How To Build A Church Website?

Psst. Hey you. I want to let you in on a little secret. Getting a church website is ridiculously easy. No, I’m serious. This isn’t a shady deal. You can actually build a church website for free, if you’re willing to put in time. In this post, I want to put down a few simple steps to getting your church’s presence online even if you’re not willing to pay a bit extra.

First, consider a domain name. Now, mind you, domain names cost money but they do have a direct benefit to your church—the name might (if you’re lucky) match your website address. So for myself, I bought the name reyreynoso.com because that’s my name. It runs me about ten bucks a year so you’ll have to weigh if that cost is worth it. Mind you, you don’t necessarily need it, but it would be recommended.

Second, consider personal hosting. Hosting can run you about 70 bucks a year but at least you get to store more data (like mp3’s of your preaching messages). But that amount of money might be more than you bargained for, so you might be considering a free option.

Third, consider free options. There’s a mess of places that offer a domain with plenty of free templates. You can check out WordPress.com  or Weebly.com. WordPress has a huge community with thousands of templates, and Weebly has figured out a way for you to tweak out your own template (did I mention this will cost time?). Personally, I like WordPress better because of the data trending and tracking options, but that’s me (and Digital Sojourner who also uses WordPress). A paid option would be OnePager which is about 8 bucks a month: not bad but not as good as free.

Fourth, insert pertinent content. One of the biggest mistakes a website can do is not include content. The second biggest mistake is insert content that has nothing to do with the site. Pin down the purpose of your website, and you’ll see what information must go online: hours of operation, phone numbers, leadership, statements of faith.

Fifth, consider putting messages online. Now this will take some foresight. For instance, you’ll have to be recording your messages. Next, you’ll have to be converting your messages to a format that works online. Last, you’ll have to find a way to get your audio online. If you’re paying for your own storage, that might consist of merely uploading to your own site. But if you’re going the free route, you might want to check out Sermon Cloud which gives you limited storage with linking: a very handy solution. If you want a quick way to record your messages, check out Olympus’ digital voice recorders and convert the audio to mp3 using Apple’s free iTunes.

Follow these five simple steps, and you’ll have your website online in no time.

 

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This is the third post in a series of posts about effective church websites. The first post in the series is Yes, The Internet Wants You: The Need For A Church Website, and the second is Top 10 Reasons Why Your Church Needs A Website.

Jump to the next post in this series.

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One comment

  1. Thanks Rey for your excellent thoughts on how to get a church website started up. I would like to add one additional thought… Large churches can afford to have one or more full time staff members dedicated to the launch and upkeep of a website. However, small to medium size churches must often rely on volunteers.

    There is nothing glamorous about the constant updating a church website requires… and volunteers often grow tired of the thankless task. I feel that a good strategy for smaller sized congregations is to form a team or committee to divide up the task among several people.

    There is nothing worse than visiting the homepage of a church website that is woefully out of date… “Don’t miss Vacation Bible School 2008!!”