Basic Church Website

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by Eoghan, Jul 1, 2019.

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  1. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    Looking into setting up a church website. It will not be sophisticated or anything just a basic site that will be updated now and again. Thinking of a budget of £6 a month with gandi.net. Their basic package goes up to about £6 a month after the first year.

    Anyone got experience of them or would redirect me elsewhere? Looking for templates that I can tweak.
     
  2. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    Bishopbriggs Free Church got back to me, they use Wix. It works out at £6 a month for the first year. Weebly is cheaper but you pay more for a password protected page which might be useful for a list of church members, addresses etc...
     
  3. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    Anticipating the construction I find a degree of irony in that what is primarily a text based faith, a website is primarily graphic. How have other churches dealt with this? My solution would be to try and go for text and colours rather than pictures of people.

    What are the thoughts of my brethren?
     
  4. PaulCLawton

    PaulCLawton Puritan Board Freshman

    You do see many church websites with photos of people (presumably members) and I think they can be good on the margins so-to-speak, but not as primary items - they can tend to look outdated quickly. On our church website which was re-done this year by a young fellow in our federation, we have a banner photo taken during one of our Bible studies in the "calendar" section, but that is pretty much it.
    Primarily you should focus on having the most important info easy to find, and if you have any sections which are meant to be current (sermons, calendar, etc.) keep them up-to-date.
     
  5. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Are you going to be writing your own HTML and CSS? Are you able to code and maintain responsive design?
     
  6. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    I might tweak a bit here or there but no. From what I can gather a lot of churches are using templates from wix.com
     
  7. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    As someone who feels fairly comfortable with html and css, I also don't see any reason to design your own website any more. Minor tweaks, sure, but let a template handle all the mobile vs desktop cases for you. No need to do extra work. Wix should work just fine.
     
  8. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    If you can get a prefab site to handle responsive design for you, you're likely looking at more than 6 bucks. Last time I checked our numbers, we were running about 2-1 mobile users vs. desktop. Our redesign is mobile-first to reflect our users.

    We've used Squarespace for at least 10 years which runs about $12 a month. You can work from a pre-designed template and do no coding or use their building blocks plug and play. They have a developers' mode if you want to get into the grease pits or simpler code-injection which is what I use to tweak.

    The fee includes a custom domain if you pay by the year or you can use an outside domain service like we do.

    They'll let you have a free site for a few weeks which will let you see if you like their approach. They've also been generous in letting me open added free sites to play with new templates and designs, kind of like a sandbox.
     
  9. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    I've been doing online stuff for 20 years and I would highly advise you go with something easy to use rather than least expensive. Your time is very valuable and technical issues can eat up a lot of it very quickly.

    I have heard Wix is extremely easy to use and sounds like a good option. SquareSpace is another that is fairly easy. The benefits of both is that you don't have to worry about separate hosting plans or handling tech problems yourself. The downside is that if you want to move away from them it is hard to port your site to another provider.

    If you want more flexibility then go WordPress but if you don't have much web tech experience and don't need to do anything real fancy, go with the above options.

    Any of the options will let you put as much text and graphic mix as you want depending on available templates.

    Just make your site easy to use and help people get the information they need. Think of graphics as a way to help answer people's questions and gain familiarity with your church.

    If you want a great book on easy to use web design, Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think is excellent.
     
  10. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    Using wix at wix.com. I was pleasantly surprised that it is an Israeli company based in Tel Aviv. Anyway I have produced a church website at https://eoghan396.wixsite.com/mysite
    The site has embedded audio play for sermons, a link to a quiz on the Free Church and a secure page for members only password currently 'JohnGill'. I am awaiting clearance to connect a domain name and to tidy up the information and use a Free Church quiz that the elders have authorised but it demonstrates what is possible. With everything on hold I went on to develop my own site - creationist genetics. Again I am just using the free options at present but it shows what is possible and I added a 'blog'. Not entirely sure what a blog is but I can login from anywhere and add a 'blog'. You can find that one at
    https://creationistgenetic.wixsite.com/genetics

    I figured out that the advertising appears to be for wix itself. It is not invasive or as I have seen on christian satire sites for 'russian brides' (how long until we see adverst for Venezualan brides?). So unless the advertising becomes offensive or changes you can save 50% by letting it stay when you upgrade to a basic paid package.

    The free site address seems to be based on the email address you register with so for creationist genetics I set up a hotmail account with that name. sadly there seems to be a limit on the number of characters hence the missing 's'.

    Sadly I fear that websites need to have a unity of purpose, so I will need a different one for my diverse interests. Maybe one domain name and the others free accounts?
    - creationist genetics
    - humour
    - political
    - education (?)

    If anyone knows of a website that integrates such diverse views then please let me know. I can't imagine how it would work but am open to enlightenment. I did have a website with two very different sections but that was back in the days when you wrote your own website and then uploaded it using FTP. It had a section for chemistry students and a section for chemistry teachers. One was labsix.org.html and the other labsix.org.htm. The two were completely different in layout and content but lived happily in the same hosting account.
     
  11. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    You could pay for the regular wix site; it costs a bit but it's not expensive as websites go. I use wix for ruinandredemption.com and found it really easy.
     
  12. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    Was looking to query wix about the billing - whether it is monthly or per annum (in advance). Still like to know but I inadvertently added chat to what will become our church website in the next few weeks. Anyone got experience of "chat" on a wix site.

    Feel I need to start a wix developers thread:tumbleweed:
     
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