job of always making all of the relevant editing options available whenever you click on a widget, so it's very difficult to get lost in the design process.

If you ever want to delete an element, simply hover over it and click the X icon in the top right.

how to build a church website with weebly

How to livestream a sermon with Weebly

Thanks to Weebly's embed widgets, livestreaming sermons is super easy. Simply drag an embed code widget over to your page and then paste in the embed HTML from your livestreaming service (Vimeo or Youtube). 

Most churches have a dedicated livestreaming page on their website that's updated every Sunday with the latest livestream session HTML embed code.

To do this with Weebly, simply navigate to Pages in the top menu, click the plus icon and then select a new Standard Page. Make sure the 'Hide in Navigation' checkbox is not checked so that your livestreaming page is visible in your top menu. Not only does this make the livestream page easy to find, it's also beneficial for SEO and displays your livestreaming page in search results for relevant search queries. 

Then, drag and drop an 'embed code' widget onto the new page and paste in your livestream embed URL.

how to build a church website with weebly

Does Weebly allow multiple website editors?

With Weebly it's super easy to assign multiple website editors. Simple navigate to 'Settings' in the top menu and select 'Editors' on the left. Then, hit the blue 'Add Editor' button in the top right and create all of your editor profiles.

how to build a church website with weebly

How to create a contact form with Weebly

To create a contact form with Weebly, drag the contact form widget onto the page. If you click on the 'Form Options' button you can specify an email address each contact form submission should be sent to.

how to build a church website with weebly

Some of Weebly's pre designed templates come with a contact us page already made, to check whether you've already got one, navigate to 'Pages' in the top menu to see all of your available web pages. 

Accepting online donations with Weebly

With Weebly's free plan, you're unable to accept online payments, so the only way of accepting donations on the free plan is to display your bank account details for electronic transfers. Or, you could insert a link to your Donorbox account

If you sign up to Weeby's personal plan you could create a means of accepting online donations, however, the process is a bit messy because you need to manipulate its generic ecommerce framework.

To do this you would create digital products as different donation amounts. Since all donations will be purchases of a digital download, you could provide a digital thank you image that can be downloaded once after each purchase. This, of course, isn't a perfect solution because donors are unable to specify their donation amounts. There are also standard transaction fees that are applied to each purchase that amount to 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

Weebly for churches final thoughts

Weebly is a fantastic website builder for churches on a shoestring budget. Our investigation demonstrates just how easy it is to create a stunning website that meets all of the key requirements of the online church using Weebly's free plan.

Building a church Website with Squarespace 

Squarespace is a codeless website builder with the most stunning template designs of all the other builders we've assessed. But are its elite aesthetics an accurate reflection of its robust functionality and ease of use? Let's find out. 

Squarespace website builder pricing

There are 4 different subscription plans to choose from.

Personal plan: $16/month, or $12/month billed annually
  • Does not accommodate ecommerce websites, it's only good for display websites. 

  • Customizable domain name

  • SSL certificate.

Business plan: $26/month, or $18/month billed annually
  • Minimal plan for selling products online

  • Comes with all features offered in the personal plan

Basic commerce plan: $30/month, or $26/month billed annually
  • No transactional fees on ecommerce sales

  • Sell products on instagram 

  • Powerful sales analytics 

Advanced commerce plan: $46/month, or $40/month billed annually
  • Everything in the basic commerce plan

  • Shipping solutions

  • Automated abandoned cart recovery emails to incentify sales 

  • API integrations to facilitate communications with other office software

How to build a church website with Squarespace

To get started with Squarespace you need to sign up for an account. Signing up and building a website is free, but you need to upgrade to a paid subscription to publish your website. 

Once signed up, select 'create a website' and choose a template to work with. All of Squarepsace's templates designs are incredibly impressive so you're forgiven for spending quite a bit of time deciding. You can view a demo site for any of the templates for an immersive design experience.

Once you've (finally) selected your template, click 'Start with this Design'

This then takes us to a step by step setup process which involves specifying a website name, uploading a logo, selecting a color scheme and topography style. 

To start editing our home page, we need to click on 'edit' at the top. It's easy to miss this tiny option and get stuck at this point. Squarespace should definitely consider making it more prominent.

how to build a church website with squarespace

Then, it becomes a simple matter of clicking on any of the elements and instantly editing them.

To change the background image, hover over it and then click on the edit toolbar that pops up in the top right.

how to build a church website with squarespace

Clicking on a blue plus icon will add a new design element in that location. Now we can choose a new section design and edit its contents.  

how to build a church website with squarespace

This is essentially the flow of Squarespace's entire design process:

  • Click on an existing element to display all of its editing options

  • Click on the blue plus button to add a new design element

  • Repeat

Designing a church website with Squarespace is a simple, beautiful, and even enjoyable experience. 

