That being said, there are some things that we need to keep in mind when we're starting the congregation's website...
You're Not Investing In Retirement!
Here are a couple websites that I recommend for churches to use that are cheap, effective, and user friendly (remember, the person building the church's website may not be around forever so get a host that anyone can pick up quickly and with little down time):
- Weebly.com - This is what we use at the PFP! You can go as cheap as completely free, and it's by far the most user friendly in my opinion.
- Squarespace.com - Another great resource. Sometimes a little more pricey and it does have some quirks user-interface wise, but the product is absolutely great!
- Wordpress.com - In my opinion, Wordpress is the least user-friendly platform on this list but it is still pretty easy and inexpensive.
- Wix.com - When the top three don't work, use Wix. It's my last recommendation when I'm working with churches on their websites, but it's much better than many of the options on the market today.
The Website Is Your Electronic Foyer!
In most church buildings, there is an area right when the visitor walks in where he finds tracts, a welcoming face, information about the church and even some insight into the coming worship service (like the bulletin). Your website needs to have the same things!
I can't remember how many people I have talked through over the years that were visiting with us that already knew everything about us before they even stepped foot into the building, and it helped them feel at home. While there's something to say about having evangelistic material on a churches website (I'll write about that later), always remember that when a person gets done viewing your website they need to feel at least like they wouldn't be a fish out of water when they come on Sunday.
Mimicry Isn't Stealing!
Me - "Ok, so have you looked around and found some websites that you like that we can take the ideas and run with?"
Church Member - "Well, no... I didn't think about it really."
Before you EVER sit down to make your church's website, go find at least five other church websites that have things you'd like to have on your site. Each website needs to be specific to your congregation so don't expect to just use the standard template with the standard stuff on it and be done. In this case, stealing is permitted (so long as you aren't stealing copyrighted works of course)!