How to Build a Church Website
If your church has just opened, or your church is looking to expand into new territory by increasing its online presence, you’re in the right place. ChurchesNear will become strategic to helping you build a basic church website. While some people may be able to pull off a website on their own, we ultimately believe that a church website is best left to professional web designers, but more on that later.
What You’ll Need
- Domain Name
- Hosting Account
- SSL Certificate (Free SSL Certificate for all ChurchesNear.com readers)
- Payment Integrations to Accept Donations
- Web Development Skills
- The Definitive Church Website Guide
Note: If you wish to hire a web developer, we recommend our very own website developer eternalexperts.com. We found them to be very receptive and understanding of all of our needs. In our contact with them, we were told “we only need your logo, and we will build the entire website for you, you won’t have to touch anything. If you don’t have a logo, we will create one for you!” How GREAT is that??? Our website is beautiful and has thousands of pages, which is why you should trust Eternal Experts to make your church website which will probably have about 5-10 pages. Likewise, when you hire Eternal Experts as your professional website design company, it is best to NOT purchase your domain name, and NOT purchase your hosting, as they will take care of these expenses for you with their maintenance packages, which are essential to the longevity and professionalism of your websites.
You want people to be able to find your church by your church’s name in most cases. For example, if your church name is “Church of Jesus Christ,” then you’ll probably be looking for a domain name such as churchofjesuschrist.com. There are many Top Level Domains such as .com, .co, .org, and .net. In terms of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, we believe it’s necessary to always purchase a .com as opposed to a .net, .co, or .org. However, because .org websites were originally intended for non-profit organizations, a .org domain extension may be very attractive for your church website and establish trust in the non-profit sector. It must be noted that .org is no longer dedicated to non-profits, and for-profit business entities may also purchase a .org domain name.
When you purchase a domain name, you need to “register” your domain name with a domain name registrar. To do this, it is best to use a website hosting company. We have used a few website hosting companies, and after our experiences with them, we will only make 1 solid recommendation which is to use our hosting company that we use for churchesnear.com. We recommend this hosting company for many reasons, including we had 100% uptime, their customer support is amazing if you ever need it, and it’s affordable. Even better, they include an SSL certificate for free with their hosting plans.
WHERE CAN I GET FREE WEBSITE HOSTING
If you don’t wish to pay a hosting company, our website developers will build your website for you and provide the same excellent hosting for you. They include 1 YEAR FREE HOSTING with every responsive church website design. When you purchase their website maintenance packages, your website hosting is included which is a tremendous value. Ultimately, we recommend having your website built professionally.
Churches Near LIMITED TIME OFFER: Use this link to receive a free SSL Certificate with your hosting plan.
Data encryption and website security is not something that you want to have to worry about, but you owe it to yourself and to your church patrons to take every step forward in creating a safe internet experience. SSL Certificates allow your website to be secure and in most cases allow your website to be eligible to receive online payments for your church bookstore and merchandise, as well as to receive online donations. SSL Certificates can be expensive and tricky to install. Often, we have found that they are a time-consuming installation and therefore we won’t go into detail regarding how to install an SSL Certificate onto your website in this article. Plus, it will vary depending on which website hosting company you use. You can purchase your SSL certificate in most cases from your website hosting company. If you decide to use our website hosting company they will include an SSL Certificate for free for you to install. If you need a professional website designer to install an SSL Certificate for you, our website developers will include a FREE SSL CERTIFICATE and INSTALL IT FOR FREE when you build your church website with Eternal Experts. Have you seen the lock icon on our search bar to indicate our website is secure? Yea, they did a great job! (: Make sure you get an SSL certificate before you attempt to accept payments online.
PAYMENT INTEGRATIONS TO ACCEPT DONATIONS ONLINE
We have written about this extensively. For more information about how to accept payments online, visit our article here: How to Accept Online Payments.
WEB DEVELOPMENT SKILLS
So, you’ve got your domain name, you’ve got your hosting account, and you purchased your SSL certificate or received a FREE SSL CERTIFICATE by using our link. Great! You’ve been following this guide to a tee and now you’re ready to start developing your professional website. First, we strongly encourage you to hire a professional web designer for this task for the many reasons below:
- Website development can be very time consuming. It might take you weeks to create a presentable website.
- Website tools are expensive to acquire, and the knowledge it takes to implement these tools will take a ton of your time.
- Testing: When you create a website, you need to test it on several different devices. You also have to know how to build the website for each device. It is a common problem that people run into when they build a website on a desktop or laptop computer, it might look great on the desktop, but the phone or tablet might display everything poorly and the site needs to be reworked.
- Opportunity cost: When you’re spending the time and money to build a website on your own, you could be utilizing the skills you are gifted with to promote your church, build awareness in your community, and other high priority tasks. By choosing to build a church website on your own, you have to leave behind some important tasks for a later time.
If you decide to build a church website on your own, first you will need to choose a CMS, or content management system. We recommend using WordPress for your website design. You will need to purchase a theme to install into your WordPress account, and then modify each and every detail of what the theme displays to your church website viewers. We recommend having the following pages at a minimum:
- Church Services (which will include dates and times of your church services)
- Contact Us
- About Us
- Giving or Donation Page
If you decide to have your website built professionally, we recommend using the website development company that built the website you are reading now. Just mention that you want your church website to include the 7 pages above, and they will take care of your website build quickly and professionally with 1 YEAR FREE HOSTING and a FREE SSL CERTIFICATE!
SHARE YOUR SITE!
Once your website is built, you will want to put links of your website onto all of your social media pages so that people can visit your website! You will also want to submit a sitemap to Bing and Google so that people can find your website online!
We hope this has been a great help into building your church website! If so, please share! God Bless! <3