How to build a church website with Squarespace

The ultimate video guide to building a church website with Squarespace.

Zero web design experience required.

Welcome to the most thorough online course on church web design you will ever find on the web. I've spent countless hours filming this click-by-click tutorial so that anyone can build a beautiful and effective church website regardless of their web design experience. All you need is a laptop or desktop and a solid internet connection. No coding knowledge or experience required.

It is my strong conviction that 21st-century church leaders must understand how to build and maintain a website. Web design is no longer a niche skill for nerds who understand complicated coding. It's a fundamental aspect of modern communication. Your church website is the hub of your church's online presence. As a brick and mortar institution, your website will be the first interaction potential visitors have with your church before they bother visiting on a Sunday. For folks who are regulars at your church, your church website will be the place they go for relevant content and information regarding church life. Websites are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for churches in the 21st century.

I'm on a mission to rid the internet of lousy church websites. Sadly, the church generally lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to best practices in marketing. A lot of pastors shove the idea of marketing aside as too "worldly" because of its business-like nature. The fact of the matter is, marketing is about catching peoples attention and guiding them toward a goal or solution that will help them. For businesses, that means grabbing the attention of potential customers to influence them toward buying. In the church, our hope is to influence such a ways as to lead them to Christ. Sharing the gospel is marketing. The church has the most important marketing job in human history because we have the ultimate "product." Yet for some reason, pastors are complacent about their church's marketing approach and efforts.

In no other time in history has it been this easy to reach millions or billions of people with the gospel through online platforms. Whether we as church leaders like it or not, that's where people are spending all their time now. All of their attention is on the super computer that fits in their pocket. One of the most fundamental steps of engaging with an audience is having a place to call "home" online that is not controlled by the algorithms of social media. That's why your church website is so important. That's why it needs to be awesome.

If you are looking to build a new church website for your church plant, or maybe you want to completely redesign your existing church website, this free course is for you. In it, I will show you how to build a church website from scratch using Squarespace. I would argue that Squarespace is the best web design platform for churches, regardless of size. I know of many mega churches with mega budgets who have blown mega dollars on having a web design agency design their website. The user experience of these sites are horrible and I cannot imagine how many potential visitors these churches are mission out on because whoever designed them cared more about what looks cool rather than user experience best practices. I have 110% confidence that any church leader can build an amazing and effective website his or herself by following the steps outlined in this course. In it, I apply all of the best practices of web design to a local church context. Follow the steps outlined in this video and you will see an increase of first-time visitors at your church. When potentials visitors search Google for churches in your town, you will begin ranking toward the top of organic search results.

What are your waiting for? Let's get your new Squarespace website up and running in just a few minutes. Below I have outlined the different sections for quick navigation. Simply click the timecode links and they will bring you to the corresponding sections of the video.

Course outline And quick links

0:18 - Meet Jake! As well as the benefits of this course


3:00 - Course Overview


4:30 - Deer Creek Church: A Case Study


7:36 - Design Philosophy


11:23 - Examples of famous churches and their websites


13:19 - The website as an evangelistic tool


13:41 - Branding Content- Logos, Fonts, and Color Palette


17:21 - Professional Photos and Video on a Budget


21:28 - Stock Photography Resources


23:28 - Site Map


24:26 - Let’s do this!


24:55 - Select a template and sign up for a Squarespace account


26:36- How to login and logout of your Squarespace website


27:35 - Create a custom Squarespace domain


29:20 - Editing “General” Settings


31:36 - Editing “Website” Settings


34:43 - Website Logo and Title


36:25 - Introduction to the Style Editor


45:25 - Understanding Navigation


47:05 - Adding and Deleting Pages


47:56 - Deleting Demo Pages


49:47 - Creating Pages and Basic Site Navigation


55:18 - Adding a Banner Image and Video


58:50 - Adding a banner headline and Call to Action


1:04:35 - Worship times and location


1:11:41 - Purpose and Design Approach of the Plan a Visit page


1:12:18 - Building the Plan a Visit Page


1:29:14 - Leadership


1:37:17 - Beliefs


1:39:30 - Contact


1:48:21 - Ministries Page


1:51:38 - Serve Page


1:54:32 - Life Groups Page


1:57:44 - Hosting your sermon audio with Soundcloud


2:05:21 - Creating a Sermon podcast on iTunes


2:13:32 - Creating a Sermon podcast on Google Play


2:17:14 - Events Page


2:20:52 - Giving Page


2:24:24 - Cover Pages


2:31:47 - Upgrading your billing plan


2:33:00 - Link your primary domain


2:35:00 - Squarespace Support


2:36:03 - Optimize URL settings


2:37:13 - Announcement Bar


2:39:06 - Third-party Squarespace plugins