Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Is your church website little more than brochureware?

 Little image of little brochure with little contentThe WikiPedia defines brochureware as: “A brochureware website is a business website that has very infrequently updated content, and little of it. Often the site has been developed as a direct translation of existing printed promotional materials, hence the name.

Note the emphasis, that’s mine.

This is because I’ve run into more than one church website that is nothing more than a big-honking Adobe PDF file – or worse, a big-honking graphic file – that is in fact nothing more than an online version of their printed brochure.

The same WikiPedia article asserts “Brochureware sites therefore take little advantage of the capabilities of the web that are missing in printed publication. Often the only hyperlinks on the site are in the site’s navigation menu.

Note again the emphasis, also mine.

This is because most who use the web are seeking – and expect – online more than what is available in a printed brochure.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself and/or your church webmaster to see if your site falls into the category of brochureware:

  • Is the website designed around an existing printed brochure?
  • Does the website heavily employ PDF or graphic files to represent text?
  • Is the content on your website generally dynamic or static in nature?
  • Is the church website nothing more than one-big-honking brain-dump page created out of Word?
  • Does the church website have a usable search feature?
  • Is your church website rendered with Microsoft FrontPage or Microsoft Publisher?

If you can answer yes to ANY of these questions, then your church website may be in part or in whole brochureware.

Here are some past examples and topics on this topic:

I’m sure some of you can think of some other traits and/or articles related to the topic. If so, leave a comment – in love – so we can all learn from it.


  1. I read this headline with a sinking feeling: “Oh no! He’s talking about my church site (which I created)!” Then I actually read the article.

    While sites that are just PDFs or scanned brochures are bad, I’m not convinced that brochureware is necessarily a bad thing. Many churches simple don’t need a CMS-powered site, with all the complexity that entails. They simply need the online equivalent of a yellow pages ad.

    Consequently I’d say brochureware done right (e.g., Fish Marketing) can be just the right fit for the church that doesn’t have the technical savvy and/or manpower for something larger.

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