So you think your church needs a website. Or a new site. Or a better site. Rock on. Welcome to Church Websites 101, a quick and dirty series about how to start or restart your church’s website.
As you sit down to build your church website, please don’t reinvent the wheel. There are so many tools and templates and content management systems out there. Find something that fits your needs and use it. Don’t start from scratch.
- Google makes a powerful calendar that you can share with your church, embed on your site, sync with your favorite calendar program and do just about anything you need. And if that’s not good enough, services like ServiceU and Eventbrite add all kinds of extra functionality if you need tickets and payments and all that kind of stuff. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
- If you want to put your sermon audio online, there are all kinds of sources that will help with streaming audio.
- If you need a content management system (you do), there are all kinds of choices, from WordPress to Expression Engine to Joomla and Drupal. And those are just the big guns. There are literally dozens of content management systems designed specifically for the church. We list over a hundred organizations in the Church Marketing Directory that can help you with a website. And none (of the good ones) will reinvent the wheel.
- From MailChimp to Constant Contact there are a number of e-mail newsletter providers.
- Tap into existing social networks. Your church members are likely already on Facebook and Twitter, so tap into those sources. Make sure your site is connecting with those tools and you’re finding that pre-existing audience. Don’t start from scratch when you don’t have to.
Recycling is in. Reuse what’s already out there and reap the benefits of these tools that have already been created. This isn’t a license to steal, it’s an invitation to make use of pre-existing resources. Just remember what your limitations are and where your site is going. The monthly fee for a hosted content management system may break your budget, but that just means WordPress and its free price tag is perfect.
Save time, save money and save energy by using the many great tools and resources out there.
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