The church is catching up with design, I guess. These Top 10 Church & Religious Websites are looking more contemporary, quite well done. In my experience in the industry though, the vast majority of churches and nonprofits (by which I mean I’m not aware of any exceptions) want their site designs donated—they won’t actually spend money on them. I know of one Christian radio station that listened to us pitch a site at 1/4 what it was worth, one that offered them a complete strategy including ways of monetizing their online real estate in ways they hadn’t even thought of. They were just launching with a fairly big splash, but rather than do it right, they tossed it to a staffer who knew “something” about web design… it was awful. I called the next week to let them know that all the image links were broken and they pulled it up in IE and said it looked fine to them. I know another nonprofit that had at least three designs done—they kept switching to whoever would provide free effort, and each new design firm started over from scratch. Some never got launched before they changed horses again, and others just went dormant when the firm got busy or suggested that a few dollars could be spent to finish it up completely.

This is probably true across the board for any technical area, but I suppose it ought to be a rule that if you’re trying to make a significant impact and at all recognize the need to keep pace online, pay for a good design shop. What other top-notch Christian website designs are out there, any further nominations?

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