As the saying goes, you get what you pay for when it comes to websites. But that doesn't mean that you have to spend a lot to get a lot. Before you sign a contract with a developer, consult someone who has walked the same road as you before. It ensures that you aren't paying for a Rolls Royce to get to and from the grocery store. Consider consulting your diocesan communications office for a second opinion as to what might fit your parish best.
Website Design Tips
- Seven Whole Days has a series of posts on church websites: Thirteen Commandments for your website, Make great websites for cheap! How to Kill Your Church by Misusing the Internet
Types of Website Platforms
- Wordpress, a blogging platform around since 2003, is a robust platform. Wordpress has a a lot to offer: You can optimize SEO, add plugins, explore analytics, add donation tools, and more. You can create a complex site with multiple menus and substructures with Wordpress. The learning curve can be tough if you're not tech-savvy. On WordPress, you have to spend time to really get what you want and get familiar with the site's complex network of how things work. You'll also have to learn a bit of HTML. While that will help you in the long run, it's frustrating to try building an effective site and get into coding 101. Examples: episcopalcolorado.org, cathedralridge.org, faith.episcopal.co
- DNN (http://www.sjcathedral.org)
- Squarespace, launched in 2004, is a feature-rich platform that is very user friendly for non-tech people. It is a drag and drop website builder and is focused on creating a highly polished experience for users. Squarespace performs well on mobile. Its templates are responsive, meaning you can "resize your browser and the content," according to a five-star review on blog Website Builder Expert. A truly responsive website is priceless in the digital age of tablets and mobile devices. (ascensiondenver.org, stjohnsbreck.org, stpaulslakewood.org, coloradoesc.org, holycomforter.net, stjohnsouray.org, stbdenver.org, stpauls-fc.org, stambrosechurch.org, allsaintsepiscopalchurch.com)
- Weebly starts off free, but subscriptions range from $8 to $38 per month. Subscription service to weebly allows you to remove weebly branding/ads. The platform has a variety of themes, and easily walks you through its setup, from creating pages to adding text. For very simple websites without a lot of pages or content, and for easy administration of a drag & drop builder, Weebly is a good solution. Examples: standrewsemporia.org, saintmarysmiddlesboro.org,
The Episcopal Church in Colorado provides free assistance in developing websites for churches in the diocese on the Squarespace platform. If a separate platform is needed or desired, The Episcopal Church in Colorado can provide assistance in connecting churches to providers that can meet your needs.