There is no denying that in today’s world, having a ministry that lacks a digital presence may seriously be limiting the impact that they can have on a community. Now, no one is suggesting that a church website and social media accounts are the foundation to a church’s ministry, but look at it from the perspective of someone that just moves into your town because of a job or going to school. The family or individual probably knows very few people and so if they decide that they want to go to church, how are they going to figure out their options? If it were me, I would jump onto Google, type “churches in Colorado Springs” and start going through a list of the websites that come up.
Michael Hyatt, a renown author and speaker on what it means to have a digital platform, says that the most important digital presence that an organization can have is their website. You control the medium, you can share your ministry’s information with service times, staff, and ministries available to families, and you can share the vision and mission of your church all before that family ever steps foot into your building.
Where Do I Start?
The idea of creating a church website for someone who is inexperienced may be a very daunting adventure. We want to give you a couple of practical steps to help you along the way and we will leave it to you to make it as easy and simple or as large and complex as you care to take on.
It may seem strange for some, but you actually should figure out what you want on your website before you actually go out and create a website. Not only will you be knowledgeable about what you want, create a budget for what you believe that you should have to pay for it, and a basic design that you need to incorporate, but having a layout of the pages and content that goes on every page will make the construction of the website a breeze. This means that you need to come with every photo, write out every word and heading, and figure out how what pages are most important to you.
Now that you have the basics of the website figured out, we need to decide who will be hosting our website. We have a couple of options for you to do that require a various set of skills and money to do.
WordPress For those that would like to have flexibility in what they do, feel comfortable with doing some of the legwork of installing and creating pages, WordPress is the best option out there as it is the most cost effective but requires the most skill. Some great hosting options for those that use this option would be WPEngine, MediaTemple, or BlueHost which varies between $60 and $300/month. For great web designs, we recommend looking at ChurchThemes.com or WPforChurches.com for some great web designs that also offer support licenses if any issues come up.
CloverCloverSites.com is a great option for those with little skill but great design. We recommend them because of the great quality service they give you as well as the easy to use administrative user experience. Do know that this will cost more, but for someone that does not have the experience, this is a good option.
Your Church Software If you are using some church software like Elexio, you may want to check your license and see if you actually should be getting a church website along with the software. This is a great solution that integrates with your databases created from first-time visitors, volunteers, and ministries and auto-populates your whole website for you.
Keeping It Fresh
Creating a website is fine, but what happens if you get a new pastor, change service times, or decide to have a blog? Who will be updating all of this information? Would you like to host videos of your sermons on the website? Who is coming up with the content and who is going to keep it up-to-date? These are all questions that should be answered before everything goes live.
While this process may look like a lot, if you have the right people on board with you to help you along the way to make it easy. If this is a priority for you, your church can actually start with the idea of a website and have something amazing up and running in a week or two. So what do you want to do? Share your church’s website in the comments below.
About the Author
Jeremy Smith is a Christian first, husband and father next, and then a blogger at 78p.tv, writer, and social media realist. He is currently working at Youth for Christ/USA as the Social Media Specialist and attending Denver Seminary for his Master’s of Counseling in Mental Health. His bachelor’s degree is in Computer Engineering and Master’s in Family Ministry. For those that are looking to create a successful Social Media and Blogging Strategy for their church, ministry, or blog, he would love help you make the most of your work through the Social Media and Blogging Consultation.