How to publish sermons with Squarespace

Let's now see how accommodating Squarespace is for sermon libraries.

First, we'll create a new page titled 'Sermons'. To do this, we'll select 'Pages' in the left hand menu and then the plus icon.

how to build a church website with squarespace

how to build a church website with squarespace

To edit this new page, we'll click that tiny 'edit' option at the top like before.

Squarespace conveniently offers a dedicated audio element that can be used to archive sermons. To do this, click on the blue plus icon in the area you want to insert a sermon, select 'music' in the left menu and then click on the audio element design you want.

how to build a church website with squarespace

After inserting the soundcloud link for your sermon, you'll be able to play it straight from the dedicated player on your sermon page.

how to build a church website with squarespace

Yes, this does require you to host all of your sermon audio files in a Soundcloud account, but the benefit of doing it like this rather than hosting them on your Squarespace server is that it saves your precious storage space.

You can also embed Youtube videos of your sermons. To do this, hover your mouse below or above the element you would like to insert an embedded code until you see a black line indicating an entry point. Click on it and then select 'Code'

how to build a church website with squarespace

how to build a church website with squarespace

Then, insert the HTML embed code of your sermon hosted on Youtube or Vimeo.

How to insert an anchor link with Squarespace

To create an anchor link with Squarespace, you need to insert a code block with your anchor ID and then insert a link to that anchor point. It sounds complicated but it's actually pretty easy. Here's a step by step guide.

Let's add an anchor link to our Sermon page. First we'll select a header design that includes a button.

how to build a church website with squarespace

When visitors click on the 'Listen now' button, we want the web page to scroll down to the sermon content, so we will need to do two things:

  1.  Insert an anchor link in the button

  1.  Create an anchor point on the page to indicate the destination of the page scroll

First we'll create the anchor link. This is simply a hashtag followed by our unique anchor ID. For example:

#sermons

We need to insert this into the URL field of our 'Listen now' button by clicking on it, selecting edit and then paste it into the 'Clickthrough URL' field.

 

Now let's add our anchor point to our intended scroll destination. We'll need to insert come coding so we'll add a code block to this location.

Hover over the intended destination until you see a black insert point appear and click on it.

how to build a church website with squarespace

Then, select the coding block feature.

how to build a church website with squarespace

Insert your anchor ID in the following format:

<p id="ANCHORID"> </p?

Make sure include a space between the two opposing brackets towards the end so that your anchor id is hidden and displayed as text.

how to build a church website with squarespace

And that's it, you've done it!

Now whenever visitors click on the 'Listen now' button they'll be conveniently directed to the start of our sermon archive list.

How to livestream a sermon with Squarespace

To livestream a sermon with Squarespace, create a dedicated livestream page and then insert a HTML block for the embed code of your streaming host. 

Here is a step by step illustration of the process:

We'll create a new page called 'Livestream'. It will instantly be visible in the top menu bar which will make it easy for visitors to find.

how to build a church website with squarespace

We'll click 'edit' in the top left, insert a header onto the page and edit the title. Then, we'll hover our mouse beneath our headline until an entry point indicated by a black link appears, click on it and insert a code block.

how to build a church website with squarespace

how to build a church website with squarespace

Now we can paste the HTML embed code of our steaming session (either from Vimeo or Youtube) and we're done!

how to build a church website with squarespace

Does Squarespace allow multiple website editors?

Squarespace allows multiple contributors to login and make changes, so you can seamlessly collaborate with other church members and multiple content creators.

To edit your contributor list, navigate to settings > permissions and choose whether you want to invite a contributor or just an author. 

How to create a contact form with Squarespace

Adding a contact form is a simple matter of inserting it as a new section design.

Click on the plus icon to insert a contact form in that area, click 'Contact' in the left menu and then select the style of contact form you want.

how to build a church website with squarespace

Once inserted you can specify the email address you want all submissions to be sent to or integrate your preferred newsletter software.

how to build a church website with squarespace

Squarepsace makes inserting a contact form very easy, so you don't have to worry about missing a valuable connection with any of your church website visitors.

Accepting online donations with Squarespace

Squarespace seems to have a predesigned element for every conceivable online church requirement, even one that accepts donations!

To insert a donations element on your church website, click on the blue plus icon, select 'donations' from the left hand menu and insert your preferred donation element design.

how to build a church website with squarespace

To accept donations you'll need to subscribe to at least the business plan.

The fee structure for all donations depends on your choice of payment gateway:

  • For purchases processed by Stripe in the U.S. the fee is 2.9% + 30c + 3% Squarespace transaction fee (Squarespace fee is removed with the basic commerce plan).

  • For purchases processed by Paypal in the U.S. the fee is 2.2% + 30c + 3% Squarespace transaction fee (Squarespace fee is removed with the Basic Commerce Plan).

