Starting Up A Church Website

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by Trotter, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Trotter

    Trotter
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    I have finally taken the plunge and started up a church website. It is through ForMinistry.com, and is free. But I am in desperate need of guidance/help. You see, I am totally new at all of this...

    Thankfully, ForMinistry makes all of it fairly easy, but I don't even know what all to put on the site. I've tried to look at other church sites, but most of them are professionally done, and our church is rather small (without 50 blue million ministries and a tae-bo class). Suggestions?

    If at all possible, post some links to your church websites so I can check them out (and plagerize at will... :D ). It would be great to see some actual sites that members have put together. It seems so hard to know what to put on the site, since we are a small church and all.

    Thanks.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  2. dclark14

    dclark14
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    We have used Forministry for some time and find that it is a good place to start. My wife is the "webmaster" (mistress?) and finds that it is a good service to present our church simply. Many websites have too much on them, and do not present the church in a "nutshell".We are also a small church and thank God for Forministry. Our site is www.forministry.com/01510fbc
     
  3. SpiritualMadMan

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  4. Pastork

    Pastork
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  5. Lena Ayer Kittrell

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    Trotter,
    I started my web site about 3 years ago with Home With God.Com.
    I have had no problems with them and it is a free web site. I too am from a very small church however my web site is personal instead of for the Chruch. I write poetry, paint, and write music and enjoy sharing my ability with others. The only request I have is for you to contact me if you use anything from my web site. Others are involved in some of the music that I write. I make all of my background designs and would be happy to share some of them with you. Sorry this comes at such a late date after your post.
    My web site is http://www.our.homewithgod.com/lakcope
    My email address is: [email protected]
    Hope I have been of some help.
     
  6. LindaB

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    hi there if you are looking for what you need to put on a website, i have a worksheet i give to clients to help them plan out their website as to topics, content, menus, colors and so on. it is in MSword format, if you want it, just drop me an email!

    Linda
    ChristianGraphicDesign.com
     
  7. swampfox

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    I am not a proffesional webmaster. Just started my churches website last November. I had no experience and my helper had a little. We have a young lady who is helping us now from our chuch and she has done them before and has taken several classe on web design. We will be updating it in the near future.
    www.laurelstreetcommunitychurch.org . We used Bravenet , they offer different service levels. The basic one is free.
     
  8. GulliverBarb

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    Hello,
    Here is our churchs website.
    www.manistiquebiblechurch.com the picture page isn't complete yet but we're working on it. Also working on putting streaming audio.
    Maybe it can give you some idea's.
    Barb
     
  9. KimS

    KimS
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    Wow, thanks for this thread Trotter. My church doesn't have a web site I was considering offering to set one up for them. Thanks for the ideas and the links.

    Kim [​IMG]
     
  10. vaspers

    vaspers
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    Trotter, I work in web site usability analysis, credibility assessment, and content writing.

    I'm not trying to sell you my services, because I'm overworked already.

    This Baptist Board is incredibly good. Learn from it. "Sit tight, we're taking you back to..." stuff like that, here on the BB, is advanced technique, very few sites have their act together like this BB site. Learn from it, please. Look at how easy it is to do things, etc.

    Anybody can put up a schlocky messed up web site, the WWW is full of garbage. Please take this project very seriously. Find a sharp college kid who knows HTML and Web creation tools, who can help intelligently.

    Do-it-yourself sites usually look bad and perform worse. Be very careful. A web site represents your church. Treat with respect.

    But as a brother in Christ, I can get you pointed in the right direction:

    Go to www.useit.com for awesome guidance from the leading expert in web usability, Jakob Nielsen.

    Go to any decent bookstore and get books on usability, web design, and online writing.

    Nick Usborne's NET WORDS (paper $16.95) is terrific book on online writing.

    Get WEB DESIGN: THE COMPLETE REFERENCE by Thomas A. Powell (paper $39.99) for technical and general guidelines and rules for web sites. Slug through it, it will be good for you. You can skip the HTML code stuff and stick with the info text.

    Get WEB STYLE GUIDE (paper $18.95, yalebooks.com) for nice 4 color photos of good web sites, and great, authoritative information.

    You can't just throw a web site up and expect people to love it. You must spend many hours, weeks, years perfecting your knowledge--and revising or totally redoing your site.

    It's extremely difficult to do it right. Any construction project is hard, but worth it.

    For fast wisdom to get oriented, check out Jakob Nielsen books and useit.com--you will get really smart really fast. Visit church sites, take notes on what's good and what's horrible. Most web sites are pretty poor as far as usability and online writing quality.

    Good grace to you in this very holy and difficult adventure!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Thanks for the great info, Vaspers. I will be checking it all out.

    At ForMinistry, the site does all the work. But I want to learn how to do it "from scratch" so I can do it again later.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  12. td

    td
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    As one who looks at lots of web sites, the most annoying are those with streaming midi files. A good web site with good content doesn't need a rinky dink midi tune to trash it up. Just my opinion.
     
  13. MsGuidedAngel

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    I personally don't care for MIDI music in web pages! It loads slower for people on dialup. Plus sometimes the MIDI makes mistakes and might start in the middle of the song and make a loud pop when opening the web page at first. Those are just my personal feelings and opinions on MIDIs. [​IMG]
     
  14. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Well, most of the people I know have dial-up (including myself).

    For now, I have put the website on the back burner. Everytime I try to work on it, my mind goes blank, which is highly unusual for me!

    I have not completely abondoned the idea, but it will have to wait.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  15. MsGuidedAngel

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    Hiya Trotter [​IMG] ,

    uh huh I agree. I have four web pages I have built from nothing. My latest is "Kristi Ann's Haven". It's a Labor of Love for God building my newest site YaY! I have a lot of knowledege in URLs and HTML coding.

    I am not an expert. "Everytime I feel in control, God says woe young lady, I am in Charge" uh huh Love You Lord & thankie for the reminder" "God is in the Drivers seat and I am just His passenger in this journey we call life"!

    Love Bro [​IMG]

    Kristi Ann :D
     
  16. Trotter

    Trotter
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    OK, here's an update.

    We (myself and the other two guys who are in on this) are meeting Thursday evening over pizza to get the ball rolling. We've been checking out MANY church websites and plan on plagerizing at will.

    We've asked our pastor to join us. We figure it would be pointless to go through all the work, only to be vetoed in the home stretch. This way, we can get his vision of what he wants the website to be (and we can pick his brain for ideas).

    I'll post any other developments as they occur.

    Thanks for all the links. They helped a lot.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  17. jRich

    jRich
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    Not to brag or anything, but check out fbceasley.org. I've done most of it by hand, but I have copied here and there from other sites.

    I can get you free hosting if you need it (for like a domain or something).
     
  18. LauraB

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    I am not a professional but I put together a website and maintain it for my church. Basically do not get discouraged. Take it one page at a time and before you know it you get like me with over 70 pages. Your Pastor I am sure will have ideas on what he would like on teh site, and maybe other memebers. I have a picture page with links leading to all our functions. Here is the wesite, feel free to look around it and if you need help or have a question I would be happy to help if I can. MY CHURCH WESITE
     
  19. Trotter

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    JRich, LauraB,

    Both great websites. When we get ours up and running, I'll post a link.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  20. PastorNick

    PastorNick
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    I am a Pastor located in Massachusetts, and
    I help churches, ministries and small businesses to create meaningful websites.

    It's a part-time business that I run to supplement my bi-vocational pastorate.

    If you need some help from someone you can trust, and someone who has been there, feel free to contact me.

    PastorNick
     

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