The range of the cost of a website these days is vast. So, how much should you spend? I often see churches spend way too little or much more than they need. So, how do you decide what you should spend? Obviously, there are some financial constraints/budgets that each church has so check with your treasurer. However, just because you may have been budgeted for a large amount does not mean you need to spend it all.
First you need to ask the question: “Do we need a website?” <gasp> “Did he just say that? Doesn’t everyone need a website?” Not necessarily. There I said it! Designers around the globe are probably drafting their hate mail now. I often see church websites that do not fit the church to which they belong. A huge, state of the art, corporate style website for a small, rural congregation of 20 to 80 people does not best represent your church. Also, many are often so poorly done that they actually send a negative message. If your site looks like it stepped out of the 90’s then send it back there. I also see churches in poor or older communities where the potential audience could care less about a website. Some churches could save the money spent on an elaborate site and focus it on more important things in their communities.
If you have determined that you need a website and you are not fortunate enough to have a “web person” on staff or a volunteer in your church, there are thousands of design companies out there that can do a great job on a site for you. Just run a Google search on “church website design” and take your pick.
However, there are also many inexpensive, easy to maintain, alternatives to a “traditional website” available out there.
A Facebook Page is a great, free, and easy way to get yourself on-line. The tutorials available are fairly easy to follow and Facebook is increasing the flexibility in their design all the time. HERE is a great example of how Granger Community Church has set up a “Welcome” tab for their Facebook page.
WordPress is typically used as a blog platform but now offers wider design choices. You can set up a simple but professional looking site for free with very little design experience needed. I have customized my own WordPress blog HERE. I am also working on a few other sites in WordPress for some other organizations.
So, you don’t need to spend a fortune and you don’t necessarily need a big, elaborate site. So, before you pull the trigger- sit down and consider your needs, your wants, and your options.
What are some ways you have found to save money and still be effective on the internet?