Over the years, technology has been leveraged in many ways to reach more people, connect with them in a deeper & more purposeful way and accomplish more goals or plainly put, get more done. Churches, who are not the early adopters of changing technology as they are volunteer driven with activities depending on the monetary support they receive, have over the past few years found that the digital medium has a lot to offer them.
How are churches using the internet
Consider a few scenarios where churches have found utility in being online. Social media is hard to ignore. Having a facebook page means that a church can share motivating quotes in picture or video form to its fan base who in turn promote it to their own friends, thus increasing the reach of the church’s social media messaging.
However, along with social media, it is extremely important to have a website as that is the yardstick for presence online. Like any other organisation that is people driven, churches can leverage websites in many ways. Websites make it easier for a church to have a 24×7 information resource about the church that is always available. A well-planned website can be very engaging as it takes the visitor through multi-media forms of information about the history of the church, its past activities and in fact, can even have a calendar of upcoming activities.
A website is valuable for a churches for another reason – receiving donations. With paypal and other payment gateways making e-commerce commonplace, it is easy for a church to place a “Support us” or “Donate” button on their website at a prominent place and enable their community to make a donation in a convenient and discrete manner.
How to create a church website
Now that it’s evident that a church website is essential today, let’s proceed to understand how to build a church website. Typically, building a website involves wearing multiple hats. Yes, you got that right. You need a web designer, web developer, tester, content writer and sometimes a project manager to ensure that the right processes are followed so that it’s easier to maintain the website later and in order to have documentation for a new person to take over the website, if required. Needless to say, this increases the project budget & makes it a bit daunting for church websites as they don’t have a large budget typically.
In this case, WordPress makes a lot of sense as the website solution for churches, because:
- WordPress is free and open-source
- Hence, there are enough developers to support a WordPress website if you require customisation
- WordPress keeps pace with the latest technology – For instance, most new WordPress sites are responsive, which means they look good devices and screens of varying sizes.
- WordPress themes are aplenty. These themes are not just pretty looking but perform very well and have all the features that an organization would require.
- Extended functionality with plugins
All in all, it would be realistic to say that opting for WordPress is a safe bet and keeps project budgets low, thus checking all the boxes that a church website looks to fulfill.