Creating Your Church Website
In the mist of Covid-19 (Corona Virus), we at JDS WebDesign are hoping everyone is safe, washing your hands frequently, sneezing and coughing in your elbow, and practicing social distancing. Over the next several weeks, we are planning on blogging about how to make your website more business friendly. We will have some tutorials on our favorite plugins and features, which will make your site more efficient.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will discuss the stages of creating your church website. Whether you are creating the site yourself, or reaching out to an agency. These are some steps to make sure your design process is simple and pain free experience.
The stages will deal with pre-design or basic steps needed prior to design. Next I will discuss some planning (not design) steps. Then I will review design process steps. And finally I will discuss post launch steps. While these steps could be used for any website, since I specialize in faith based organization, I will focus many on my niche, faith based organizations.
Before you can even create your website, you will need to set up and decide some basic needs for your projects. Those decisions will center around domain name, platform, and hosting services. These might appear to be simple, but if you are not careful you could be spending a lot of money and time.
You domain name is very important. Try to stay away from long and easy to misspell domain names. Just because your organization name has five names, does not mean that your domain should have them in it. You are going to have a lot of unnecessary problems, if your domain name is www.faithunitedmethodistbaptistcatholicdowntownmaincitygeorgia.com.
Our recommendations would be fumbcd.com. While I would not recommend a client not securing the domain, we would advise them to place a re-direct to the shorter domain name.
While there are many companies to secure your domain registration, generally I recommend securing a private domain. Eliminate giving the general public access to your information, and in some case the ability to attempt to take or steal your domain. Most domain companies will charge around $20 for domain registration and to make it private typically will cost another $7 – 10. This is an annual fee.
Are you creating your site on WordPress? Are you looking at Wix? Are you looking at WebFlow ? While I have worked in each platform, by far WordPress is the best option. Not only does WordPress represent over 1/3 of all websites. It has a strong community and generally is easy to update and comes (in most cases) in a responsive mode. Responsive means it will display on all devices (phones, computers, laptops, etc.)
Most clients are focused on the how is hosting, and not on what type of hosting. I recommend either manage WordPress hosting or VPN (Virtual Private Network). These are not your $2 a month hosting, but both have a level of security, and safety associated with your site. In many case, manage WordPress will update your theme and plugins.
These three items will have to be resolved prior to thinking about your website. Next week I will discuss planning stage of your faith based organization website.
Image courtesy of Edward Cisneros.
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