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20 Examples of Church Website Navigation

Global or primary navigation are the links that appear on every page of a website. These are generally links to the most important pages or sections.

For example:

You can read more about navigation types here.

I've been rethinking the navigation of the Church by the Bridge website, as we prepare for the site to be redeveloped in the coming months. I've been exploring other church websites to see what they include in their global navigation. I'm curious about how intelligible some of these links are with people who don't attend church – but more on this soon.

Here's 20 examples of global navigation on church websites. Which do you think are most helpful and clickable?

City of Grace

Mars Hill

NewSpring Church

Redemption Church

The City Church

The Edge Church

Brainerd Baptist

Church of Christ the King

Redrocks Church

Mars Hill Church

Imago Dei Community

Activate Church

St Luke's Methodist Church

Calvary Christian Center

Canyon Creek Church

Village Church

LifeChurch

River City Church

City Church San Francisco

Redeemer Presbyterian

 

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Elly

    March 15, 2012 at 5:26 am

    To me the most important thing that should be visible on a website is the Service Times! Strangers come to a website to find out what time a service is. On many sites the service times are hidden and it may take me 5 minutes to find them. I would not go to that church

  2. Cam

    March 15, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Churches seem to have navigation overload a lot, keeping your primary navigation to 5 or 6 makes the user’s journey easier by having fewer choices. Only put the most important links in your primary navigation, know what your user’s are looking for. (I think this could be related to churches with too many ministries too)

  3. Steven Kryger

    March 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Totally agree Cameron. Less is definitely more. Seen any good examples?

  4. Steven Kryger

    March 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I agree Elly – this is essential information that needs to be as clear as possible.

  5. Tom

    March 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Call me an old-fashioned modernist, but I hate these fluffy words like “connect”, “cultivate”, “embrace”.  They don’t tell me what’s inside.

    I think churches are particularly good at making up names for things (eg “Awaken”) and then using them as if they are just as clear as the common noun they are an instance of (eg “youth group”).

    When building  http://cciw.org.au we had long debates about the information architecture and labels and I think it paid off in the end.

    (PS there really is a place called Brainerd! Hope it’s a university town…)

  6. Brian

    March 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I’m in step with the comments below. I think things should be simple, clean, straightforward and easy to read. And of course, you have to remember your audience…which includes window shoppers and your congregation. The words you use, and the pages you create should be able to speak to both.

    One other thought for smaller churches…I think they need to make sure they have great conversations not only about the “WHAT” of the church website, but the “HOW.”  Meaning, how are we going to keep our content fresh over time. Some churches have a tech-savvy staff, and some churches have tech-savvy volunteers. Just as important as the “what” of a site, a church should really consider “how” they are going to manage it over time…beyond the initial publish.

    Thanks for sharing this post! 🙂

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  8. Steven Kryger

    March 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Spot on Brian. The ‘how’ is essential, and often isn’t asked. I touched on this in ‘The first question to ask before developing a church website‘.

  9. Steven Kryger

    March 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I’m with you there Tom. I think it’s beneficial including the insider term with the description – e.g. SOUL (youth group). Insider language communicates lack of interest for people who aren’t already part of the ‘club’.

  10. Kevin Short

    July 12, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I think responsive navigation is the best way to go so no matter what device your visitor is on the navigation will look good. So one visitor could be on an iPod, one on a widescreen desktop computer, one on a laptop and one even looking at a big projector screen and they will all have a nice experience. Here are some great nav bars with and without a drop-down menu, and semi-transparent nav bars that will match any webpage background colour or design.

    RESPONSIVE NAVIGATION
    http://templatz.co/navigation.php

  11. Tara Jane

    December 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Hope noone minds me asking, but I’m curios to hear the reasoning behind the CBTB website? It’s a pretty clear website, easy to navigate – is it just time for a new look or is there another reason?

  12. Tara Jane

    December 3, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Hmmm… Never mind. Perhaps should have read the date of the article before commenting! I’m assuming the website I’m looking at now IS the updated one 🙂 Still interested to hear what the initial motivation was all those months ago though

  13. Steven Kryger

    December 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Hi Tara, we’re still thinking this through. My over-riding desire is to ensure our website makes sense for people who haven’t been to church in a long time, or ever. Often I think church website navigation can be very inward focused, and we’re trying to ensure we’re accessible to people who don’t ‘get’ church.

  14. Pingback: Navigating the Navigation | DioDocs

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