I recognize that I may annoy some other church website designers out there with this post, but I firmly believe that everyone should be able to make simple additions and changes to their church website themselves. This doesn’t mean you have to make changes or additions yourself, but I think it’s really important that you’re able to do so.
Why it’s important to be able to easily change your church website
There are two main reasons I feel it’s important to be able to make changes to your website yourself, without needing to contact a developer. The first is that technology today has created platforms that make this possible. No longer do you need to be a programmer in order to create a great looking website. Platforms like WordPress have made website design easy enough that if you can make a PowerPoint slide, you can not only make edits to your church website, you could even design it yourself if you wanted to.
The second reason I feel that you should be able to change your church website yourself is that, often, the changes you’d like to make are somewhat time sensitive. Sometimes when you send a web designer changes or updates you’d like to make they are able to get them done right away, but often they have multiple things on the go, and frankly changes to your church website aren’t at the top of their list. Also, if you can make simple changes and additions yourself, you don’t need to spend money paying someone else to do this for you. With many churches struggling to stay afloat, this can be a nice savings.
It’s my experience that some designers ask clients to pay a monthly maintenance fee and give you a certain number of changes a month. Many churches never use that full amount, and thus end up wasting money. As a church website designer myself I understand the appeal of monthly cheques from clients, but as a member of a shrinking congregation, I feel it’s important to save every penny you can. Making sure your church website design allows you to make edits yourself is one way to do this. You can still contact the designer if you need larger changes, but since this doesn’t usually happen all the time, it should be less expensive than paying a monthly or yearly fee.
There a multiple platforms that make this possible. Some of the church website specific platforms like iMinistries are pretty customizable and give you a fair bit of control, but personally I recommend WordPress for church websites. WordPress was designed to enable anyone who’s semi computer literate to start a blog. Since then it’s become the most popular website platform on the internet and is used for much more than blogs. I personally use WordPress for all the church website design’s I do since it gives you a great looking site, that you can edit yourself.
Can you edit your church website? Do you wish you could? Am I wrong about the importance of being able to make changes to your church website yourself?