  • For purchases processed by Squarein the U.S. the fee is 2.9% + 30c + 3% Squarespace transaction fee (Squarespace fee is removed with the Basic Commerce Plan).

Squarespace for churches final thoughts

Squarespace offers a beautiful library of readily editable website templates that can be used to create a stunning church website in minutes thanks to its intuitive editor. Squarespace's surprising variety of design elements meet all of the primary functional requirements of the online church, so your completed website will look like it was built from the ground up by a professional developer at a fraction of the cost.

Building a church website with Wix

What better website builder to follow Squarespace than its greatest rival, Wix. Your Youtube sessions have likely been interrupted by Wix ads claiming that anyone can create a beautiful website on its platform in minutes. Let's investigate this audacious claim.

Wix website builder pricing

Wix offers 8 different subscription plans. They're summarized below.

Free Plan
  • URL is a Wixsite subdomain. Example, username.wixsite.com/siteaddress

  • Wix ads are displayed on the website 

  • 500MB storage

  • 500MB bandwidth

  • Does not process online payments or donations

Combo plan $10/month (billed yearly) 
  • All Wix display ads removed

  • Clean custom URL, without the Wix subdomain branding

  • 3GB file storage limit

  • 2GB bandwidth limit

  • Does not process online payments or donations

Unlimited plan $14/month (billed yearly) 
  • Unlimited bandwidth

  • 10GB storage

  • All Wix ads removed

  • Visitor analytics 

  • Does not process online payments or donations

Pro plan $19/month (billed yearly) 
  • Everything offered in Unlimited Plan

  • Unlimited bandwidth

  • 20GB storage

  • Custom domain 

  • 2 hour HD video upload limit 

  • Does not process online payments or donations

VIP plan $27/month (billed yearly) 
  • Everything offered in pro plan

  • Priority support 

  • Does not process online payments or donations

Business basic plan $18/month (billed yearly) 
  • Supports online payments and donations

  • Unlimited bandwidth

  • 20GB storage

  • 5 hours of HD video upload limit

  • Google analytics

Business unlimited plan $28/month (billed yearly) 
  • Everything offered in Business Basic Plan

  • 35GB storage limit

  • 10 hours of HD video uploads

  • Professional logo download credit

Business VIP plan $38/month (billed yearly) 
  • Everything in unlimited plan

  • Priority support

How to design a church website with Wix

To get started with Wix, sign up for a free account and then click the blue 'create a new website' button in the dashboard.

We can either create a website through Wix ADI or through the conventional website editor. Wix ADI is an artificial intelligence engine that builds a basic website framework based on your answers to a series of questions. The website editor route gives us more control over the design process so we'll choose that option.

how to build a church website with squarespace

We then need to select a customizable template design from Wix's extensive template library. How extensive? Wix offers about 300 templates which is about 3x more than Squarespace so it might take you some time to choose one. If you need a helpful nudge, read this post listing our 11 favourite free Wix templates.

Wix has a specific category for religious sites which is nice.

how to build a church website with squarespace

We'll then click 'edit' on our chosen theme to be directed to the Wix editor dashboard.

Modifying any of the design elements is a simple matter of clicking on them and then choosing an option from the editing toolbar.

To edit any of the text, click on the text field and type over it.

how to build a church website with wix

Adding new design elements to an existing template design is a bit trickier with Wix compared to Squarespace.

With Squarespace it's a simple matter of clicking the blue plus icon to make room for your incoming elements, but with Wix you need to manually drag the template design out of the way.

For example, let's say we wanted to add a new headline in this area:

how to build a church website with wix

To add a new element, click on the plus icon on the left, select an element category and click on the particular element style you want to insert.

how to build a church website with wix

When we select our heading design, look at what happens:

how to build a church website with wix

There isn't any room for the headline. To make room, we need to either move the pictured banner section down or the white background section up. To choose the specific section you want to lengthen, click on its background until you see a slider option appear. We want to lengthen the lighter background, so we'll click on it and then pull its slider option down.

how to build a church website with wix

how to build a church website with wix

Reversing errors with Wix is the same process you follow on your personal computer, hit Ctrl+Z on Windows and Command+Z on a Mac

With the necessary space now cleared, we can drag our header into place.

how to build a church website with wix

To change the layout of any section of the template, click on the background and then select the layout option, 

how to build a church website with wix

The fact that you need to slide elements out of the way to make room for new additions makes modifying a Wix template design a lengthy and even stressful process. Look at the amount of real estate we would need to manually establish if we wanted to insert this media gallery:

how to build a church website with wix

How to add an anchor link with Wix

Lets add an anchor link so when visitor click on the 'Read More' button the page scrolls down to 'Heading 3' 

First we'll add an anchor point to our intended destination.

