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New Research Reveals Why People Visit Church Websites

More than 17 million non-churchgoers visited church websites in the past year, according to Grey Matter Research.
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Outreach-focused churches might want to spruce up their websites.

More than 17 million non-churchgoers visited the website of a local church or place of worship in the past 12 months. Yet many sites fail to easily provide the information these visitors are looking for, according to the just-released results of a nationwide research study by Phoenix-based Grey Matter Research.

These results follow the recent release of similar research on use of the internet for religious purposes.

Other new findings of note:

How frequently do regular churchgoers (who are online) visit their own congregation's website?

28%

In the last 30 days. (21.5 million adults)

44%

In the past six months. (34 million adults)

57%

In the past year. (44.8 million adults)

32%

Never. (Or their church does not have a website.)

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How frequently do regular churchgoers (who are online) visit other congregations' websites?

13%

In the last 30 days. (10.4 million adults)

27%

In the past six months. (21 million adults)

37%

In the past year. (28.7 million adults)

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How frequently do non-churchgoers (who are online) visit the websites of places of worship?

2%

In the last 30 days. (1.6 million adults)

10%

In the past six months. (10.6 million adults)

16%

In the past year. (17.4 million adults)

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What people do on the websites of places of worship:

Check to see the times of services: 43%

Check what activities are offered: 29%

Look for a map or directions to the church's location: 28%

Watch streaming video: 26%

Listen to streaming audio: 26%

Check to see what the church's religious beliefs are: 22%

Request prayer: 18%

Downloading a podcast: 15%

Checking what denomination or group the church belongs to: 15%

Send a message to the pastor or leader: 12%

Post on a bulletin board or forum: 5%

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12%

Percentage of all American adults who have visited the website of a church or other local place of worship within the past thirty days.

22%

Percentage of all American adults who have visited the website of a church or other local place of worship within the past six months.

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LifeWay Research has also done studies on church usage of technology, including electronic giving, cloud computing, social networking, and general web usage.

January/February
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