Relaunching the Church of England website: one year on


On 15 November 2017, the digital team launched the redesigned Church of England website. A year on, we wanted to highlight some of the figures that help us understand how people are using this updated resource and what we are looking forward to in 2019.
The Church of England website shown on a computer screen.

More than 2.1 million new visitors since launch

We’ve seen an increase in the number of new visitors accessing the award-winning website, which is really encouraging. It means more people are accessing the website for the first time and potentially engaging in the new content we have produced to help people explore faith. We’re engaging more people than ever across our social media accounts, directing them to the national website, but also to A Church Near You.

More than 9.38 million page views and more linked up content

We’re on track to reach 10 million page views by the end of 2018 and are excited that our #FollowTheStar Christmas campaign will play a part in that. Of these views, 6.28 million were unique and other figures like our bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) has decreased by almost 25 per cent. This means that people are finding relevant content across the website more easily after they have finished engaging with their original content.

Search is helping people find answers

It’s no surprise that we’re seeing an increased use of search, especially considering that on the previous website this didn’t really work. What’s really encouraging is that the resulting page views after someone has performed a search on the website let us know people are finding the content they are looking for quickly. We still have work to do to make the search work its best for all our users, but we’re in a much stronger position to improve on our new system.

Better content management

When it was decommissioned, the old website had more than 11,000 webpages – a huge amount of which had not been kept up to date or viewed by visitors in a long time. We’ve reduced the number by 45 per cent with our content audit, which means we’re down to under 6,000 webpages on the current website. Obviously, this will grow in the future, but our web authors are now much better trained when it comes to looking after their web content.

Continual investment and development

Our plan was never to develop a new website and then forget about it. Over the past 12 months we’ve been investing in improving the website, fixing bugs and looking at how visitors are engaging with it to make better decisions behind the scenes. During 2019, we’ll continue to make changes that make the website easier to use as well as begin introducing new features and functionality. We know there is more to do and we’re always grateful for constructive feedback that we receive. This helps us to focus our work on real-life examples of use.


Ben Hollebon is Web Manager for the Church of England.

Read back on the reasons why we redeveloped the national website.

All the statistics we are sharing below run from 15 November 2017 – 14 November 2018.

The work of the Church of England's digital team is part of the Renewal & Reform programme, aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places.