Click on add in the left menu then navigate to menu > anchors and drag the anchor into position. 

how to build a church website with wix

We'll then need to give our anchor a unique ID. Double click on the anchor point to display its settings and change its ID. It's best to choose an ID with no spaces to follow best web design practices.

how to build a church website with wix

how to build a church website with wix

Now we can add our new anchor link to the button.

First we'll click on the button and select the 'link' option.

how to build a church website with wix

Then we'll click 'anchor' on the left, select our newly created anchor and we're done!

how to build a church website with wix

With Wix, there's no need to mess around with confusing HTML coding to insert anchor links. 

If you want to experience your beautiful anchor link in action, click the 'Preview' button in the top right and click the button you added a link to.

how to build a church website with wix

How to publish sermons with Wix

Let's create a new page for our sermon library. To do this we'll click on the drop down pages menu in the top left, click on 'Manage Pages' and then click the blue 'Add Page' button.

how to build a church website with wix

With Wix you can upload audio sermons straight to the Wix editor without hosting them on a third party site.

To do this, click the plus icon in the left hand menu then navigate to Video & Music > Audio players.

how to build a church website with wix

Once inserted, you can then upload an audio file to the player by clicking on its cog icon and selecting 'Upload Track'.

how to build a church website with wix

This of course takes up precious storage space and if you're subscribed to Wix's free plan you only have 500MB to play with. Luckily, Wix also offers audio players that stream soundcloud files.

how to build a church website with wix

How to livestream a sermon with Wix

To livestream a service on Wix, you need to insert a HTML block to paste your livestream embed code into. 

To do this click 'add' in the left menu then embed > custom embeds >HTML iFrame

how to build a church website with wix

When your HTML wireframe is selected, expand it to your desired size. 

how to build a church website with wix

This livestream window is responsive so it should automatically adjust to fit both desktop and mobile screens. To see what your evolving design looks like at any time on a mobile screen, click the mobile view option at the top. You can even modify your design while in the mobile view to ensure it's displayed the way you want it on mobile screens.

how to build a church website with wix

You'll need to paste the embed code from your livestream host (Vimeo or Youtube) into this iFrame. To do this, click on the HTML iFrame and then select 'enter code'.

how to build a church website with wix

Does Wix allow multiple website editors?

Yes, Wix allows multiple collaborators to login and make changes to the website. You can even specify the unique permissions of each collaborator, so you can controll the access level of your church staff and 3rd party contributors without having to worry about unsolicited website changes. 

To manage users, click on 'Settings' in the top menu bar and then select 'Roles and Permissions'.

how to build a church website with wix

How to create a contact for with Wix

To add a contact form with Wix, click the add button in the left hand menu, select the Contact & Forms category and then choose your preferred form style.

how to build a church website with wix

Once your form is inserted, you can specify an email address you want all form submissions to be sent to by navigating to form settings > settings 

You can even create an automated email reply sequence by specifying the different types of emails to be sent after each form submission and when they should be sent.

how to build a church website with wix

You can either create a dedicated contact us page, or insert a contact form at the bottom of every page to give visitors the option of making contact from any location on your church website.

Accepting online donations with Wix

Unlike Squarepsace, Wix does not have a specific donate widget you can insert, it does however facilitate third party donation gateways.

To insert a Paypal donation button, click on the plus button in the left menu, then navigate to Store > PayPal button

how to build a church website with wix

Paypal fees apply to every donation made through this gateway.

If you collect donations through a third party service such as Donorbox, simply insert a button and llink it to your Donorbox donation page

Wix for churches final thoughts

Wix offers the largest variety of template designs, however, editing these templates isn't exactly a seamless process. That being said, with patience it's very much possible to build a stunning church website with Wix. A particular powerful feature that sets Wix apart from other builders, is the ability to edit a website design directly from the mobile view. This gives you more control over the UX design for both mobile and desktop users. 

Freelancers can you take your church website to an elite level 

Freelancers can help you create an impactful church website at a fraction of the price of a professional service agency. Unlike the logistical mess of working with dispersed businesses, all of your required talent can be neatly managed under the one platform, Freelancer.com.

Here's what freelancers can do for your church website:

A freelance graphic designer can create custom graphics and even videos that reflect your unique church branding.

If you want to modify your website design beyond the functional limitations of your chosen website builder, a freelance web developer can create the necessary custom CSS, HTML and Javascript coding to meet your requirements. 

A freelance content writer can create compelling web content that will resonate with visitors and encourage them to get in touch.

A freelance SEO specialist will help establish an effective strategy that will push your website up the Google ranks.

A freelance SEM specialist will ensure all of your paid advertising campaigns are optimized to give you the highest ROI with the greatest respect to your limited marketing funding.

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