ChurchWebsiteDesignRecommendations

Feeling overwhelmed by all the options?

Don’t worry, ChurchWP.net is here to help!  We have created a series of step by step guides to help you find the best website design option for your church!  If you haven’t read it, we recommend taking a look at the previous two steps:

In this  post, we will explain  some of the different church website design options.  There are options for every budget ($0-$1000).  We will list some of the pros and cons of the different systems.

We have created this table to show who oversees the main website creation and maintenance tasks, and we have split the options into five different categories. You can scroll down to learn more about each and see the packages or companies we recommend or click to view them immediately.

Church Website Design Options: Components & Responsibilities

Website Components and TasksComplete WordPress DIY Setup & ManageChurch WordPress Company Set Up & DIY ManageChurch WordPress Company Set Up & HostingChurch Website Design Company Set Up & HostingFull Service Church Website Design
Backend: DomainChurchChurchCompanyCompanyCompany
Backend: HostingChurchChurchCompanyCompanyCompany
Backend: What is the Content Management System (CMS)WordPressWordPressWordPressProprietaryProprietary
Backend: Who Installs CMS SystemChurchCompanyCompanyCompanyCompany
Set Up: Who chooses the Website Design?ChurchChurchChurchChurchChurch
Set up: Who enters the Website Page InformationChurchChurchChurchChurchCompany
Maintenance: Who updates the CMS?ChurchChurchCompanyCompanyCompany
Maintenance: Who updates the page Info?ChurchChurchChurchChurchCompany

CompleteWordPressDIY

Complete WordPress DIY:  Price Range: $0-250

With this option, your church creates the site itself.   This means that you have to get your own domain and hosting company (click here to learn more about the three basic church website components).  We recommend that you use WordPress as your design system, but you don’t have to. (Click here to learn about the WordPress Basics).  You can use free WordPress themes, but we recommend that you spend a little bit of money and use one of the best church WordPress themes.  This small investment is important so that your site looks good on mobile devices.

Pros:

 

Cons:

  • This options requires the most work.
  • Someone will have to learn how to install WordPress and do the initial theme set up. This is the most intimidating part of using WordPress.
  • Your church will have to install updates for WordPress, themes, plugins, etc.

Complete WordPress DIY Recommendations: ($0-$250)

Website Components and TasksBudget: $0-100Budget: $101-$250
Backend: Domain & Hosting*Dreamhost
Cost: Free for nonprofits
(has some limitations)
*Dreamhost
Cost: Free for nonprofits
(has some limitations)
* A2 Shared Hosting
Recommended Themes:Any of our other best themes $0-100
Any of our other best themes $0-100
Recommended Plugins:*Calendar Plugins
*Map Plugins
*Sermon Plugins
*Calendar Plugins
*Map Plugins
*Sermon Plugins
Set Up: Website DesignChurchChurch
Set up: Website Page InformationChurchChurch
Maintenance: System UpdatesChurchChurch
Maintenance: Page Information UpdateChurchChurch

ChurchWordPressSetupDIY

Church WordPress Company Set Up & DIY Manage:  Price Range: $200-$400

With this option, you get your domain and hosting company (click here to learn more about three basic church website components).  However, you hire a company to create the initial site and do all the initial SEO stuff. They use a WordPress theme (either one they provide or one you buy on your own) that is easy for you to lean how to manage. Frugal Fox Design is a great example of one that specializes in churches. You may have local companies willing to do this as well.  This is a good option for churches who want to want to save money but also set things up correctly in a short amount of time.

Pros:

  • You hire someone to do the most difficult part of WordPress: setup and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This reduces the amount of work and learning you need to do.
  • You can create a professional-looking site at a low cost.
  • WordPress offers unlimited design and theme options.
  • You can update your info at any time because your church is in control of all aspects of your site. You can concentrate on learning how to do this.
  • There are no proprietary things since WordPress is free.   This means it is easy to upgrade your site because it is built on the WordPress platform.
  • Click here to learn about all the other reasons we think WordPress is a great option for churches.

 

Cons:

  • Costs a little bit more than WordPress DIY option.
  • Your church will have to install updates for WordPress, themes, plugins, etc.

Church WordPress Company Set Up Recommendations

Website Components and TasksBudget: $200-$400
Backend: Domain & Hosting*Dreamhost
Cost: Free for nonprofits
(has some limitations)
* A2 Shared Hosting
* Cloudways Digital Ocean
Recommended Themes:Any of our other recommended themes: $0-100
Recommended Plugins:*Calendar Plugins
*Map Plugins
*Sermon Plugins
Set Up: Website Design*Frugal Fox: $125
Set up: Website Page InformationChurch
Maintenance: System UpdatesChurch
Maintenance: Page Information UpdateChurch

ChurchWebsiteWordPress

Church WordPress Company Set Up & Hosting:  Price Range: $400-$1000

With this option, you hire a company to host, do the initial WordPress theme, home page set up, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and backend maintenance and hosting.  You customize your site with your own information.  You update it at any time.  There are many companies out there that specialize in WordPress church sites (like Frugal Fox Design, ChurchSites.co, and ChurchPr.es).  This is a good option for churches with a moderate budget.

Pros:

  • You hire someone to do the most difficult part of WordPress: setup and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This reduces the amount of work and learning you need to do.
  • You can create a professional-looking site at a moderate cost.
  • You hire someone to maintain the backend of your site.  This helps with security and updates.
  • WordPress offers unlimited design and theme options.
  • You can update your info at any time because your church is in control of all aspects of your site. You can concentrate on learning how to do this.
  • There are no proprietary things since WordPress is free.   This means it is easy to upgrade your site because it is built on the WordPress platform.
  • Click here to learn about all the other reasons we think WordPress is a great option for churches.

 

Cons:

  • Costs a little bit more expensive than the other WordPress options.

ChurchWebsiteHosting

Church Website Design Company Set Up & Hosting:  Price Range: $600-$1500

With this option, you hire a company to host and do the initial set up and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and backend maintenance.  You can customize the site with your own information.  You update it after that via their proprietary system.  There are many companies out there (Click here to see the ones we recommend).  Our friends have used Light CMS , Clover Sites, and BridgeElement (save $50 off the set-up fee with the frugalfox promo code) and have really liked them, which is why we recommend them.  This is a good option for churches with a pretty good-sized budget.  The downside is that you use their proprietary software.

Pros:

  • You hire someone to do all the setup work on your site.
  • You hire someone to maintain the backend of your site.  This helps with security and updates.
  • You can still update your info at any time.  You can concentrate on learning how to do this.

 

Cons:

  • Costs a little bit more than the other WordPress options.
  • You are using their proprietary system, which can make updating your site more difficult.
  • You are limited to the designs the company has to offer (although there are many options).

FullserviceChurchWebsite

Full Service Church Website Design:  Price Range: $1000+

With this option, you hire a company to do all the work of creating and maintaining your site.  You get a completely new site and don’t have to do any of the work.  Unless you are a larger church or a church with a pretty extensive budget or know someone who would be willing to donate their time, I would suggest you try the other options.

Pros:

  • You hire someone to do all the setup work on your site.
  • You hire someone to maintain the backend of your site.  This helps with security and updates.
  • You get a completely custom site.

 

Cons:

  • Costs a little bit more than the other options.
  • You are using their proprietary system, which can make updating your site more difficult.
  • You are dependent on the designer to update the information.