Facebook.com – although I have seen this option used much more frequently by churches wishing to supplement their online presence, it is certainly possible to use this as a church’s only informational page.
The big benefits are cost, which would be free of charge and ease of access. There are so many members of the church who already have Facebook profiles this option would make it easier to remind members of activities and encourage communication among members. The drawbacks would be increased difficulty deploying any other media than plain text along with size limitations and possibly privacy issues with all Facebook profiles.
First time I visited this website, I was impressed. There is definitely ability to produce very professional looking websites. Additionally, it is easy to incorporate other Google services (i.e. docs, calendars, etc.) into your website. with the functionality of using templates if you are creating the same website over and over this could be a real timesaver.
To get some things done, you will have to know HTML. To create a very deep website I believe it could be much more difficult than using a CMS tool. You will also be limited in total disk space according to the limitations of your Google account.
The primary free service offered at CofCpages.org is free web hosting for congregations. This service is designed to be easy to use and requires no prior web development experience. The service is intended for congregations to build a web site that informs the public of their location, post materials, and eventually offer features to the brethren that assemble with them.
This web site will be designed so that it will be extremely easy for users to update their congregations’s site. To edit an article, one simply uses a form to upload a file directly, or e-mail it to me and I can convert it for you.
I want this site to be simple enough that those with very little computer experience can maintain a web site here. Because of all of this, some of the more common methods of web site editing are not available, namely direct access to the site via FTP or similar means. If you want to upload an article or other file, that will be done directly through your web browser. If you are more of a “traditional” webmaster, this service might not be for you. It is here for those who have little to no experience designing a web site. On a similar note, if you have already designed a site in some program (FrontPage, Publisher, Dreamweaver, etc.), CofCPages cannot host the pages you have made in that program.
I know very little about this option.Most often this is used with personal websites. You will have several theme options allowing you to choose basic design and color schemes. You will also face limitations in keeping with several of the free sites including limited disk space, monthly bandwidth limitations, and little to no control over the advertising which appears on your website. If your goal is a 2 to 3 page informational website with static content this option will likely accommodate your needs.
This will involve contracting hosting services from one of the myraid of low-cost providers available. Go Daddy is currently one of the more popular of those providers and their costs are in the range of $3-$8 per month depending on length of contract you select. After a decision regarding the domain name, someone will need to design and create the website. There are several freelance designers which will do the work in a very inexpensive rates for churches. They likely will have a pre-created templates to choose from depending upon your needs. They will offer you the most options in regards to various types of content, customizing to your specific needs.
Church Website Pro a very nice professional looking website. Has links for approximately 16 completed websites, the majority of which are church of Christ although there is variety in the types of sites completed.
CongreGATE -This service offers a turnkey solution developed by their software designers. They offer many things which could be useful to a larger congregation or those who do not have any technical resources. They offer several different pricing and service level packages. The cost for these services at this writing is between 20 and $50 per month.
A few things from their website:
The state-of-the-art CongreGATE website and content management system was specifically developed for the needs of local churches.
CongreGATE allows anyone to create, update, and modify content; no computer or internet skills are needed.
CongreGATE offers a simple way share feature-rich content with visitors to your website. We believe an out-of-date website is worse than no website at all. With CongreGATE, we’re making it simple to keep your site up-to-date.