Who knows of any affordable Christian web host and CMS solutions?
December 28, 2010
Updated January 15, 2014
8 comments 262 views
Looking for an affordable Christian Web Host and content management software, etc. Who does your Church use? Have reveiewed several but seem to be fairly expensive. We are currently using MS Frontpage but would like something more user friendly for staff. Any suggestions?
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Karen, we use www.squarespace.com. You design the whole thing online so you don't need software. It's got lots of templates you can choose from and change to look how you want. You can do most everything with "what you see is what you get" but you can also use raw HTML if you want. There are videos and excellent documentation, plus tech support via email that they usually answer within around 10 minutes. I think it's a great solution.
Our website is www.sjcrc.org or if you go to squarespace's site you'll see samples. Email me if you'd like me to set up a web conference and I'll show you our site in detail.
For hosting, I highly recommend www.justhost.com , which is the cheapest I've found (yet reliable). I also often use www.000webhost.com , a completely free(!) host, for test sites I'm developing and for small sites for freelance clients. In my experience its uptime is not as good as it claims, but for small sites it's a good option--it's free up to 1.5GB of storage, which is plenty for the majority of church websites. This is the only free host I know of that does NOT place banner ads at the top of your page. (They try to sell you on switching to their paid hosting via www.hosting24.com, which is another fine option; no better or worse than justhost, bluehost, or godaddy.)
For a content management system, WordPress is the best, but for more basic, user-friendly options, see http://designm.ag/resources/simple-cms/ .
I'm working on a simple, basic, WordPress template for church sites that I'll offer via creative commons; contact me if you'd like to see what I have so far.
Google Apps is probably a good option for churches too.
I like the idea of Google Apps, especially because you can put together a pretty decent site FOR FREE on Google Sites. You're a bit limited on what you can do, but not too terribly much. And you get to integrate easily with so many cool Google goodies.
We currently use WordPress hosted on eleventwo.com. Comparable in price to justhost.com. But it does require a bit more tech knowledge than Google sites.
We purchased our domain through GoDaddy, a choice I regret now that I see their commercials.
Thanks Mavis and Nathan for the suggestions. I just wanted to add that if anyone is thinking about using Google Apps for their church, Mavis wrote an article about How to Start Using Google Apps on the Chruch and Web Network. Check it out.
Warning, I have a vested interest in this answer, but I'll offer it anyways.
Faithwebsites.com is a powerful and user-friendly CMS made specifically for churches, and modified slightly for Christian Schools. We have over 700 organizations using the system, and many CRC churches and Classes. Monthly hosting and support starts at $35/mo.
You can contact me for more information, or check out faithwebsites.com
I run two personal websites, both on WordPress, and I LOVE the functionality it provides without too much techie knowledge required. Especially with a premiuim theme (I'm partial to StudioPress).
For web hosting check http://www.bigrock.com/. They are providing the most streamlined and cost-effective online solutions. They are an ICANN-accredited domain registrar with successful enabling of over 6 million websites to come live.
Another option for church web hosting is OurChurch.Com. OCC's web hosting includes a church website builder, which installs, configures and manages WordPress, all the best church plugins and dozens of church-specific themes. Costs range from free to $25/mo.
Disclaimer: I helped start OurChurch.Com almost 20 years ago and love helping churches live out their mission online.
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