Thread: Church website hosting Board: Oblivion / Ship of Fools.

To visit this thread, use this URL:;f=70;t=024393

Posted by danwalters (# 8605) on :
Hi all,

Sorry if this seems cheeky asking this, I'm mainly a lurker on these boards and don't contribute much but...

I've suddenly been landed with the job of setting up a new website for our church. I'm probably going to go with a self-hosted Wordpress site, but does anyone have any recommendations for hosting providers?
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
I'll be watching this with great interest - our church needs a website too!

Posted by Earwig (# 12057) on :
I'd always recommend Church Edit. Good people.
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
Yes, we have found them most helpful. And, once the website is up and running, it's pretty easy to update it.

You do have to pay and some churches might balk at that. But we decided to cease putting a "small ad." with the service times in our local paper each week - it was very doubtful if anyone ever saw it anyway. The money we saved more than paid for the web hosting.

And in case you're still worrying about the local paper, we still do support it by advertising our Christmas, Easter and Harvest services (they have a special display page for those).
Posted by Graven Image (# 8755) on :
FWIW all our visitors in the last year have reported they came to church and our church run preschool because of the web site and none because of newspaper ad. We also support local paper with holiday ads.
Posted by The Rogue (# 2275) on :
We use Churches 123. It is very easy to use but is not particularly exciting. Basically, pages are just text with some formatting, linking and pictures capabilities. You can only work on it using Internet Explorer as well.
Posted by the giant cheeseburger (# 10942) on :
With regards to hosting, I would suggest chatting to your denominational body (either regional synod/conference/diocese etc or national body) regarding the arrangements behind the hosting of their sites. There is a high chance they will be able to get you a good deal with whoever they go through, and they may also be able to supply you with templates that would have appropriate images for the denominational branding.

Wordpress is okay and gets the job done if you have simple needs, but I would suggest using Weebly for a greater level of control. Both have the advantage of working with the lion's share of current browsers, using anything reliant on Internet Explorer is a potentially major problem.
Posted by Stick Monitor (# 17253) on :
Hi. I'm on my fourth site now - I'm no pro but have tried quite a few different hosts and web development tools.

Tool: WordPress - nothing else comes close for the amateur webmaster. There is nothing you cannot do with it and I've built sophisticated sites with next-to-no coding at all.

Host: WordPress offer a few recommendations. My current favourite is Bluehost. Ignore hosting review sites as they are infested with marketing trolls who criticise competitors. In my experience, mid-price hosts offer nothing over budget hosts like Bluehost, JustHost; in fact, since they tend to be small outfits, their customer service is uniformly worse than budget hosts in my experience.

I would definitely NOT go with Church Edit, Church 123 or any other "church" package - they charge a lot of money for very little in return.
Posted by danwalters (# 8605) on :
Thanks all for the replies. I have to say that the church specific providers mentioned in the thread do seem a little pricey for what they offer.

My plan had been to do much like Stick Monitor - sort out the hosting and then install and configure WordPress myself (I'm quite comfortable with doing that) then once set up pass it on to those in our church responsible for updating it.

But since posting I've actually heard really good things about Weebly (I'm generally pretty sceptical about these website builder tools, hence thinking about WordPress). Weebly seems to have the advantage of not needing a techy middle man (i.e. me!) once set up in case the installation goes wrong or anything. And it's pretty reasonably priced too...
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
I'm afraid that I know nothing about Wordpress. (We use ChurchEdit).

But a question - possibly superfluous - to ponder: is it simple enough to use, and does it provide sufficient support, if you were suddenly to become indisposed and someone else in the church with very little experience had to take on running the website?

There are loads of websites out there that have been started by someone who is clearly not running them any more and which are permanently stuck in 2008!
Posted by danwalters (# 8605) on :
Baptist Trainfan - that has been my concern as well.

WordPress comes in two 'flavours' - you can either get them to host and manage it all for you ( similar to something like ChurchEdit, or you can set it up yourself and have more power to customise it and configure it *exactly* how you want it (

In either case it's very easy to use day-to-day for non-techies, but in the latter case if something goes wrong you will need someone techy to sort it out.

Weebly I think is more like or ChurchEdit - they manage all the configuration etc themselves. It looks very easy to edit content (even for technophobes) and it's pretty hard to 'break' it.
Posted by Earwig (# 12057) on :
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
But a question - possibly superfluous - to ponder: is it simple enough to use, and does it provide sufficient support, if you were suddenly to become indisposed and someone else in the church with very little experience had to take on running the website?

Exactly - for me, that's part of the 'insurance' of someone like Church Edit. So whatever you set up, check a few other people in the church leadership team can access it if you go under a bus.

Also, I've seen the ownership of the site and URL cause problems for churches. One situation I've seen was where the guy who bought the URL etc, and then fell out with the church. He linked the church's website to his blog where he just slagged off the church and its members. Really horrible.

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0