After creating a list of the best church and ministry focused website builders earlier this year, I decided it was about time I updated it.
To do that, I first had to scour the internet to see if any new church-specific platforms had popped up since I first created the article.
It turns out that a couple have but the one that really caught my attention goes by the name of Nucleus.
Let’s go and find out whether this relatively new website builder is going to make it onto my “best of” list shall we?
Spoiler alert…it already has!
Nucleus Summary – For Those In a Hurry!
1. Design Templates (Choice Is a Little Limited)
From my experience with website builders, one of the first tasks after creating your account is usually to choose a design template which acts as a foundation for the look and feel of your site which can usually then be customized.
Nucleus is a little different.
Here, you only get to choose between a “light” or a “dark” theme (which can be found under the settings tab).
I was a little disappointed at first but after scanning the Nucleus website, it turns out there is method behind the madness….
The team has carefully designed the theme (template) to be clean and entice visitors to actually take action on your website such as fill out a contact form, arrange a visit, sign up to your newsletter, or whatever you want them to do.
In fact, they go as far as to say that “It’s the perfect homepage“.
I must admit, it’s a far cry from many of the cluttered, confusing church homepages that we see around today!
When it comes to customizing your template, you’re only really able to upload a logo, change the font, edit text and swap out images for those of your own.
If you’re the type of person who likes to be in control of the minor details, I’m afraid you may be a little disappointed.
2. Ease of Use – Different, In a Good Way
Due to the fact that the Nucleus holds back many of the usual customization features, this actually makes for a more beginner-friendly experience as you won’t find yourself inundated with options.
Every cloud and all that!
Your first look at the main editor will be similar to what you see in the image below;
This will be your first introduction to “cards” and they are the building blocks of your website.
Think of these cards as mini page templates that will save you from having to design each page from scratch (although you also have that option if you wish).
All you need to do here is to hit the “Add New Card” button and you’re away.
If you chose the “Template” cards option as I have, you’ll be presented with the screen below;
Some of the page templates you’ll find inside are;
- About us
- Contact (Make it easy for people to get in touch)
- Plan a visit page (encourage people to book a visit).
- Prayer request page (allow your congregation to request specific prayers)
- Calendar (list your upcoming events)
- Blog (start a blog to keep people informed of church news etc)
- Sermon (a page dedicated to holding your most recent sermons so people can listen at any time)
I was able to add multiple pages in just a couple of minutes which I found rather impressive!
Once you have these pages in place, you can quickly and easily swap out the sample text and images for your own.
3. Standout Features
As I’ve said before, there are many “church website builders” out there masquerading as church platforms when in reality, they don’t really make creating a church website any easier than generic website builders such as Wix.
I’m happy to say that Nucleus is different.
They have specific features that will make your life a lot easier. Let’s take a brief look at these features below;
Create a home for your sermons where you can upload audio files and embed your videos simply by copying a bit of code from platforms such as Youtube and pasting it into the page.
You’ll also have the option of creating playlists enabling you to sort sermons by subject and add tags allowing users to quickly find what they’re looking for.
You can even start a podcast series which users can follow via their favorite podcast site such iTunes.
I do love a good, customizable form builder and Nucleus definitely ticks this box.
When it comes to your church, it’s an essential tool which you can use to create anything from a simple contact form, newsletter sign up, giving form, questionnaire or prayer requests.
This is easily achieved and by using drop-down box’s and offering multiple choice answers, you can make your form as simple or as detailed as you like.
As I mentioned above, it’s entirely possible to create a giving form and allow people to offer one-time or regular donations.
This isn’t any more complicated than copying and pasting a snippet of code into your website and Nucleus has a walkthrough showing you how to do it step-by-step.
You will need to create an account with third-party company tithe.ly to achieve it but it’s completely free to do so.
Having said that, they do charge a small transaction fee for each donation but I personally like that idea better than paying a fixed monthly sum.
Once set up, people will easily be able to make secure payments directly through your website.
Note: This feature is only available on Nucleus’s Pro Plan.
You won’t have to worry about creating a separate mobile website as it’ll automatically shrink down to fit whichever device your visitors are using whether it’s a PC, tablet or smartphone.
Getting found in the search engines
I won’t bore you by telling you about the increasing number of people who are searching for churches online these days.
I’m guessing you already know that hence why you’re here creating or redesigning your website to increase your digital exposure.
You’ll be able to “optimize” each page of your website to increase your chances of people finding you in Google (other search engines are also available 😉
In a nutshell, this can be achieved by entering informative page titles and descriptions to help Google understand the topic of your website and the location of your church.
The better they understand your site, the more chance you have of achieving good rankings in the search results.
4. Customer Support
While there isn’t a way to contact the team by phone (which is fairly common in the world of website providers), there is a live chat option.
I say live chat, it actually appears to be more of a delayed messaging service as it states the team will get back to you within 5 minutes.
If you need help outside of office hours, you can leave a message in the chat box and you’ll receive a reply upon the teams return.
I contacted them on a Sunday evening (UK time) and received a response the next morning via email.
This is much better than other web platforms that have left me hanging for days!
You can try Nucleus free for 30-days without having to spend a penny of your marketing budget until you’re sure it’s a good fit for your church.
Once the trial’s up, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium account if you wish to continue.
Let’s take a brief look at each of the plans;
Plan 1) Web – For People who want to create a new website
- $79.99/month (1-year plan when billed upfront).
- $99/month (month-to-month).
With this plan, you’ll get access to everything we’ve covered here in this review with the exception of the sermon engine.
Plan 2) Sermon Engine – Best for people with an existing website,
- $39/month (1-year plan when billed upfront)
- $49/month (month-to-month
If you have an existing website then you can add Nulcues’s sermon manager to your existing site.
Plan 3) Complete -The whole package
- $99/month (1-year plan when billed upfront)
- $125/month (month-to-month)
With this plan, you’ll get access to everything Nucleus has to offer, namely the drag and drop website builder and the sermon manager
As I said at the beginning of this review, I mentioned that I had looked at church website builders at the beginning of the year and so I wasn’t expecting to find anything new at this point but….
I was wrong!
Nucleus is a joy to work with. They really understand your needs and can help you grow.
Having said that, I’m yet to find a “perfect” website builder and Nucleus also has its disadvantages as well as many advantages.
If you’re hoping to customize every little detail of your website, then Nucleus may not be for you.
Similarly, if you’re just looking for a basic, cheap website, there are other options out there which may suit you better.
Those things aside, I highly recommend taking Nucleus for a 30-day free trial so you can make up your own mind.
Over to you
Have you tried Nucleus? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience, good or bad!
Leave me a message in the comments section below, I look forward to hearing from you.