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Managing a Spiritualist Center

How to Build a Church Website
By:Sylvia Cochran

Learning how to build a church website only requires a rudimentary knowledge of Internet applications. That said, it is quite simple also to make a host of mistakes that could be divided into two general categories: failure to plan, and failure to execute consistently. When you follow the steps below, you learn not only how to build a church website but also how to keep it looking like the kind of site that will attract visitors to come back time and time again.

Define the needs of your church website. One size does not fit all congregations, and some use a website as simply a public face for the church shopper, while others use it to stay in contact with members of the congregation throughout the week. Write down everything you want your church website to do on a pad. Invite plenty of suggestions from the congregation!

Calculate the number of pages you need to link to the homepage. If you want to have one page for each ministry within your congregation, factor this in. For example, you might have a page for the married ministry, one for the singles, one for the college campus student ministry, one for the kids, one for the mature Christians, and so on. Tailor it to suit the number and kinds of ministries you have.

Plan on non-specific ministry pages you want to add. Once you have your homepage and your ministry pages in place, consider adding one each for a congregational calendar, committees, missions, and reading room.

Find an Internet hosting provider, such as E-zekiel, that fits into your budget. Register your domain name. The name needs to be easy to spell and remember and be followed with a .org, not a .com—unless your church is little more than a commercial business enterprise and not an organization.

Put message board software onto certain pages to allow members to interact. This might be great for the committee pages and also a chat area where those in the reading room might interact with one another if they want to discuss things.

Place a newsletter registration option on the church’s homepage. Another set of good things to place on the homepage are natural photos of smiling church members. A slide show is best. Keep it simple and quick loading, adding and subtracting photos at least one a month. Make sure you include photos of folks from all ages and races, but try not to show the faces of kids other than in profile. The homepage should also show a list of upcoming events—specifically where you will be meeting for the weekend worship—and provide a very brief welcome message as well as links to sermon notes or downloads.

Identify members of the congregation who could become the “official” website administrator, freelance writer with a pithy tone who can provide the text for the pages, photographer who will be in charge of shooting and uploading photos to their respective pages, forum moderators, and so forth. Consider holding a writing and photography contest among the church members to find the best individuals for the task.