Ekklesia 360 is a high powered CMS, bulging with features that will arm a church or ministry website with a host of integrated tools.
Ekklesia was created by church planters, pastors and lay-leaders, who wanted to create an effective tool that communicates a church or ministries vision, while providing needed information to equip its members.
The result was an easy web-based tool to manage, update and create. More importantly, to be used by more than just “The Web Guy”:
Ekklesia allows Ministry Leaders, Pastors and other contributors to ensure your website is updated consistently with events, sermons and articles for your people to view. These contributors are able to login to the system anywhere they have access to the internet. Churches now can bring numerous people into a participating role for the work of the web ministry.
This is an excellent development concept.
Let’s first take a look at Ekklesia’s basic CMS website tools and features.
- Advanced Sermon Management
This isn’t just pretty language. It really is advanced. Create sermon categories, series and connect audio, documents, images and other media files to sermons. When audio files are uploaded, Ekklesia optimizes the mp3 for podcasting, while storing the original audio file. Very cool. Ekklesia also allows your sermon audio to be added to your on-site playlist and automatically uploads directly into iTunes.
- Site Search Engine
The database is fully searchable on all fields. It uses a combination of MySQL’s full text search capabilities and building SOUNDEX keys in order to compensate for spelling mistakes or natural language searches. That’s huge. The system will index its database at least once a day with increased frequency as data entry increases.
- Web-based CMS
With a permission-based login system, anyone from anywhere can login and update those parts of the website that are their responsibility. Features include: Page Creation and Editing, WYSIWYG Editor, Code Editor, Media File Manager, Downloadable and Podcastable Audio Sermons, Article Manager with RSS Syndication, Online Event Creation, Dynamic GoogleMap API Integration, and Search Engine Optimization. That’s a lot all of tools.
- Event Management
Ekklesia 360 digs into Google’s API to create maps and directions, as well as managing address information for multiple facility locations. Of course, it includes options for complex event repeating dates and more!
- Church Event Registration Management
This module allows a church to quickly enable an event for online registration and manage registrations. Once and event is entered, the event is displayed on the church website and can be promoted with the email application.
- Blogging System
No church website should be without a blog, and Ekklesia allows you to have multiple blogs!
Online giving, event registration and giving, as well as customized e-commerce solutions that is available through Ekklesia, such as selling books, worship cds or other resources easily through your website.
- Administration and Reporting
Ekklesia includes site traffic statistics, log reporting, as well as robust administrator setup options.
Ekklesia does a great job of integrating features together, and mixing web management and member management in an effective way.
Let’s look at some of the other features behind Ekklesia.
- Members Module
This includes a login protected area those that are provided with permission to enter. Members can access a backend system to view online directories and participate in resources that are published for members only. Members can manage their contact information and update email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and upload pictures to accompany their directory listings.
- Cobblestone Community Network
Ekklesia users can also have a full private community website called Cobblestone. This feature is designed to help members find opportunities to serve, connect, communicate, disciple, be accountable, and more! Plus, Cobblestone integrates with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, into iTunes and several others.
- Contact Management
You can send emails directly from Ekklesia. Just about anyone can create an HTML based email campaigns and send them to hundreds or thousands of people. Send them to specific ministry groups or to everyone!
- Email Newsletters
The Contact Management dovetails nicely with emailing newsletters. Send email newsletters to people who sign-up on your site. You can also send newsletters to specific people and groups within your church. Track the ‘read log’ which lets you know who opens the newsletters and view other statistics.
- Outreach Module
Sounds fancy. Ekklesia 360 integrates with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, into iTunes and several others.
Ekklesia 360 offers a lot of tools, and the e-commerce and Cobblestone option brings the CMS into a class of its own.
As for the user end, Ekklesia is CSS driven. You have the option to integrate into your current design, or you can use one of their design partners to design your website.