Tips for Creating a Ministry Website

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by Brian30755, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Brian30755

    Brian30755
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    A friend of mine has a good basic guide for building a Church or Ministry website. It's at http://www.thenationsforchrist.com/html/web.html. Click on "Guide to Building a Website".

    I just moved my site to CityMax. It's at http://www.allaboutevangelism.com. I think it looks fairly good, especially for someone like me who has very limited knowledge of designing websites. CityMax has some great features that makes it really easy to get your site going.

    Do you have any suggestions or recommendations to add for someone who wants to get a website for their Church or Ministry?
     
  2. Brian30755

    Brian30755
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I just noticed that the guide for building a Church or Ministry website is no longer there. Sorry.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,196
    Likes Received:
    374
    DH and I are designing our church's new website (www.nbc.org) and he's mostly done a lot of online and book study on designing ministry websites. I remember him saying things like "not too much information on one page", "no picture of the church on the front page", "lots of visual and pictures", etc. We're working on it! :D
     
  4. Brian30755

    Brian30755
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know if that link is to your new site or your old site, but it looks really good to me.

    I've tried using FrontPage, but I just don't seem to have the time to really dig-in and learn how to use all its features. I know the resources are out there (many of them free) for anyone who wants to learn how to create a website, but you've got to be willing to set aside the time to study and work on it. Lack of time is why I went with someone like CityMax, because it just takes a few minutes to get your site up and running.
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,196
    Likes Received:
    374
    Yep - that's the new site. I know what you mean about time - DH researched programs for about 6 months before we went with Drupal. We like the way it can be customized - yet changed when we want it to. We've still got a lot I want to add to the site (ministry of the month is a biggie for me - that will build a whole list of all the ministries we have, the history behind them and what they do). It's been a learning experience for the two of us! (he's responsible for the look and layout - I'm responsible for the content).
     
  6. kubel

    kubel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    0
    If anyone needs ad-free, free web hosting for their church, please PM me and I can setup an account for you (or see the link in my signature).

    We run a VPS (nothing special, dual opteron node located at colo4dallas, premium Level (3) and Internap connectivity) featuring CentOS (linux), cPanel 11 (control panel), Fantastico (script installer), PHP5 (server side language), MySQL5 (database), etc... It's probably more for the intermediate user, since we don't have a easy to use web builder (licenses for those are A LOT). But we do have FrontPage Extensions installed, and Fantastico lets you easily install a number of easy to use CMS's.

    Free accounts have 50MB disk space, 700MB bandwidth, and unmetered features- but if you need more disk space or bandwidth, please let me know and I'll try to work something out.
     
  7. Brian30755

    Brian30755
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's why I went with CityMax. Because I understood absolutely none of that. :laugh:
     
  8. kubel

    kubel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    0
    :laugh: :type:
     
  9. joycebuckner

    joycebuckner
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    All of you had to have studied computers either all or most of your lives. I do good to turn mine on. Anything that I do beyond that is an accident...:laugh:
    My son's high school just assigned every student in the school a laptop computer. Maybe he will learn more on how to do these things that you all are speaking of. If nothing else, learn what the words mean....I understand Greek better then computers. But then I never messed with one until lately.
     
  10. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand none of this either, but how easy is it to set up a web site there? Can you update it easily and often? Detail man, details (in English, please).
     
  11. Bro. Williams

    Bro. Williams
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    The webiste we use is published through Frontpage, which to me is one of the easiest publishing tools available. With that said, it had its limitations. Fortunately, someone with little knowledge in computer langauge and such can use it with just a little bit of practice.
     
  12. kubel

    kubel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    0
    In English:
    We simply provide free hosting without ads. ;)

    What a Web Host does:
    Web Hosting is the service that allows you to put your files on the Internet. Web hosts provide a fast server with an always on connection to the Internet. Generally, they also take care of all the technical stuff (server management). And they provide technical support. Web design is another service that is usually taken care of by the client (generally not by the web host).

