Model of a Church Website

(This page uses the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas as the example)

Downtown is located at:

900 N. Main
Searcy, AR 72143

(501) 268-5383

Would you like a map to Downtown?
(links to's mapping service)

Sunday Service Times:

8:15 Worship in the Auditorium
8:15 Worship in the Family Life Center
9:45 Bible Classes
10:45 Worship in the Auditorium
10:45 Worship in the Family Life Center
5:00 Evening Worship
8:30 Communion Service

Some sort of spiritual statement about the church:

Christians at the Downtown church of Christ plead for a return to the religious practices and teachings of the New Testament. It is our desire to restore in the 20th century the original Christian church of the first century. It is our prayer that you may understand and obey the will of God so that you can spend eternity in Heaven.

Links to the rest of the site:
Meet our staff Members E-mail directory
Online resources and other links Weekly bulletin
Description of our worship services Our ongoing and upcoming activities
God's Plan of Salvation Teen ministry
Free Bible study courses Missions projects
Please don't try this address:
Contact the Webminister

This page was designed using Microsoft Front Page and looks best with Internet Explorer 4.0 at any screen size

Okay, here is the model website I put together in a couple days (well, the top part took little over an hour). Obviously, it could be improved; most webmasters spend a month just getting the design to their satisfaction. What I have tried to do is list what basic parts a church website should have.

  • First of all, since the majority of websites are simply for visitor information, I put the address and service times at the very top of the page. provides an excellent and simple mapping service, so I highly recommend using it.

  • I feel that a thought-provoking short statement about the church is a wonderful way to interest people in learning more. The one I used here was taken from West-Ark's page (run by my father). His actually includes quite a bit more, however, and if you would like to see it just follow the link above.

  • The next table is the opening to the meat of the website. The "Meet our staff" (elders, decons, secretary, etc.) and "Members Email directory" parts are not necessary at all if you're looking for smaller amounts of effort. The "Weekly bulletin" (similar to "Activities") is not offered on many sites, and is rarely updated on those that do have it. However, if done correctly, this can be a great way to get congregation members to take advantage of the website. Please note that most bulletins are typed on programs that will automatically convert the pages to HTML format for you. It would be very simple to then keep it updated online.

  • "Online Resources and Other Links" probably should not be lumped together like that, but again I'm pressed for time here. This is where most sites have links to sermons, articles, etc. either by members of their own congregation or some found in other places on the web. Links are usually church-related, but not always. Many sites have links to the town's Chamber of Commerce, weather, and more. Again, this is all chosen by personal preference. One way to find the best links is to go from church site to church site and see what's popular.

  • "Description of Worship Services" ought to include scriptural references as parts are listed. (E.G. We take the Lord's Supper every week according to Acts 20:7.)

  • "God's Plan of Salvation" is the tract I have chosen to include here. Please don't limit your site to only one of these!

  • The "Teen Ministry" page can be a great way to get teens involved in positive ways on the internet. Ideally, a member of the youth group would be able to learn how to create webpages in order to assist in keeping this information up-to-date. Let the teen decide in conjunction with the youth minister what should be included on this page.

  • "Missions projects" is usually just a listing of people supported by the congregations, but more and more missionaries are making their own informative webpages which the church site should link to.

  • "Free Bible study courses" is a part that I feel ought to be mandatory of all church websites. If you do not have the resources to provide your own, please link to World Bible School or someone else's.

Alright, now about the HTML of websites. Many church websites out there look professional-quality, but others do not. The most important thing to remember about design is purpose and clarity. My apologies that this is all in a fairly random order.

  • As part of my project, I surveyed about 40 church sites in-depth and looked through dozens more. If you would like my personal (and thorough) critique of your site (for free, of course), please e-mail me. I don't feel that it would be right to "judge" others' sites where it is not wanted. And I don't want to make anyone cry! ;-)
    (Don't worry--that was a joke.)

  • For webmasters who feel they do not know enough about creating web pages or HTML tags, go look it up! There are a ton of beginner's HTML sites out there just waiting to show you how to make your site better. I myself have a page about HTML tags (click here), and anyone else you meet will be glad to answer questions you may have. (Also, please don't go buy a $60 book when you can get it all online for free.)

  • You do not need a "click here to enter" opening page unless it is a "select frames or no frames" splash page. People who come to your site know where they are going, therefore an opening "click here to continue" page is sort of redundant.

  • Most webpages are perfectly adequate using a wysiwyg editor such as Microsoft's Front Page. What I personally do is use Front Page to create the basics of the webpage, then go back and clean up the code, adding what the editor won't allow you to do.

  • Always, always, always check how your page looks with another web browser at a different screen size. Often what looks great with Internet Explorer falls on its face with Netscape. Telling your visitors what browser is best is nice, however they are not going to open up another browser just to view your page. Those of us who work at larger screen sizes (800 x 600 and up) often assume that everyone else does too. Simply reduce the size of your open window to see how it will look at 640 x 480. Most people do not like having to scroll horizontally in addition to vertically.

  • Also, be careful about color schemes. Colors are great for making a plain site look great. If you're using a background image, keep the file size small and remember to change your <body bgcolor> to something similar. If you're using white text on top of a dark background image but your bgcolor is default, then your visitors won't be able to read one word until that background image loads up (which sometimes takes half a minute). Another thing is that there are a lot of neat-looking background images out there--don't use one where the words get lost on it.

  • Another point is the use of frames. Please don't employ frames without giving your visitors another option. For some older browsers frames simply slow the site down too much for people to hang around. Really and truly, people will avoid sites with frames. I understand that some sites make navigation easier with frames, but if it's not necessary, the added effect will cost you.

  • One thing that stands out to me is the use of images within a link. To keep a box from appearing around your image, put "border=0" inside the <img> tag.

*** Now I know some of you webmasters out there will disagree with me on some of these points, and I don't have a problem with that. This project requires me to give my opinion only.

The following are the sites whose webmasters responded
to my survey (in no particular order). Thank you so much!
East Gwinnett church of Christ
Guyana Outreach
The Lord's Church
Adamsville Church of Christ
West-Ark church of Christ Web Site
Northwest Church Online
Mount Carmel church of Christ
Biblical Studies Center
The Old Paths Archive
Hillsboro Church of Christ
Gemeenten van Christus
(Dutch-language churches of Christ)
Les eglises du Christ
(French-language churches of Christ)
All About Families
Summerville Church of Christ
Sunset Online
Parveen Singh's Christian Webpage
Around the Block (ATB)
Church of Christ at Buda/Kyle
Lompoc Church of Christ
the Seeker
Rich Creek Virginia Church of Christ
Tell Me Your Story of Jesus
Sylva Church of Christ
Crieve Hall Church of Christ
David Mathews' Home Page
The Campbell Street Church of Christ
Sunshine Church Of Christ Website
Ardmore church of Christ
Olive St. church of Christ
Meadowlark Church of Christ
Manassas Church of Christ
Pleasant View Church of Christ
Angleton Church of Christ Homepage
Flowchart for the book of Revelation
University City Church of Christ
The Christian Library On-Line
Sylacauga church of Christ & The "Gospel Singing Newsletter"



This site was created by Angelique Moses as part of an honors contract with Dr. Jerry Bowling and the Harding Honors College for Christian Education (BRED 330) in the Fall of 1998.

link to West-Ark Church of Christ
Link to West-Ark Church of Christ