The church I work at is currently working on building a new church website (be sure to read Part 1!).
We decided that the “boxed” churchy websites were not for us and that we could probably spend our money much more wisely by using WordPress!
Choosing a Site Host
Having never done a WordPress site before, I decided that I should learn a bit more about what I was getting into before I went too far. So I went to some techy blogs out there and caught up on some reading on how to start my very own WordPress site.
I chose bluehost.com as my hosting company based on some recommendations from others.
Blue Host at the time was having a summer special of $3.99/mo (you have to pay the initial 36 months up front – so a total cost of $144)
The great thing about Blue Host is that not only is it a great price! It comes with great customer service support, almost unlimited storage and unlimited email address hosting and multiple website hosting for no additional cost.
So I had my server down, now on to search for a great “churchy” theme.
[You might also consider Why Your Church Should Consider Managed WordPress Hosting and understand the difference between Managed vs Unmanaged Web Hosting?]
Choosing a Theme
Unfortunately you really can’t demo many sites, but I went to themeforest.com and checked out many demos of their sites. Most of the “church” themes were really lame…so I started looking around at some business and design themes, and these were really catchy! I ended up choosing Enfold Theme which was very catchy and probably a bit too much for what I really needed, but I knew that meant we could get there! The great thing is that it had a really sharp look! And it looked great on my iPhone as well!
[You might also consider 10 Outstanding WordPress Themes for Church Websites and 5 Church-Centric Premium WordPress Themes.
So for $50 I got the theme…downloading it took a bit more geeky knowledge than I had. But luckily through Google I was able to figure out that downloading an ftp server was my easiest bet. So I downloaded Cyberduck for Mac and was able to upload my theme on there.
Again I will admit I am a trained musician…I have NO geeky computer skills up to now, but have been able to learn most of this through other people on Google’s training videos or asking questions of geeky friends! So if you’ve tried this in the past and have given up because you got stuck, post a comment and I’m sure together we can come up with a solution to your problem!
So I have my website theme uploaded and I’m ready to roll!
Initial Cost: $144 for Bluehost for 3 years, $50 for Enfold theme = $194
Monthly Cost: $30 for Vault Press
Online Giving: To be discussed in part 3
Choice of themes: Unlimited
Pros: Lots of options, I can make the site look custom based, If I get bored with this theme I can buy another $50 or less, has an absurd amount of plugins available, no limit on pages or content, and the WordPress CMS is really easy to use.
Cons: I have to learn WordPress.
[Here are some great WordPress resources.]
The great part is that our church and our preschool can have 2 completely different looks and I’m still only paying $30/mo!
More to come…
[Image via Aktif Blogum]