    How easy is it to set up a web site:
    It can be easy. It can also be hard. It all really depends on what type of site you want and how well one is with learning something new. A basic site requires HTML coding. A lot of people don't know HTML, so they rely on web page builder programs that do the coding for them.

    Some people like to use FrontPage (like Bro. Williams mentioned). FrontPage is a very easy to use program that lets you build web sites, and with a little practice, you can produce some very professional results. I used to use FrontPage myself. Our server features FrontPage Extensions, which in English, lets FrontPage talk to the server.

    Other web building programs are available (such as Nvu, Dreamweaver, etc...). I use Dreamweaver now. It's a lot like FrontPage, but has a more powerful coding interface.

    If you can't code HTML, and you don't want to use a program that does it for you, you might find a CMS useful. CMS stands for Content Management System. They are very appropriate for churches since they manage all your pages and provide a simple interface to post new sites, with no need to know HTML. And unlike FrontPage or Dreamweaver, they are entirely web-based, so you (or others) can update the site whenever they want to and wherever they want to. It can take a bit to learn about all of the features, but everyone I've spoke to that builds church sites with a CMS has had nothing but high praise for CMS systems.

    A popular and easy to use CMS is Drupal. It's very efficient, very simple, yet expandable, and is perfect for a church or ministry site. They can take a few minutes to install, so our server has a feature called Fantastico De Luxe. It's basically an installer for commonly used scripts, like CMS's.

    If you are still completely lost, I can set up a free account for you and install Drupal on it. That way you can get your feet wet and see if it's right for you. There's also plenty of people here on BaptistBoard that use Drupal as well, I'm sure they could help you as well if you need any tips along the way. If it turns out it's still too complicated and you think you might try another place, you can cancel the account- no worries. It's free anyway, so there's no risk giving it a try. :thumbs:

    Let me know if I can help out. :type:
     
  13. nexxus

    nexxus
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is this similar to Mambo which has modules you can modify? I tried this out once and it gave someone the ability (admin) to log in and add in announcements, syndicated news, etc. But it seems like this was on a special web hosting account. I have a friend who has a website at
    http://www.prophezine.com that uses a special modular format. He really likes it. I have a website at http://www.prophecyforum.com that I'd like to redesign, but I have so many pages now that it would take forever to make everything look the same. Maybe redesign just the main page and a couple of others.:type:
     
  14. kubel

    kubel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, it's a lot like Mambo/Joomla. I've used Mambo in the past as well. It too is a great CMS, but it has a larger footprint and isn't as efficient. It can also perform poorly (compared to other CMS's) if you get a lot of traffic. Drupal is a lot more lightweight and has a simpler interface, IMO.

    Mambo/Joomla is probably more feature-filled, has more modules and plugins available, and probably has a lot better themes made for it- but I just don't like the admin interface. There's just too much eyecandy and busyness. Sometimes I just prefer simplicity over power.

    Mambo, Joomla, Drupal, Geeklog, Xoops, etc... all rely on a PHP/MySQL equipped server. Most servers have PHP and MySQL installed, but most budget hosts don't. Fantastico can auto install all of those above (there's probably about a dozen CMS's it will auto-install).

    One other thing as you've mentioned that I really like about CMS's is they handle all the pages and take care of design consistency. Using a software web editor doesn't always produce consistent design. Design consistency probably has the biggest impact on overall professionalism that a site projects. So having a system taking care of that is a big relief for those coming from a static site.
     
  15. nexxus

    nexxus
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went over to the Prophezine website and checked and he is using the dotnetnuke application, which is great for his particular needs; that is, a membership site with login capabilities. It utilizes an ASP platform. I decided that I wasn't ready for this, so I stuck with my made-from-scratch site, which is basically built from tables. Since I built mine, I am better able to fix it when something goes wrong. I tried a forum, but I couldn't ever figure out how to keep the spam out, so I deleted it. I would love to start up a new one, but the time factor can be a real turn-off.
     

Share This Page

Loading...