by Patrick Bradley: If you’re on a budget and find WordPress confusing, there are several other DIY church website options.
I’ve leaned into this a little harder recently because I continue to get calls for help from confused pastors who just can’t figure out their WordPress sites. I know all the arguments about its unparalleled power and customizabilitiness. But at the end of the day, if a pastor and volunteer team can’t make basic changes to the website, it’s a fail in my book.
And the best-but-disappearing argument for using WordPress is that it’s better for SEO (getting found by search engines). These other DIY church website options are now about 95% as good at SEO. So unless you have the time & resources to put into coding to squeeze out that last 5% (which most church plants don’t), then don’t use that as your sole criterion.
What They Have in Common
Each of the following DIY church website options work on the same basic process:
Sign up for their service
Pick your domain name through them (it’s included in the price of packages listed)
Pick a template that has the look & feel you’re after
Start creating pages and menus
Drag & drop elements onto pages and paste in your content
Publish your site
And they offer these same features:
no set-up fee
free domain registration
social media widgets & tools
buttons for calls-to-action
google analytics integration
custom code (embed YouTube videos, etc.)
Top 3 DIY Church Website Options
Here are the 3 DIY church website options that keep rising to the top as inexpensive and easy to use (pricing as of Dec 2017):
product: Personal Website ($144/yr)
I’ve supported several church planters that chose SquareSpace even before I floated it out there as an option. Besides the features above, here’s what I like about it:
Custom CSS: you can hire a designer to fully customize the color & layout of your site
They offer unconventional/creative instructions for an easy DIY sermon podcast
product: Unlimited Plan ($168/yr)
Things I like about it:
Offers a calendar app that pulls in events from a google calendar (and maybe your church database calendar, too?)
Has a 3rd-party app marketplace where other popular services are writing integrations
product: Pro Website ($144/yr)
What I like about it in addition to the common features above:
Custom CSS (as above): you can hire a designer to fully customize the site
Also has a 3rd-party app marketplace with a growing number of integrations available
If you’re still not sure which might work best for you (including WordPress), check out this fun & free website builder suitability quiz.
These sites are easy to use, offer the majority of features the typical church needs, and provide more SEO tools than most churches will be able to use. So if you’re looking for something that will be easy to set up and easy for volunteers to help maintain, consider one of these DIY church website options.
full disclosure: this blog costs money to maintain – it’s safe to assume that links to products are affiliate links and I may earn a commission should you click through and make a purchase. That doesn’t affect your price, and you can rest assured that I’ll only recommend an app or service I’ve vetted, personally trust, and would recommend even if there weren’t an affiliate program.
Source: Top DIY Church Website Options