In the world of web design and really, any type of design, there seems to be one sector that is always behind the times; religious organizations and non-profits. Often, these types of organizations are limited by budgets and lack the know-how that allow them to go above and beyond with their designs. As a designer, it makes it tough to work with churches because there are very few sources of inspiration out there. Fortunately, there are some churches and religious groups that have found a way to really beat the curve with their website. There are many established churches and organizations that have decent budgets that allow them to hook up with some awesome web designers. Today, we have put together a list of some of the most modern and contemporary church and religious websites out there.
Abundant Life Christian CentreThis web design uses trendier elements of modern web design such as drop shadows and multi-tonal backgrounds. Fortunately, they do a good job of keeping the web site clean and consistent with other graphical elements.
Calvary AssemblyThe fusion between grungy and clean can be a bit tricky in web design. Calvary Assembly did a good job of meshing the two without taking anything away from either side.
Calvary ChapelWhile this website looks less like a religious organization and more like a business, it works because although there's a lot of content they are trying to share, they did a good job of making it clutter-free. The image slider they have is excellent as well.
Church of the HighlandsThe layout used for this website is pretty much perfect for the amount of information they are relaying. They also give you a good amount of well-designed graphical elements that draw you into what it is they are doing. Definitely a well thought out site.
College Park ChurchThe great thing about this web site is not just the wonderful design and layout they've chosen but the consistency between pages. Frequently you get a nice homepage with some slack on the inside pages, but not in this case.
Cornerstone ChurchThough this is a wonderful design, it is possibly let down by being created with Flash. Minimalism is always fun (and refreshing to see in this genre of website) and executed well this time around.
Eagle's Landing First Baptist ChurchMuch like the last website, this is a wonderful layout, especially if you are extremely fond of oversized pictures, however it probably didn't need to be made with Flash, replacing the Flash elements with jQuery would have made it more inclusive. Either way, good design is good design.
Fellowship Bible ChurchWhat I like about this design is that it gives you some sort of feeling and for me that's what design is really all about — first, you want to get someone to do or see something and second, you want them to feel something. This design does a good job at doing both.
Flatirons Community ChurchAgain, we've got a website that uses some grunge and some clean elements and has them live together in perfect harmony. The take here is a bit more vintage grunge and yet it still works to yield a wonderful site.
Foothills Christian ChurchQuite frankly, the graphical elements here are a bit stronger than the actual web design elements, however, both are meshed well and create a pretty solid site.
Free ChapelIf you are a sucker for some good, clean design, this is a great web site. The dark palette of the site is key to creating a feeling that there's an experience waiting in this particular church.
Grace ChapelHere we see a hint of a vintage effect used with heavy graphical elements throughout. It creates a positive aesthetic and makes us think that this church is a fun, happy place to visit.
Grace ChurchYou almost always have an audience in mind when you are designing things and it seems as if this web site was made to cater to adults who have children. The design is wonderful, but many of the graphics as well as the pictures really have a theme dedicated to children.
Horizon Christian FellowshipThere are a lot of little details this design has that you can easily overlook, for example the subtle changes in background and the wonderful menu design. A lot of good time and thought was put in this site.
Inland Hill ChurchIt seems as though the designers here decided to take more of an illustrative path to designing this site. It's really a simple design, but everything works so well together and gives us a wonderful site.
Love International MinistriesThis is an example another extremely clean web design. On top of the organized layout, the graphics are really clean as well.
The Moody ChurchOften with contemporary design, you get the feeling that designers are attempting to appeal to a younger crowd. This design does a great job of being modern while appealing to what could be considered an older crowd.
New Life ChurchThis design is all about the pattern and all about the textures. Once again we have a wonderfully thought out layout with some amazing graphical elements that just render a beautiful website.
New SongThis design takes more of a futuristic approach without coming off overly cheesy or too dramatic.
North Phoenix Baptist ChurchSubtle textures, great typography and great graphics really help when designing using a wonderful layout. All of this creates an extremely solid design.
Phoenix FirstThis is another one of the web designs that really make it seem as if there's an experience associated with the group. Again, there's a ton of detail here that should really be commended.
Radiant ChurchIn most of the previous designs, you see there is a lot of information visible. This web design scratches all that and gives the bare minimum creating a super clean website. Many of the links lead to interactive content where videos give much of the information.
Redemption ChurchWhether we are talking church web design or design in general this is a wonderful website. It uses many modern techniques and trends and is extremely thoughtful and clean. The user interface here is very well thought out.
Revealing Truth MinistriesThe consistent branding here is wonderful, along with a really great layout and designs. Navigating is easy, and this design appeals to many different crowds.
Rock HarborAnother great, fairly minimal web design that pays great attention to detail.
Rolling Hills Christian ChurchThis design is illustrated from the top to the bottom. Sometimes designs like this can get a bit overwhelming, but it feels like everything here has been carefully weighed.
Southland Christian ChurchThis is another fairly minimal design with much of the focus on pictures and copy. There aren't a ton of design elements that really make this fancy, however the user interface is extremely clean and is based around some really modern techniques.
St. Paul Community Baptist ChurchWhile we aren't all fans of splash pages, when you get inside this wonderful website, you'll notice they've taken a bit more of an artist approach to their design. The layouts are all clean and everything makes sense, together with some great graphical elements that you typically don't see everywhere.
The ChapelThis web design mixes illustration with some modern texture techniques. Some folks are getting out of using gradients but they work really well here and help to create a rather vivacious site design.
ConclusionMany of these designs should be commended because again, there is that gap between what's affordable for non-profits and also what's really modern and trendy. I'm sure you've come across a website for a church that could use an enormous amount of sprucing up just to make it decent. When dealing with this type of client, many designers don't want to put a ton of effort into a design — many don't see the point. Fortunately, there are some who believe and understand what's going on and what's a necessity in this day and age.
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