Website Info

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by Tom Bryant, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Who designed your church's website?
    Did you get a package deal? If so, how much did it cost?
    Are you happy with it?

    What do you know now that you wish you knew before hand?
    Does your office staff keep it updated? Or does a layperson?
    How easy is it to update?

    Lots of questions but thanks for any help.
     
  2. JamieinNH

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    I didn't and haven't designed a church website, but I did design my companies website, so I will take a shot at your questions, and hopefully, even though it's not a church website, it will be helpful to you.



    Me

    I bought a template for 29.00 and tweaked it from there.

    Yes

    I started without buying a template, and was working with mine from stratch. I redid my site a dozen times before I even came close to 1) me liking it, and 2) it representing what I wanted, and how I wanted it to look on the web.

    If I had it to do ALL over again, I would find a template that closely match what I was looking for, and would tweak it to make it "different" and "special" and not "store bought" looking.

    Also, and I am in the process of this one now: I would use a CMS script to make it easier to manage. I am currently converting my template over to a www.Joomla.org template which makes it easier to update and maintain.

    Yes, Me again. When It's converted over to Joomla, I will be able to have several people help maintain it along with me. Sharing the work load...

    Hard to start with, since I had a static template, each change had to be made by hand. After I am done converting my template to Joomla, it will be a snap. Of course, as with anything, there is a learning curve with Joomla, but it's well worth it after you learn how to manage it.

    Hope this helps! If you're thinking of doing a website for your church and you run into a problem, or need help, PM me, I will gladly do what I can.

    Jamie
     
  3. mcdirector

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    First -- the church bought a package that was supposed to be easy for lots of people to use and keep its consistency. Well, it is consistent, but it isn't easy to use. I've done precious little with the Media Center link because it's such a big deal. Site does look good though. I don't know how much it costs as I wasn't involved at that end.

    http://calvarynow.com

    And look at this horrendous address it generated for the media center page: http://www.calvarynow.com/CC_Content_Page/0,,PTID320286|CHID652532|CIID,00.html . All the pages are like that!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I have designed several sites. I made my own template for these. I like making my own template. I'm the only one who enters info. On the school site, people send me info to enter on the site.

    Here are some to look at:

    http://cbdscougars.com

    http://bitsygriffin.org

    http://bitsygriffin.org/algebra

    After I designed the template, I can open it in a variety of programs to make changes easily.

    I wish I'd outlined a master plan for the school website before I started. There was a period when I kept getting stuff and didn't know where to put it. Because of that it just kind of grew. Then I had to take a step back and outline what we really needed. Also, at first, I had a home page on which stuff could be added. Because of that, people kept sending stuff saying, this is important! put it on the homepage. Well, that's just not feasible, so I changed the home page so that it is not a repository for everyone's announcements.

    Because I'm working on my masters in Tech Communication, I've been able to work in a couple of web-design courses. A really good resource is The Non-Designer's Web Book by Robin Williams. After I read this book, I went back and changed some things on all my pages.

    I too would be happy to help if you have more questions or run into snags.

    Biggest thing -- outline or do a story board of what you want before you start.
     
    #3 mcdirector, Aug 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  4. Tom Bryant

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    Thank you all very much. I will start working on the story board and get a copy of that book.

    You all are a great source of info.
     
  5. Bear

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    mcdirector,

    I looked at all your web sites, very good. Good job on the pictures too! A Masters in Tech Communication huh, very impressive!




    [​IMG]
     
  6. BibleMaMa

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    I myself designed and built my church website. I also maintain it. As far as I know there are no complaints with the wasy it looks or the way it is done.

    For me it is a learning experience. I knew nothing of building websites and I started with a free site until I felt comfortable enough to plungs and buy my own, I still learn something new all the time about how to do somthing.

    Regrets? Some... I started an internet ministry and started building and maintaining for other churches and evangelists, missionaries etc... I would treat it like a missionary or evangelist would treat their ministry, a "love offering" basis. Didn't quite work out that way and now I am refusing churches until I come up with a price list!

    Be weary, you will get taken advantage of, even by a Christian.

    What exactly are you looking for?
     
  7. tinytim

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    We just use Bravenet. I maintain it myself, and our church loves it... I know for a free site, it is not the best looking, but considering I know nothing about HTML, I thought it was simple to build.

    Not hard to make changes also.
     
  8. Bible Believing Bill

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    Our chruch is currently redesigning its website, because the member who created, maintained, and owned the domain, has left the curch. Therefore our website dissapeared.

