Designing A Church Website On a Small Budget? Read This!
Websites are not only a powerful and effective way to not only market your church to prospective visitors, but they can also be a great way for your church body to stay connected.
As an owner of an internet marketing company for well over a decade, I have often been asked what advice I would give a small business or church wanting to launch a new website on a limited budget. Having being asked this question so often, has prompted me to sit down and post an article on this topic. I am hopeful this post may be a benefit to others with similar questions. Although my answer to this question has changed a few times over the last decade, whenever I have been asked this question over the past five years or so, my answer has remained consistent: “I would go with a WordPress theme”.
I have been personally involved in building hundreds of sites on the wordpress cms over the last 5 years, so my perspective comes with a good deal of experience. WordPress has continued to rapidly evolve, and as consumers, we get to enjoy the benefits. Here are a few of the reasons I recommend choosing WordPress:
Cost, without sacrificing quality
Although you can download a free theme, I would recommend buying one specifically built for a church (I have a list below). Church themes add functionality to your site, such as event calendars, donations, sermons, meet the staff and other pages most churches would like on their website. Most themes cost well under $100. After your theme is purchased, your only other monthly cost would be hosting. Most hosting plans cost under $15 per month.
Very easy to learn
I have always compared the WYSWIG (What You See Is What You Get) editor in wordpress, to that of a basic text editor (like Microsoft word)
Easy installation with limited knowledge
Installation is not very for someone with limited programming experience & knowledge. Of course most churches or small businesses do not have an in-house programmer, but many people have a friend or know someone with some computer skills. It doesn’t take a programmer to do the famous WordPress 5-minute installation
You can easily manage and update content
Years ago you needed to reach out to your web design company to update a photo, remove a page, edit a page, add photos, etc… WordPress makes this now doable yourself, with no additional cost.
Massive WordPress online community
WordPress has a HUGE online community, which means there are LOTS of resources. If you want to learn, or are having an issue with your wordpress site, chances are you are not the first. Simply visit Youtube or Google with your issue, and you can almost always find resources to help you resolve your issue.
Over 74 million sites run on wordpress
If 74 million website owners have chosen wordpress, than you can be pretty confident that you’re choosing a great cms.
A Slew of Professional Themes
There are thousands of professionally designed themes to choose from. Not only are there tons of beautiful themes to choose from, the overwhelming majority cost well under $100. On top of that, new themes are being consistently added weekly.
The Plugins are awesome
Not only can plugins add some major functionality to your website, they often cost nothing for you to add. Years back we would often quote 1k-5k for a major site upgrade or enhancement. Today, that same functionality can often be added to your site for free, utilizing wordpress plugins.
Google loves wordpress (and so do the other search engines)
Once you install one of the SEO plugins (I recommend Yoast), you’re wordpress site because a lean, mean SEO machine
WordPress is open-sourced, and updated constantly
Bad guys always try to gain an edge online, it’s really nice to have a CMS platform that is constantly updating, which means not only does the software constantly get easier to work with, to try and combat attacks.
WordPress is not new – so it’s not buggy
Pretty cool huh? I have not had any major site issues in years on my sites. Part of that is if there is an issue with new release, wordpress hears about it from lots of people, and it’s remedied promptly
Leading CMS market
WordPress is leading the CMS market with 67% or all cms websites choosing it. It’s closest competitor (Joomla) has an 11% share.
With that said, here are a few great options for a church looking for a wordpress theme: