How to Choose a Church Website Builder or Church Website Designer?
Every Church website builder has their own set of features, but I’ve found that many are charging an exorbitant amount or they offer such a cheap website that there is no functionality. There are several guidelines that every person researching a church website builder needs to consider.
Their portfolio is an good indication of what kind of work they do. For example: www.camnio.com/portfolio.html . Portfolios should show a variety of workmanship and features. Watch out for those portfolios that include lots of costly “extras”. Make sure that the standard features of a website are clearly marked somewhere on the site. Portfolios should also be changing frequently, possibly every three months or so, so look to see if there has been change in the site recently. Portfolios are the signature of any good website company. Make sure that each website has a signature look for the church that is being represented. If each site is a “cookie-cutter” site, then you will know that yours will look like everybody else’s.
Another indicator that the company may charge a bit more than you’re wanting is when they ask you to contact them for prices. If there are no sample prices, chances are that they are going to charge more. Like I mentioned above, there should be a standard set price for a set number of features that they offer. Only a few sites include every feature in each site for the same price. CAMNIO media is one of those companies. Many companies will have pricing tiers, which start from a base price with limited features, and travel up in price depending on what you need in your site. Remember to shop around as some places give you everything they offer for one low price. The tiered concept is that the top tier is the most expensive. Sites with tiers or itemized website building usually tend to be much more expensive.
Functionality is a key thing that you should look out for. Will it be able to show new visitors how to find your church? Or better yet, will they have a fair shot of really knowing what your church is all about without having to think about dysfunctional web design. Remember your church website is meant for your visitors too. Sites usually can have all of the bells and whistles to catch peoples eyes without being complicated or frustrating to use. Sites should be user-friendly and also always changing. If a site cannot be easily changed, then its attraction is greatly hindered. People only visit sites that stay current and fresh. Functionality is needed from every angle. Make sure that you are not spending money for a site that is too complicated to update. If you have to learn a new language to update your site, you will always be on a definite learning curve. If you know English, then your site should be programmed in English! Make sure that you get a site that has multiple user possibilities. Ask yourself these questions: Are different users able to update this? Meaning, can the youth pastor add his events, while the Senior Fellowship adds their events. “Is this site useable from the oldest to the youngest?”
But what about functionality for an existing church member? When your church members want to come and use the site to catch up on church events and important ministry information, the calendar and announcements modules comes in very handy. You want to provide functionality for each person that will visit your site. Look for sites that offer separate logins for members versus new attendees. There might be pertinent information that the members of your church need but you might not want the new visitors to be apart of. Make sure that the site offers functionality that serves the purpose of your church and your ministry events.
A website really should be a “living” website. Meaning that people within the church are involved with updating the website and keeping it fresh and new. Once pictures become out of date, or announcements are no longer relevant, people are not going to want to come back to your site for more info. In fact, it is more of a deterrent. The key, again, is for the site itself to be easily updateable. You don’t want to have to fight with your site each time you want to make updates. The easier it is to update, the more relevant and alive your site will become. And remember, a living website is more likely to grow in popularity than a stagnant dead one.
Lastly, you should go with a company that has great customer service. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you are in a crisis and the company is too busy or too impersonal to help you. Make sure that the company really does have your interest at heart. Talk to them on the phone for a few minutes and get a feel for the vision and mission of that company. If money is their motivator, you are just a dollar sign that has little value. If their focus is ministry, then their service will be more personal for the sake of the gospel. You will have a better relationship with a ministry driven, gospel minded company than one that is only business oriented. When you are in the process of designing and as you learn how to take care of your website, this friendly helpful service will be of great benefit to you.
When you combine all of the portions of this article and put them together, you should have a comprehensive take on what to look for in a website company.
CAMNIO Media provides web design and graphic design services for Churches, Non-Profits and small businesses. Our mission is to provide powerful, flexible and affordable websites to help small organizations and companies fulfill their mission. We develop powerful websites driven by Content Management Systems. We refer to our websites as living websites because it is easy to update the content