    This time the curch will own the domain name so that the site will be able to be maintained no matter who comes or goes. I will watch this thread with intrested to see what I can learn.

    Bill
     
  9. exscentric

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    I have done several sites over the years. I did them from scratch using the "composer" program that came with the older netscape browsers - it may still, don't know.

    In fact the first one I did I did the original way, with code :p My eyes were crossed before that was over.

    Our public library supplied free space for non-profits so I used their free offer. They also provided an email address.

    One site I did, for my graduating class, 19mmruph, was fun to set up, but I've run out of ideas to entertain oldies but goodies - it is hard to overcome :sleep:

    I use godaddy.com for one site, the library for a mirror and just set up my main site with domain with one of the kind offers that appeared in this section awhile back.

    I find it fairly easy to use ftp: to update the sites. All I have to do is remember what all I have to do - long todo list on a notepad works much better than my brain these days :laugh:
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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  11. Don

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    $20 a month? $200 a year? Isn't that kind of steep for only 3 e-mail accounts and about 30 web pages?

    Might I suggest PJL Hosting? pjlhosting.com $50 a year for 500 megs. Up to 5 sub-domains. Up to 50 e-mail accounts. This assumes you have a domain name, and know something about setting up/working with web site.

    To let them do most of the work, purchase one of their domain plans from pjldomains.com Purchase a plan, and it's $1.99 for the domain name; plans run from $4.95 a month for 50 megs to $12.95 a month for 4 gigs (with up to 400 e-mail accounts).

    And no, I don't work for them. But I do use them, and if someone says they were referred by me, I get a discount from my annual fees (which you get, too, for each referral).
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    i will check them out. thanks
     
  13. JamieinNH

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    If you're looking for a cheap, dependable place to host, and you're willing to handle the website yourself <building it, maintaining it> I would go to one of two places.

    Godaddy.com or FutureQuest.net, with Futurequest.net being my pick.

    Godaddy offers cheap domain purchasing, plua they have starter hosting for something like $3.95 per month. If you outgrow them, then you can move to a new host without much problems.

    FutureQuest is where I run my business site, and they are an honest host. They hardly ever go down, and if they do, they are in the forums and will give you an ETA, usally within minutes. They keep their computers upgraded and running smoothly, they help fight spam and all the "evil" of running a website away from you.

    Their prices start at $9.95

    Go to their forums, http://www.futurequest.net and and check out how they treat people, and the nice kind way they handle things. They are in my opinion, the best host.


    Jamie
     
  14. Tom Bryant

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    Thanks, Jamie... I don't have the time or the ability to build and maintain, but we're looking within the church for someone who might help.

    Thanks
     
  15. Trotter

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  16. Filmproducer

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    I would not recommend godaddy.com. We had awful customer service. We use globat.com for our sites, and have had no problems. I love the fact that you can host up to 7 domains on 1 account.Their packages are also very resonable priced.

    For more information go to: http://globat.com/
     
  17. mnw

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  18. Proud2BIFB

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    I use Interland or now it is web.com

    You pay 9.95 per month for the basic solution and you get 30 e-mail's and a huge amount of space. I built my church website and I must have over 50 pages and a lot of files on there and I still have plenty of space.

    You can change the backgrounds, add HTML codes, add flash, animation, sound. And it is so simple to use.

    here is the link: http://www.web.com/website-design/make-a-website.aspx

    Look at the very first offer.
     
  19. kubel

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    I highly recommend a cPanel web host. cPanel is probably the most powerful and most standardized control panel (which makes moving to another host nice).

    I strongly recommend AGAINST going with a host that provides a free domain name with your hosting, or a host that provides a proprietary control panel. There are horror stories about people that have went this route and run into problems when they want to move to another host. Instead, get your domain name with a known registrar and then get your hosting.

    If you are looking for a paid hosting company with plenty of room to grow, I would recommend HostGator. They have excellent reviews and provide excellent service.
    http://www.hostgator.com/

    If you are looking for a free host, I can hook you (or anyone else here) up with free cPanel hosting (with all the bells and whistles, including Fantastico) for their church, ministry, etc.... Just shoot me a PM. :type:
     
  20. Not_hard_to_find

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    Thanks, Tom, for asking the question. It was extremely timely for our church. We have a volunteer who worked on the website and we needed research for web hosting.

    So, additional huge thanks to all the posters to this question. Your information provided me a morning of education and enlightenment as I surfed through your suggestions. I now have material to present to our committee. Along with great price/storage/bandwidth, I have specific examples.

    Thanks -- to each and every one of you!
     

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