Your church website is the digital front door to your church. Essentially, from the very first time someone views your homepage, you’re making an impression. Whether you like it or not, that impression may dictate whether your viewer continues to explore your site or quickly hits the “X” button at the top of their browser. Even if you don’t classify yourself as a “trendy” church, it’s important that you’re aware of trends in church websites so you can stay relevant, communicate the mission of your church and the Gospel. Remember, a well-designed and visually appealing church website will help to increase traffic and attract more people to your church. Here are seven of the top trends in church websites for 2019: 1. HAND-DRAWN ILLUSTRATIONS Hand-drawn illustrations are a great way to bring both personality and personalization to your church website. These illustrations can be anything from logos, to icons, to headings or subheadings. Find an artist, calligrapher, or illustrator in your congregation who could sketch your church building or a symbol that represents your church. This is one church website trend that you can get creative with! 2. COLOR BLOCKING If you pay attention to design at all, you will see color blocking everywhere! It’s on everything from t-shirts to kitchenware. Color blocking is simply what it sounds like, blocks of color that bump up next to each other. On your church website, consider adding blocks of different colors to draw attention to an event or section of your site. If you really want to jump on this trend in church websites, add in bright color blocking. Especially for the spring and summer, color blocks are a fun way to brighten up your site and stay on trend. 3. MODERNIZED MINIMALISM The minimalism trend in church websites has been popular over the last few years, and it continues to grow in popularity. However, more and more we are seeing a more modern approach to this trend. Instead of keeping everything clean, muted, and straight, designers are now adding in creative elements. Consider adding in a fun video, brighter colors, or an interesting detail. This could be done through typography, the addition of textures, and basic animations. The minimalism trend has been great for easy web maintenance, and this modernization keeps that easy maintenance but adds a level of interest. 4. DESIGN WITH MOBILE IN MIND It’s not a new concept that your church website needs to be mobile-friendly. However, it is a new concept that you need to design your church website with a mobile-first mindset. As of March 2019, 49.07% of the worldwide internet traffic was on a mobile device. This means that nearly half of web traffic comes from a mobile device. Think about this church website trend as you design your site. Ensure that your fonts are big enough to read on a phone screen and that buttons are far enough apart that viewers don’t accidentally click on the wrong thing. 5. BASIC ANIMATIONS This is one of our favorite trends in church websites to incorporate into your site this year! Basic animations are a fun way to add some movement without overwhelming or confusing your site visitors. A simple animation can help to draw the visitor’s attention to a specific place on the page or help to promote an area of your site. Find or create graphics with basic movement like a light flashing, coffee brewing, or a page turning. 6. CREATIVE TYPOGRAPHY Typography is one of the best ways to communicate in a creative way. Find typefaces that have bold looks that will draw people’s attention in. This is also a fun way to brand specific events at your church. Use a fun, childish type for your kids camp this summer and a rugged, bold type for your men’s ministry fish fry. When adding creative typography to your site, remember less is more. If everything is in a bold, crazy type, it will just be chaos that drives people away. 7. CHATBOTS When people hear about the chatbot trend in church websites, the typical response is “we don’t need that”. However, think about it like this: a chatbot is always available. This means that if someone visits your church website at 11:00 pm on a Saturday night looking for a church to attend in the morning, a chatbot would be available to help. Adding a chatbox makes your site more interactive and is a great church website trend to incorporate this year. NEXT STEPS Not all 7 of these trends in church websites need to be incorporated to have a great site. However, choosing a few to add to your church website can go a long way in attracting more site visitors. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ashley Beaty uses her expertise in church communications to help churches tell their story, communicate the vision, and call people to action by participating in the vision–all online. As a senior web strategist for Ministry Brands, she also consults with churches on how to set up and launch successful websites that deliver ministry results, grow their church, and help individuals and families deeply connect. Shelby Systems has decades of experience working with ministries of all sizes, for more creative ideas and suggestions contact your Shelby Sales Consultant today!