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Where to Find Free Church Websites

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What happens if you get to the point in your church plant or relaunch and you know you need to build a church website but you really don’t have the funds for it? There are affordable ecommerce web design packages out there! Please see my other article on this site and my Hub page. What’s better than affordable? How about free?! Are there free church websites out there? The good news is that there are and I am going to give you a review of who does what and how much for free. The ones that I’ve looked at will build the site for free as long as you’re a church or do some kind of ministry. You just have to pay for the domain and any fees. Read along to know what you can get for free!

The top site to take a glance at is 2mites. This will be a wonderful place to build your church website for free. Here is what he claims:

Is it really free? Yes, the only costs to you are the unavoidable fees. These are registering the domain name and purchasing the hosting for the account. The design and implementation don’t cost anything.

Well then, how much is the hosting and the domain registration?

The hosting is $6 a month (paid in a 2 or 3 year block).

The domain registration is $10 a year (paid in a 1 to 5 year block).

So what about the parts of our site that need updating?

If your site has information that needs updated on a regular basis, such as a calendar or downloadable sermons, we can help with that as well. The monthly fee to keep the site updated is $50.

How do we get started?

All you have to do is contact me and let me know you want a site. From there we will start building your site to your specifications.

How do you do it?

First and foremost it is important to mention that we do not use any templates or frameworks. We build your site from scratch, to your exact specifications.

Also check out Free Church Websites. They claim mostly the same things, that the fees are all you have to pay for. The design work and the development don’t cost anything. Here is what they claim on their site:

Yes, the only costs to you are the unavoidable fees. These are registering the domain name (about $12 per year) and purchasing the website hosting ($20 per month through FreeChurchWebsites.com). The design and development don’t cost anything.

Finally Check out Share Faith. They don’t design anything custom for you instead you can brows their templets and then you can build your site from there. They claim:

You have an all in one outreach tool in the palm of your hand.

• Includes 58,000 Religious graphics/media library.

• World-Class Support: Live-chat, phone or email.

• Drag-and-drop easy and instant updating.

• Unlimited pages, customization, designs and templates.

• One-of-a-kind Sidekick Web-editor. No coding!

• Updated seasonal web graphics for relevant outreach.

• Comes with a blog, podcasting, calendar, tithing, gallery, video, audio.

• Thousands of free plugins for nearly any feature you can imagine.

• Connect with social outreach, – Twitter, Facebook, Google+

24GB Storage (more than you need) + unlimited email accounts.

All of these seems great for building your free church website. It all comes down to preference and how much work you want or are willing to do yourself to get a free church website.

Best Church Websites

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Maybe you’re a new church or an old church who wants to revamp and reach more people? Reaching people is what the call of the church is, to seek and save the lost and disciple them in the light of Jesus Christ. You need your information to be readily available to the masses right? This is the 21st century so it is time for a kicking website with all the bells and whistles. All the bells and whistles you may ask? Well maybe not, after all we don’t want an ugly, unmanigable site but enough to compete with the worlds glitz and glamour. The World is our competition in all things and certainly one of them is the power of the internet. At the same time it is important to remember the real reason for having a website in the first place; to relay information to your guest, members and readers. It is sort of like a smart phone, sometimes we forget the purpose of the smart phone is primarily to talk to each other. The purpose of your church website needs to be to clearly and neatly display information, the rest is frosting on top. I’ve seen some ugly church websites and some great church website design. But what are some example of the best church websites?

Let’s take a look at some of the best church websites before we get into other information. At the pinnacle of the list is Gateway Church website. This site is simple, clean, neat and it is easy to navigate through. It has a nice professional looking color scheme and the information is clearly marked and easy to read. This is a great website in my opinion. Now let’s look at Lakewood Church. This site is a little messier than I expected. But still an example of really good church website design. The main information scrolls across the front and the social media apps are clearly marked on the top of the site. Other information is marked clearly and is easy to navigate through on the side. The messiness comes with having too much information on the front page. Joel Osteen’s new article is right there along with ads for other ministries, and a church calendar. Then down below is the process for becoming a believer and joining the church. I would give this site a B while Gateway would get a A. On the search to find the best church websites I want to look at a site that is big and bold but still clean and neat. Victory Orlando is a new church in Orlando, FL! The church has the logo and major pages easily visible and accessible. Then there is a huge scrolling bar with all the major announcements and events happening. This has the potential to be overbearing and messy but it works well. If it were the first thing you saw and the other pages were not as clearly marked then I would say it was to much. Next there is a video about the new church which relays much of your information right there in a short but entertaining modern video. If you didn’t want to watch the video then you could still get the information from other pages.The site follows with the social icons and then contact information. The site is visually appealing while sill getting across important information clearly.

These are some import things to consider when building or buying your church’s website. Look at other articles on my site for being your own church website builder (webmaster for a more web savvy term), where to get free church websites, and many more web related articles full of helpful information and tips. The best church websites need to grab and keep your attention but still need to be clean and organized to get information across. I am sure there are examples of bad church websites out there but this article is not here to put anyone else down but to show you what to do right. If you know what the right things are then you won’t be tempted to do the wrong things. Happy designing! Check out my Hub page on this topic. 

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Affordable Webdesign Packages

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 Screen ShotNo matter the organization, church, team or business and no matter the size of your advertising, media or web budget you can have a great professional website. The great news is that you don’t need a professional web designer or understand confusing code! As you know web design prices can be very expensive. There are sites online that advertise affordable web design packages. Photography comes in packages as does videography so should web design. Lets look at some sites that offer web design packages.

