I have been asked more times than I care to recall if I know of any good example parish websites, and, if not, what would make a good parish website.
Unfortunately, I don't know of any parish website I would say is "great." A couple "good" or "okay" ones, maybe, but nothing to call home and tell my Mom about. So, what are my criteria for a great parish website? One of which I would be proud to call myself a member?
The website must be pleasing to the eye (just like the Church should be). An ugly, or 90s-looking site, doesn't attract or hold my attention. It must follow the simple principles of design: color, appropriate use of negative space, a common theme, and good font design must all be taken into account.
Design also means the site is easy to navigate. It should have only a few main navigational options, and shouldn't be jumbled with a boatload of information on every page—and most especially the home page. (Read more on this topic).
Know thy audience. What is the most important information for those coming to your website? Are you targeting your parishioners, or visitors, or both? Is the school website separate, or integral to the parish website?
WAY too many parish websites start with a cruddy 'splash' page that takes a long time to load, looks stupid, and wastes my time. Give me the parish page by default, and let me click over to the school page if need be.
There are a few things which, in my mind, must be one every parish website's home page: