CHURCH BUDGET TIP: Don’t Pay for What You Can Get Free!
The following freebies will help and inspire you to accomplish great things with the web presence of your church or ministry.
1. FREE WEBSITE
Radiant Web Sites > build.radiantwebtools.com
Their Pitch: Beautiful ministry websites and mobile apps powered by Radiant, a company committed to advancing the Gospel of Christ.
My Review: What I like about Radiant is they make a way for you to ease into a solid web platform for free, and then you can grow your web presence by upgrading to their premium offerings and enhancements. Just open their home page and click on the ‘Pricing’ tab for plan comparisons.
Blog Post: gabaptist.org/building-websites/
DIY vs Professionally Built – Which Is Best for You? Compares Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Wordpress, and hiring a professional developer.
2. FREE MEDIA
Freely Church Photos > beta.freelyphotos.com
Their Pitch: Totally free high-quality Christian stock photography. All photos are published under the amazing ‘CC0 license’ so you can do what you want with them!
My Review: One of my personal favorites, this is a wonderful and growing database of all free, high-quality photos that are specifically Christian-focused and great for print or web.
Church Media Drop > churchmediadrop.com
Their Pitch: Free media for churches by churches. Church Media Drop was created to help churches share what they have created. Together we can resource churches around the world with quality media to share the most important message, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
My Review: Lots of great resources, everything is free, and I really like their tutorial section. Also, you can share your creative works with other churches by uploading your best stuff to their ever growing library. This is a great ministry!
Blog Post: Free photos, graphics, video, fonts > linkedin.com/pulse/my-2016-best-list-free-photos-graphics-videos-fonts-barry-dollar/
3. FREE DESIGN TOOL
Canva > canva.com
Their Pitch: Design anything. Publish anywhere. Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics.
My Review: Canva is free (mostly), simple, fast and offers a variety of pre-built templates. Everything from a logo to a t-shirt can be designed with Canva. What I really like is the resize tool that re-fits your design to multiple applications. The logo you created becomes a t-shirt design with a simple click!
Blog Post: gabaptist.org/canva-simple-design-tool/
4. FREE EMAIL MARKETING
MailChimp > mailchimp.com/
Their Pitch: Mailchimp is an always-on marketing platform for small businesses.
My Review: Mailchimp is my favorite email marketing platform ever! The Free Plan includes up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 sends per month. With a daily send limit of 2,000, the free plan is all most churches ever need. To build an audience you can import your contacts or create a sign-up form for your website.
5. FREE PODCASTING
ANCHOR > anchor.fm
Their Pitch: Create and host unlimited episodes, distribute your show everywhere, and make money. All in one place, all for free.
My Review: Anchor’s recording tools on mobile (iOS and Android), iPad, or desktop web makes it easy to record your podcast with no extra equipment required. It is easy edit, publish and distribute your podcast to every major podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
2019 Digital Summit: Randi Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg Media
“Right now is the time to do audio podcasts. 90 million listeners and only 800,000 producers.”
6. FREE LIVE MEETINGS
Zoom > zoom.us
Their Pitch: Simplified video conferencing and messaging across any device. Single communications suite for meetings, chat, and more. Sign up, it’s free!
My Review: I use Zoom for our college group on Sunday mornings. It’s an easy learning curve to manage meetings. We share our screen, video, PowerPoint and conversation. People Zooming in are show on screen. Our sessions are recorded both video and audio for posting on web. Works great on all devices.
7. FREE VIDEO GALLERY
Huzzaz > https://huzzaz.com/
Their Pitch: Best platform to showcase videos on your website. Try it free.
My Review: I love Huzzaz! You can Integrate YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook & Twitch videos all in one seamless interface and embed the gallery on any website. Create your collection and paste in video URLs. Huzzaz does the rest. The gallery is fully responsive. [Switch] browse [Switch]
FREE Video Advice: YouTube video editing tutorial: filmora.wondershare.com/video-editing-tips/youtube-video-editor-tip.html (Filmora9 free version is watermarked. $59.99 lifetime!)
8. FREE BUSINESS LISTING
Google Business > google.com/business/
Their Pitch: More than just a local listing, your free Business Profile lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps.
My Review: With Google Business you can claim your church address on Google Maps, add service times, contact information, photos, website and more. This will also improve your position in search results. Additionally, Google will send analytic reports that show the effectiveness of your business listing.
9. FREE ANALYTICS
Google Analytics > marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/
Their Pitch: Get a deeper understanding of your customers. Google Analytics gives you the free tools you need to analyze data for your business in one place.
My Review: Google Analytics tracks everything happening on your website or app, giving you a deep understanding of customer behavior. Due to its brand recognition and the fact that it’s free, Google Analytics is the biggest name in website and mobile app intelligence. It has a steep learning curve but it is an awesome business intelligence tool.
10: FREE ENCRYPTION
Let’s Encrypt > https://letsencrypt.org/
Their Pitch: Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open Certificate Authority.
My Review: In 2018 Google decided that all websites should be secure. Now, websites not encrypted produce warnings making your site appear unsafe. This also impacts SEO. Mainly, it’s just a bad look for new visitors to your site. Let’s Encrypt will secure your website and produce the green lock in the browser for free. We actually use Let’s Encrypt on most our websites without issues.
Non-secure vs Secure on screen.
So what about you? Have any favorite freebies to share?