Your website is the first thing that a newcomer will look for if they are going to visit your church. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for when it comes to websites. But that doesn't mean that you have to spend a lot to get a lot. Before you sign a contract with a developer, consult someone who has walked the same road as you before. It ensures that you aren't paying for a Rolls Royce to get to and from the grocery store.Click here to view our website self-audit.
Contact Courtney Thompson, EDUSC Director of Communications, for assistance in developing a strategy for your parish website.
Website Design Tips
Seven Whole Days, the blog of the Rev. Scott Gunn, has a series of posts on church websites:
- Thirteen Commandments for your website
- Make great websites for cheap!
- How to Kill Your Church by Misusing the Internet
Website Platform Options
Membership Vision, a website builder specifically for churches, is what EDUSC uses. Their platform aims to address several issues churches tend to have with their websites: how current information is, how engaging the content is, how to find time to both update the website and write the newsletter, how to remember how to do those things that rarely need editing, and how to integrate audio and video for a richer user experience.
Squarespace, launched in 2004, is a feature-rich platform that is very user friendly for non-tech people. It is a drag and drop website builder and is focused on creating a highly polished experience for users. Squarespace performs well on mobile. Its templates are responsive, meaning you can "resize your browser and the content," according to a five-star review on blog Website Builder Expert. A truly responsive website is priceless in the digital age of tablets and mobile devices.
Wordpress, a blogging platform around since 2003, is a robust platform. Wordpress has a a lot to offer: You can optimize SEO, add plugins, explore analytics, add donation tools, and more. You can create a complex site with multiple menus and substructures with Wordpress. The learning curve can be tough if you're not tech-savvy. On WordPress, you have to spend time to really get what you want and get familiar with the site's complex network of how things work. You'll also have to learn a bit of HTML. While that will help you in the long run, it's frustrating to try building an effective site and get into coding 101.
Weebly starts off free, but subscriptions range from $8 to $38 per month. Subscription service to weebly allows you to remove weebly branding/ads. The platform has a variety of themes, and easily walks you through its setup, from creating pages to adding text. For very simple websites without a lot of pages or content, and for easy administration of a drag & drop builder, Weebly is a good solution.