Do Churches Need A Dedicated Website For Online Services?
Given the current situation, it’s becoming more important than ever for churches to have a dedicated site for running their services online. Here’s some information on why this is important, as well as how it can be done.
Why Is It Important for Churches to Have a Website for Running Online Services?
One of the primary answers to this question is volume. Before the current age of the pandemic, having extra videos to show church services was an extra thing for people who couldn’t make it. This goes double for churches that had live streaming for their Sunday services.
However, what’s worth noting about this is that at the time, there were usually a small number of people watching the stream, so it was less important to have a dedicated website. These days though, when you have situations where a large percentage of your congregation watching a service remotely, small solutions are just not going to be enough.
People in a church will still want the church experience without having to be there in person if they are worried about social distancing guidelines and the threat of contracting an illness.
To make this work, and to allow visitors to do things like sharing their videos, interact with each other, and watch live church streams all at the same time, you will need certain requirements.
Two Options for a Site for Churches
It’s not feasible in the long run to use a slapdash approach to staying in touch with your fellow church members and organize everything.
Instead, having your site will work better rather than trying to host it on Youtube or Twitch regularly. Or even just forming a Facebook page or using some other social media option. You will want your site for everything to work out for the best. Here are two different ways to do it.
Self-hosted and Custom-Created
One option is to have a self-hosted site to have full control of it, and it has to be custom-created so that it has all of the requirements for your specific situation. You may not want something that only partially fits what you’re looking to create for your church site since then you’re just going to have to change it down the line anyway.
Here’s a look at some of the advantages and particulars of going with a self-hosted site.
- Web Development Skills or a Service Required-You will either have to know how to design and develop a website yourself, or you will need to hire an individual or a service that can handle this for you. Unless you are highly confident in your skills, it’s usually better to hire a service. Honestly, even if you do have skills, you will likely have other things to do, and it’s often much more efficient to just hand it over to a specialist.
- Offers Full Control-You have a substantial amount of control when you do it this way since the hosting, creation, and development are all in your hands. There’s no end to the potential flexibility when you have this kind of control.
- Need to Buy a Domain Name and Find a Hosting Company-When you decide to take control and get everything custom-made, this means that you will need to select a website address and buy your domain. Then, you will need to find a hosting company that works for you and connect it to your website to get it “online.”
- One-Click Solution-You can have a web development agency handle all of this for you, directly under your supervision to get the exact church website that you want down to the last detail.
Platform Package for Churches
Instead, if you choose, you can get a full platform package for your church created for you. Due to being more of a “one size fits all” sort of approach, there are going to be some limitations to this approach. Some of the particulars include:
- Quick Setup-Since you’re just selecting the package and then letting it fly, it’s often faster to go from making the initial purchase to have a basic version up and running than doing it the other way. It can still take longer to tinker with it to get more what you want, however.
- Often Need a Subscription-This approach makes it so that you have to sign up for a monthly or even a yearly package for this kind of package. This means that it can be somewhat inflexible in terms of pricing.
- Has Some Standard Features-This type of package often has tools and features built-in, including video hosting, a chat room, and other tracking options for staying organized with what churchgoers are doing.
- Some Limitations-A platform package for your church website is certainly more limited than something custom-built in terms of what you can do with it. For example, it’s often more difficult to custom-create anything. Whatever built-in tools the package comes with, those are often what you’ll need to use to create your site without a lot of room to do anything else.
In general, this means that if you like the tools the package has after thoroughly investigating them then it could be worth it, but it’s often difficult to know for sure what you’ll need beforehand, so this can be a problem.
For more information about getting more of a custom-built website for added control over the final product, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. The faster you contact us, the faster we can get started using our agency to determine exactly what type of church site you need in terms of capabilities and specific features, including look and feel, and then making that a reality.
Church websites need strong video capabilities these days to let their visitors watch live service streaming whenever they want and without any interruptions or delays. We can help make that a reality for you and your church so that you will be fully prepared for the requirements in this new age for the foreseeable future.