Church Web Site?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Batt4Christ, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Batt4Christ

    Batt4Christ
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    Just curious here - how many here have a church web site? I, as the pastor, am tasked with maintaining our church web site. I enjoy the task, though have so very little time to dedicate to it. Also - I am not at all happy with the web host & domain registrar - GoDaddy.com. While their service has been reasonably reliable (have had issues with their email service), their cost go up every year (has nearly doubled in the two years I have been maintaining the site). But even bigger than the increase in cost - is the horrible picture it paints to those who are aware of who our host is - I feel that it really presents a stumbling block to some (and if you are not aware of the GoDaddy marketing... you might just wish to keep it that away).

    But what it boils down to - our budget just won't absorb the cost of some of the dedicated "church web site" hosts -the ones that have the pre-formatted web pages and/or custom or semi-custom pages. I just need a host that isn't blatantly ungodly, is reliable, and isn't insanely expensive.

    I have taken a look at ministryweb.org and a few others - but don't really know anything about them (experience anyone?).

    Anyway - looking for suggestions... thanks in advance.
     
  2. Batt4Christ

    Batt4Christ
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    As a side topic to the above - what about "podcasting" or otherwise putting sermon audio online? I checked sermonaudio.com - but the cost isn't exactly comfortable on top of our own church web hosting...
     
  3. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
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    We upload our sermons to our website using smartftp. We can put them on our page in either audio or video format.

    We use godaddy and have not had a problem with the prices doubling at all. They have remained the same for about 30 months now. We get all our email through other ISP's, so I am not sure about the godaddy email.

    As to godaddy's advertising, they do not advertise on our web page, so I really have no problem. I once used Bravenet and ran into problems with their ads on my page. Faithweb also put questionable ads on our page. I wouldn't recommend either of the latter two.
     
    #3 Steadfast Fred, Nov 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2010
  4. annsni

    annsni
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    My hubby is our web host. He used to be a computer engineer in his former life and has a server with about 10 customers. It brings in a little money for us - not a lot but enough to pay for our family vacation each year. :)

    As for podcasting, we've used PodBean. We started out with the free service but now pay $50 a year and hubby says that they are pretty good. Their customer service is a little slow but he's barely needed it so it's OK.

    If you want to see our websites, they are:

    nbc.org
    ichristianc.org

    NBC is our home church and Island Christian is the new church plant/campus that my husband has started.
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    We do. It is the single most important publicity piece we offer. It is also a portal for engaging our people outside of Sunday.

    Granted our size provides for some amazing resources, but we have several people tasked with keeping it up. It is a full time job and a half.

    You might check out some resources at churchrelevance.com. Kent is a great guy with some terrific insights and resources.

    I recently finished advising a sister church in our association about how they can move forward in terms of technological and organizational strategy. One of the first things we recommended is to develop a simple page that looks good and communicates who and why they are. One of the best tools we recommended is a joomla based page. Makes it easy to keep up.

    As far as webhosts, I don't know who is best in your area. We used networksolutions.com to host our site when we first got started. As we grew we shifted to a private server before finally moving to host our own site. We take up a ton of server space so in the end it was best that we manage it all ourselves. For a smaller organization networksolutions.com might be a good place to start. :)
     
  6. BroChris

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    We have a church website: gracebaptistchurchsbc.org. When I became the pastor, I redesigned it and moved it to where I host all my other websites: axishost.com. I've used their services for years now and have only occasionally had problems with the service. It's definitely worth the price. $70/year allows me to host all of my domains (I currently have 15 of them, so my domain fees are actually higher than my hosting fees!). I and one church member maintain the site, which basically consists of adding announcements to the blog, events to the calendar, and sermons to the podcast.

    There is some information that church websites simply must have (location, service times, phone number, email, etc), but I think a lot of churches try to put too much on them. What ends up happening is that the church gets overwhelmed with it and quits updating it altogether. Whatever pages you have on the website need to be up to date, but there's nothing wrong with having very few static pages on the site, especially if one person is tasked with maintaining it.

    We've been hosting all our sermon audio on our own website, but I recently found out that archive.org will host my audio files for free, and they will allow me to stream them via my website (and iTunes). Sermoncompanion.com will also do this, although seems a little less intuitive to set up. So I'm going to start using archive.org. From the visitor's perspective, nothing will change, and it will save me tons of space and bandwidth.

    For video, I've been using youtube for short clips and if I ever need more than 15 minutes I use vimeo. Unless you have a ton of space and bandwidth, hosting video yourself isn't a good idea. And even then, I prefer the social exposure that youtube gives.
     
    #6 BroChris, Nov 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2010
  7. Batt4Christ

    Batt4Christ
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    Thanks BroChris! I set up with sermoncompanion for now - seems fairly simple. First sermon already uploaded, about to do the 2nd. Should be interesting to see how "easy" it is to embed the player on the church web site.
     
  8. Pastor Kyle

    Pastor Kyle
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    I understand your dilemma. I too am responsible for maintaining our church website. When I got here they did not have one, so I guess it's my own fault because I wanted the church to have one.
    I searched around and like you the prices that web providers require is absolutely outragous. I found this site, www.bravenet.com
    They charge around $300 for 5 years of service. They have pre-designed sites, but you are able to change them, if you know alot about html coding. I am learning as I go.
    If you want to you can check out my site www.gracebaptistchurchrs.com and it may give you an idea of what you would be able to do.
    Also www.bravenet.com also allows you to host a site for free, with add banners on it, just to see what you would be dealing with. But once you pay for your site, and domain is included, you have unlimited bandwith to deal with.
    Just a thought, you may want to check them out.
    God Bless
    Bro. Kyle
     
  9. Pastor Kyle

    Pastor Kyle
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    I also wanted to add that I use www.4shared.com to host all my sermons. They give you 10mb for free, and if you want to purchase you can and it will give you 100mb, not sure of the cost.
    I like this site to host my sermons because it gives me the option to link from my website to theirs for sermons, or gives the option to copy and paste the html code directly to my site, putting the player on my site for folks to listen to sermons, choir, things like that. So you may want to check them out as well.
     
  10. Batt4Christ

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    Well - I did get going with sermoncompanion to host audio.

    Here is a shameless plug for the web site as it stands now:

    Park View Baptist Church
     
  11. ktn4eg

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