AFFORDABLE CHURCH WEBSITES WITH FREE UPDATES
The most common question for a church website is…
Who will update the website?
Pastors and church leaders tell us the same thing every day, it’s hard to find someone committed to updating the website and uploading sermons.
You want to have a website that is regularly updated. It should have your current church events, maybe a calendar, but at least recent sermons. This is easier said than done.
You may have said to yourself, “I’ll just figure out how to update the website so I can do all of the updates myself.”
A pastor at a medium sized (~250 weekly attendance) Southern Baptist church once told me…
“We have a part time tech guy. His primary job is to upload the sermons every week. We pay him 10 hours per week and he is 6 weeks behind on my messages. My sermons are not online weekly. Every few months he uploads all of them, but I’ve had to push him constantly. At every staff meeting, I mention it again. He promises to do it, but it doesn’t happen. I’ve now had to give him a written warning. I’m saddened to say that has not helped the situation. I probably need to fire him.”
This is a common problem for pastors. At CalTech Web, we believe that you should focus on preaching and shepherding the flock that God has given you. After all, you shouldn’t be dealing with these issues.
In Acts 6, the Apostles didn’t want to have to deal with a problem so they appointed men to serve in that work so they could focus on “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).
We are that workforce for you and your church. You focus on prayer and ministry of the word while we take care of your online presence.
CalTech Web will update your website
Many church websites fail as they become stagnant. If your church members are out of town and miss the service, they would expect to be able to find the latest sermon that same week. If your website hasn’t been updated recently, they won’t keep coming back and checking.
We will update your website at no additional cost. As part of our $99/month package, we will update your website every week.
The easiest way to overcome the lack of regular updates is to pay someone. The problem with paying someone to update your church website is that for most churches, this is an hour a week.
That leads to many questions…
- Do you want to pay someone $20 per hour for one hour of work per week?
- Are they qualified as a 1099 subcontractor or do they need to be on the payroll?
- If they’re on the payroll, do they need insurance or retirement?
- Who is going to manage that person?
- Who will verify the changes are made in a timely manner?
Hiring a very part time employee often increases the workload for the pastoral staff. We (CalTech Web founders, Brandon and Nathan) have both been in church ministry for many years and understand the difficulties and nuances that pastors face every day. We want to help alleviate those problems so that you can focus on your ministry while we support your ministry from the outside.
In-House vs. Outsourcing Church Website Creation and Maintenance
Here are a few things to consider before choosing to handle the church website internally or getting outside help.
Can you afford a small fee?
Most website companies charge an hourly fee. This can range from $40-100 per hour. If you’re paying $75 per hour and it takes them one hour to upload a weekly sermon, you’re paying $300 per month in website maintenance costs.
CalTech Web includes these maintenance costs in our $99/month church website package. If you can afford $99 per month, you can afford to have your website updated as often as you would like.
Do you have a volunteer who is reliable?
If you currently have a volunteer who regularly attends your church and they enjoy the work, let them do it! Check in regularly with them to ensure they are still enjoying their labor.
Ask your website volunteer one simple question, “Do you want to continue maintaining the website, or would you like me to start looking for someone else to take over?”
This allows them to gracefully bow out of the work, and if they’re not enjoying the work, there is probably somewhere else they’re better suited to serve the Lord.
Beware of “Church Volunteer Burnout”
In the past, I (Brandon) have maintained my church website. It’s a commitment of time and energy. With a young family, a business, and other church responsibilities, it was hard to make time. I didn’t enjoy it, but I was willing. This was causing “church volunteer burnout”.
If your volunteers are not within their spiritual giftings, they will likely not enjoy the work they’re doing and eventually wish they never would have volunteered.
Does My Church Need a Website?
Short answer, “Yes.” Here is why…
A survey from Pew Research Center shows that in 2016, 37% of people looked online when they began looking for a new church. This means that over one-third of people who are looking for a church, will find (or not find) you online.
If for no other reason, having a website will bring in new people to worship with you. Once they have searched and found your website, that won’t be what makes them attend or keep attending. That will be other factors.
Your website doesn’t bring in new members, but it does offer a first impression of who you are, what you preach, your statement of faith (or statement of beliefs), your church leadership, and what your facility looks like.
If you do not have a website, you’re potentially missing out on 37% of people looking for a new church.
Important Parts of a Church Website
Every church website should have a couple of critical things.
1. Statement of Faith/Beliefs – This tells both congregants as well as visitors what to expect. Are you in agreement with them doctrinally? If not, where do you diverge? This helps pave the way for a consistent set of expectation between the preacher and the hearer.
2. Pastoral Staff – This is often the most visited page on a website. People want to know their pastoral staff. Who is the preacher? Where did he go to school? What does he like? Is he married? Does he have children? Those are just a few of the questions someone may want to know about the pastors, both paid and volunteer.
3. Mobile Friendly Layout – Over 53% of website traffic happens on a mobile phone or tablet. Your website should be optimized for both mobile as well as desktop computers. Both should be tested to ensure a consistent experience. Are pictures visible on mobile devices? Does the menu or header block any part of the page? Does the contact form work and display correctly on a cell phone?
4. Address and Contact Information – Every page of your church website should have the church address as well as the primary contact methods (phone and email, or phone and contact form). In order to serve all ages and computer abilities, your website should be as easy to navigate as possible. If someone simply needs your address, it should be easy to find. We try to put the NAP (name, address and phone number) into the bottom (footer) of every website. That’s the most common place someone will look.
5. “I’m New” Information – This can include frequently asked questions (FAQ), a message from the pastor, information about children’s and youth ministries, and unique facets about your church.
6. Online Sermons – We are strong believers that your sermons should be posted online. A member who is out of town for a week wants to keep up with your preaching. New visitors use online sermons to get to know you. Out of state and country Christians may stumble upon your preaching. I (Brandon) found a pastor 1500 miles away at a small country church that I listen to regularly and I found him by accident. I’ll never go to his church and I’ll never meet him, but his preaching ministers to me.
7. Online Giving – This one is debatable. Some churches choose not to have online giving as they prefer it to be done in person. We can help set up online giving if you would like to have online giving as an option on your website.
First Steps for a Church Website
We help walk pastors, elders, admin staff and volunteers through this process on a daily basis. We can help your church website to accomplish your goal.
We like to start with our discovery questionnaire. You’ll be asked a couple of questions that will help us direct the design and development of your website. This is a pretty quick process.
During this process we want to identify your color scheme, your logo, website content, staff bio’s, pictures and any other information that may be helpful on your website.
If you don’t have a logo, pictures or biographical information, don’t worry, we can help with as much as you need. We want to help!
Once we start gathering the information, we’ll start putting it together on your website. As we’re building your website, we will want your feedback. You can change the layout, colors, pictures, or anything else you want. You can take an active role in choosing every detail, or a passive role and let us handle the bulk of the decision making process.
Each church is different and we want to serve every church in the ways that make it unique.
We have worked with churches as small as 25 weekly attendance to over 6000 weekly attenders spread over multiple services each weekend.
We have vast experience not just in building church websites, but also in serving in paid and lay ministry positions.
We understand churches and the needs of churches on an intimate level.
We come from diverse theological backgrounds and believe in unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, and love and grace for all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Your church website should be unique and reflect your church, to the glory of God!