Church Website Statistics

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I just spent last week at the Echo Conference in Dallas, TX. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a great place to meet folks working in the creative aspects of church as well as learn some great, practical things to help do ministry better.

Justin Wise presented some new research that Monk Development, a website design agency, did on the importance of church websites. I want to share some of those stats and give a few thoughts about them, too.

  • The percentage of church attenders who said a church’s website was important in picking a church to visit:
    • 2009: 34%
    • 2012: 46%
  • In 2012, 33% say the internet was the first place where they learned about their church.

Thoughts: The web is your church’s new front door. It’s something Justin and myself have both said before. Your church website is your first impression. It needs to represent who you are as a church. Think of it like the upkeep of your building. You wouldn’t let your facilities fall apart, so why would you let your website look bad?

  • How did people find out about their church’s website?
    • Church bulletin:
      • 2009: 42%
      • 2012: 26%
    • Search engine
      • 2009: 12%
      • 2012: 23%

Thoughts: People are going online to look for information about their church instead of waiting for their church to tell them where to go. Justin believes if a church can’t be Googled, it doesn’t exist.

  • 64% of church goers say the church website is important in facilitating participation in church.
  • What features do people say they use most (in order):
    • Listen and download sermons.
    • Serving opportunities at the church.
    • Finding service information.
    • Forward content to others.
    • Read visitor's information.

Thoughts: Church goers are now turning to a church’s website to become better connected with the church. So we have an obligation to help them. Justin says websites are becoming more about awareness (letting people know you exist), connection to community (things to do in the church community like small groups) and engagement (increasing the interaction of people with the church).

When you look at these stats, does anything jump out to you?
 

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Good article. It provides a great reminder for churches to be excellent in how we present ourselves.

One caveat that is missing from the article is that context makes a huge difference for the importance of a church's website. I pastor a rural congregation where the vast majority (I would estimate 75%) of people don't use email or the internet in general. These aren't just older people who never wanted to learn about computers, these are people who work in fields, barns, warehouses and shops during the day and don't see a need for the internet. So, consequently, the website isn't that valuable to them.

This doesn't excuse churches like ours from having outdated websites, but it does mean that the amount of time I spend working on the website should be relatively small.

(If you'd like to check out our site it's http://sumascrc.com)

Good point Mark.  It's always important to know your audience.

By the way, you're website looks good!  Nice work.

@Mark, You're right context is make a huge difference. We mainly work with younger churches and churchplants and for them, their website is everything.

We recently did a report on the web activity that we see across all our sites (millions of pages views) Check it out for a little more info. <a href="/%3Ca%20href%3D"http://bridgeelement.com/blog/3-things-visitors-love-to-see-in-church-websites.php" rel="nofollow">http://bridgeelement.com/blog/3-things-visitors-love-to-see-in-church-websites.php"> Church Website Usage Report </a>

One of the most suprising things that we found was that there was a 30% increase in traffic on Sunday mornings and over half of those visitors were on the website for the first time!

It just goes to underscore what Justin said "if [your] church can’t be Googled, it doesn’t exist."

 

 

This is amazing statistics, I knew that businesses definitely need a website or they essentially don't exist. Imagine if you google your local movie theater or grocery store and they do not have a website. But I never knew that having a website is so important to a nonprofit entity like a church, because one would think that people that go to church are old school and they would not care about whether or not they church has a website. I am religious myself but I do not come from a religious family, my parents taught me to be a good person and everything but they didn't teach me to go to church or anything of that nature. But when I was in my teens I had an incident in my life which made me believe in a higher power and the rest is history. Back to the topic. I would like to explore this more about how people are caring more and more about every entity, including a church, having a website. If a church or any other organization is not found on the web, these days it is not normal and people expect you to be on the web. There is also an informative video on youtube about the importance of church websites which I am watching, it is a little over an hour but it's very informative, I will post the link below if anyone wants to check it out

see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtbRgGuAhGU