The church online can make a difference!
Is your church online? If not you'll find that the church online is starting to happen all around you. There are lots of reasons for this but perhaps the main one is aging church memberships. The aging membership means that the new intake is starting to appear and that intake in online savvy. They want to be able to find their information on line and at any time. So if you're not part of the church online set yet perhaps now is the time to start thinking about it!
Getting online doesn't need to be an arduous process. It's quite possible to pick a company (like ours) and simply ask them to put up a few pages for you. You don't need anything fancy just a simple three or four page site:
- a home page
- an about us page
- a contact us page
- perhaps an events page
Nothing too complex to start. Just the basics, enough to tell people searching on the web, who you are, where you are, what you do and how to contact you.
Websites are hosted by various companies. Hosting simply means what computer your site is stored on so that people can access it - and before you ask storing it on your own computer isn't really an option. Websites4Christians host all their own church websites to ensure that they are properly hosted and have the right software loaded but you don't have to do that. Instead you could use a free hosting account from Google or create a Facebook page for your church.
Now it might sound like we're suggesting lots of free ways to get your church online and we are! Although websites4christians is a business we're really about helping you and your church (or christian organisation) get online. As a Christian family run business it's more important to us for you to be on line than for you to come to us for your website!
Facebook pages are great. They allow you to quickly build a list of events and things about your church online . However there are some limitations. You can't control the look and feel of the site. You can't have your own banner or menu items etc. That said they are a great starting point and a good way to get going quickly on the web.
Google online and other free hosting companies have similar issues but again are great starting points.
Once you're online and your church life is starting to appear online you'll soon discover that building you own website is a good idea. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to "own" your space on the web. There are plenty of companies that produce websites and many that focus on providing Christian site. They vary a lot in price and capabilities.
When looking at the prices it's definitely worth discussing in depth the ongoing price. Many companies have a monthly fee and although they seem cheap at first they quickly become expensive (in case you're wondering Websites4Christians sites generally cost between £250 and £700 depending on what you want). Some companies (like ours) will also offer to build and host the site for free if your church doesn't have the funding.
As always if you'd like to know more why not have a look at the "find out about ..." section which explains in more depth website features or have a look at our templates etc. This will give you a good feel for what a website is all about and how to get your church online.