D4You: They have a $199 and $299 package that seems reasonable. The $299 package seems like it has the best value. The plan Features, up to a 5 pages web site, logo design, up to 2 PayPal products, up to 10 images, basic SEO, the source files, and a contact form (5 fields). The project duration length is 1-2 weeks. I thought that was a great deal on a website and is very reasonably priced.

Lets also take a look at: http://woowebdesign.com/.  They offer starter, professional, and commerce packages but the downside is that they don’t show you any prices so I don’t know if their actually affordable or not. On the upside they offer a free quote and if you want to contact them their contact form is very thorough.

Another good option might be: http://www.webdesignpackages.com/home/index.asp. Their start package really is the best option at $545. With that you get 1 domain, 10 pages, 1 GB storage,15 emails, and 1hour of MTH Maintenance. All that being said there may be better options out there and there may be better design firms that can give you more quality work but they will also be custom and higher priced. 

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There is some really great deals out there. Affordable web design does not have to be out of your reach. For more information on this subject please read my Hub page.  If you live in Orlando feel free to give me a call for your website needs. You can also visit my site at: http://fliehmanwebsites.com. Fliehman Websites is a family owned business that operates on Christian principles.  We want to help small businesses and individuals with their website and blogging needs.  We can help setup a portfolio for all of your work to be on display.  We would love to help you get started with a professional looking and easy to manage website. Please contact us through the contact page so we may help you get started. We look forward to doing business with you! We charge $500 flat. We will get you started on WordPress, set up the theme you want, and get the site up and running for you just the way you want it. You can pay by Paypal or by check. Here are some links to sites we have done. My movie blog: http://seanmovrev.com/ . My wife health blog: http://your-healthy-lifestyle.com/.  My airplane fun site: http://airplanefun.com, and finally my photography and design portfolio: http://seanphotodesign.com. On that note I would be happy to do some custom design work or photography for your website. I can do logos, custom art, illustrations and much more. We look forward to your business or business referrals.

Be Your Own, Church Website Builder

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You’ve done the research, the planning, the location scouting, the pre trips and now you are excited to start your church. Wether you are starting by renting a building or if you are ready to build you still need an online presence first. There is no finer way for people that need to come to your church to find you than the internet. Your website is important and it needs to be easy to find, it needs to be easy to read and understand and it needs to be catchy. Here’s the problem, you’re a pastor, you’re a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfilling The Great Commission; you are not a website builder. Unfortunately you don’t know any web masters either. What then do you do? You do it yourself. You don’t need a professional web designer. You can empower yourself and become your own webmaster, your own church website builder. How do you do that, you may ask? I’m glad you asked because I’m about to tell you. In this article you’ll learn how to buy the domain you want and how to host it and then how to add WordPress. Then you can customize your site to look and navigate how you want it. With the right WordPress templates, widgets and a little work you can get your site to look as good as the top church websites. Let’s begin!

Our first step is to buy a domain name. May I suggest www.godaddy.com. They will let you know what names are available for you to choose so you don’t choose a domain that is is already taken. Then you pick a plan for how long you want to own this domain name and you purchase your domain. No need to purchase any of the other extras they try to up sell you, unless you want them for some reason. Congratulations you are now the proud owner of a new bouncing domain! Go Daddy will give you a confirmation code and send you an e-mial. The next step is to host the domain. I suggest hostgator.com. They have the best plans in my opinion. You will then purchase a plan for x amount of time and then hostgator.com will send you two nameservers which are special codes that allow Hostgator to host the your domain on the internet.

You need to go to godaddy.com again and log into your account. Once you have done that you will see a button on the upper left hand corner that says domains. Click on that and then click on the link that says “manage my domains”. This will bring up a page where you will see your domain name. Click and check the box next to your website address. Then click above it on the left where it says name servers. You then want to put in the custom nameservers that have been sent to you by Host Gator. You should see two text boxes. Type in the nameservers that Host Gator sent you. Next save where it says save. For now your done. Wait 24 hours and then you will receive an email so you can log into your C-panel.

The C-panel is your control panel. You need to go to button that says Addon Domains and add on your new domain name and fill out the information that it ask for.  Next  load WordPress. You should see in your C-panel a button to download WordPress. WordPress is a open and free website builder software. On top of that it is one of the easiest website builder’s. For your church website design, WordPress will be your best friend. You can see one of my sites in the picture above and I developed this site on WordPress. From that point on you can start customizing your site for how you want it to work and how you want it to flow.  You can pick your theme, custom colors,upload pictures add in video from Vimeo or Youtube. You can create pages, post and basically do anything you want from your widgets menu. If you know how to work with any word formatting program then you can use WordPress. The post page operates like any Word Documents, with options to Bold or Italicize your text. There are options for bullets, numbering, adding quotes and linking. The best part is that you don’t need to know any html coding to build your site! Worddpress is just as customizable as Power Point, Keynotes, Word or any program your used to.

For my friends in the Orlando, Florida area I am happy to do the work for you. Please see my services at: http://fliehmanwebsites.com. Rates are $500 a site and then all this work will be taken care of for you! If you don’t live in Orlando and you don’t have the time to do this work (though I encourage you to do so) you can of coarse look into an ecommerce website builder. More on that in other articles on this site. Feel free to check out my Hubs on this topic, here and here.