1. Do we need a website? Aren't the Yellow Pages enough? (TOP)
Yes, these days it is essential to the success of your church to have a website. Potential members moving from another area of the country will find you easier on the Internet. However, your online presence is so much more than just letting new members find you. On your website, you have the opportunity to educate, inform, update, and edify your existing members by providing current information about your church, and upcoming events and announcements. Your church's website also shows that you are keeping up with the times and that you are in touch with the biggest development in communication in decades.
2. Who is ChurchWebsites.com and why should we deal with you? (TOP)
ChurchWebsites.com is a division of WebsiteMasters, an accomplished, christian-owned website management company that has created hundreds of websites over the last 12 years. As website developers AND Christians, we understand the needs of both extremely well.
Having worked with hundreds of churches over the years, we realized that there were many with incredible programs but they had terrible websites, or even worse, none at all. ChurchWebsites.com was created to give churches an easy and economical means to create and maintain an effective website.
3. What makes you better than other auto web-creation tools? (TOP)
Most online automatic website creation utilities are not church specific, and don't have any church designs or graphics. But the truth is that these solutions are a "one size fits all" approach to web design. They all suffer from 2 major disappointments:
1) THEY DON'T USE PRE-PROGRAMMED GRAPHICS OR PAGES SPECIFIC TO CHRISTIANITY. Usually you'll get some basic options like ABOUT US, CONTACT US, OUR STAFF. ChurchWebsites.com has pages specific to Christianity, like SERVICES TIMES, OUR MINISTRIES, CHURCH HISTORY, BIBLE SEARCH and of course you can add your own custom pages.
2) THEY GIVE YOU AN EMPTY WEBSITE "SHELL" AND YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT THE ADMIN PROCESS TO ADD CONTENT. We are serious when we say that you'll create a complete website with our process in less than 10 minutes. We know that if you have to go to an admin area, or think up content on the spot, the site might not get finished. The hardest thing you'll be asked to do is write a sentence or 2 about your staff and your ministries. However, you can choose to bypass this option and update it later if you wish.
Your time is valuable and your focus is running a church, not learning a complex process or programming HTML. To that end, we have created a simple system that takes the information that you fill into online forms and translates it into "intuitive" content. We also have thousands of Christian graphics, photos, and clipart images at your disposal should you decide to edit your website in the future. In addition, you'll be able to upload photos of members and events from your computer to your website instantly!
4. What do you mean by "FREE website," what's the catch? (TOP)
When we are approached to develop a website, we discuss two aspects of development:
1) Designing a website with custom graphics, layout, navigation and functionality. This includes adding content and graphics.
2) Hosting their site on our servers where we monitor it 24/7, maintain the connectivity to the Internet, and manage e-mail accounts.
Normally, the basic website available from a website development firm would be sold for approximately $2,500.00 or more. However, this would NOT include the ability for the client to edit or change their content. Adding that functionality would probably double the cost of the site. Premium ChurchWebsites.com packages would cost well over $10,000 to develop.
OK, so why are we giving all this to churches for FREE? Well, obviously we are in business to make money and we do that by charging a nominal monthly hosting fee to maintain your FREE website on our servers.
This monthly fee will depend on the ChurchWebsites.com package that you choose, but it usually is cheaper than most regular hosting packages (and these don't even include a FREE website). This monthly fee covers the hosting of your website, access to your password-protected online admin area, administration of your custom e-mail address(es), and FREE unlimited technical support and customer service . . and of course, your FREE website!
5. Do I need any experience to update my website's pages? (TOP)
If you can order a book on Amazon.com, you can administer your website! We have endeavored to make the update process so simple and streamlined that you could actually feel comfortable having a secretary or administrative assistant do the changes for you.
If you can fill out a form and hit "UPDATE", you should be fine. If you want to upload pictures to your website, you will need to have them in a digital format before you upload them. If you have a digital camera, you're all set. If not, you can use a scanner to convert them before uploading (you can buy a good scanner for around $60). ChurchWebsites.com also offers a custom scanning service (scanning@ChurchWebsites.com).
6. Are your servers safe from disaster and other concerns? (TOP)
YES! ChurchWebsites.com's servers are located in data centers in Northern Virginia and we actually share the same "backbone" as America Online. Our data centers are like WWII bunkers that can withstand outside catastrophe and extended power failure. In addition to backup power generators, there are redundant air conditioning units and data is backed up nightly onto tape drives. We also move a copy of all data offsite to a remote server location once a week. There is 24-hour security and we have technicians monitoring your servers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
7. What different packages are available to our church? (TOP)
Currently, we offer four different packages depending on your needs and expectations. For a complete explanation of each package and what is included, visit our website packages page.
8. What other Internet services can you offer us? (TOP)
In addition to web hosting and development, ChurchWebsites.com also offers customization (for a personalized, custom look), graphic design, logo conversion and inclusion, domain name registration, social networking consultation and much more. Once you have begun your FREE trial, one of our Member Services Representatives can help with your added website needs.
9. Can we keep our domain name if we move to your service? (TOP)
Absolutely! Initially, you will choose a temporary domain name such as www.churchwebsites.com/allsaints during the sign-up process. There will be an option during sign-up or in the administration area after sign-up to request a new domain name OR to transfer in an existing one. Even though your ChurchWebsites.com website will be available immediately online, it may take 2-3 days to register your new domain name or for your registrar to complete the transfer modifications.