There are literally thousands of options when it comes to building a website. So I want to make my recommendations as narrow as possible to cut through all the weeds. I am suggesting only two categories with several variations of the two – DIY vs Professionally Built.
1. DIY “Do-It-Yourself”
The following are the most popular and most often recommended DIYweb platforms for church websites. They all offer either a free version or free trial period. For each, I have included a link to a review and a link on how it works … (note: Pricing and other details are subject to change, but are current as of the writing of this post).
wix.com – Begins with a free version that displays ads. The lowest entry point that removes ads is $11 per month and includes one domain name.
squarespace.com – Offers a free trial with no credit card required. Entry level is $12 per month / Business is $18 per month and includes one domain name.
weebly.com – Begins with a free version that displays ads. The lowest entry point that removes ads is $12 per month and includes one domain name.
wordpress.com – Wordpress is the number one web platform in the world, which speaks volumes about its usefulness. There are three price tiers: $4 personal (with ads), $8 premium (removes ads), or $25 business. This is a monthly fee and includes one domain name.
Wordpress video tutorials: http://videos.wpbeginner.com/
To get a feel for how Wordpress works, here are some of the best training videos available. You will have to create a login, but the training is free and well worth the time.
2. Professionally Built
Beyond DIY, there are designers and agencies who can do all the work for you. Of course, that is a much higher price point. Be sure to have a written agreement of what is expected, and the costs clearly outlined and signed by both parties before you begin. The following are the more common costs to expect.
Design and Build: Typically the entry point would be at least $1,500.00 for a very basic website. then it would go up from there based on the needs of the website and skill of the designer/developer. If the site includes premium items such as a sermon player and interactive calendar, your entry point will be at least $2,500 and up from there based on needs.
Hosting: In addition to the design and build, there will be an ongoing hosting fee that can be paid monthly or yearly; which would be in the range of $20-$50 per month, according to where the site is hosted and how many perks are included – i.e. nightly backups, staging areas, email, etc.
Updates: This may include content updates, as well as theme and plug-in updates. Most designers will offer ongoing updates at an hourly rate which could range from $20 to $80 per hour. You will want to have a written agreement that clearly defines the hourly rates.
One Final Note
If you already have a domain name and have email accounts that end with the domain name, you need to proceed very carefully to be sure those emails are not broken in any transition that moves the domain name to a different platform. This would require the expertise of someone who fully understands how domains and emails are interconnected.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I am very happy to help you however I can. Please refer to my contact information below.