Topic: How many websites does one church need?

So, as of right now, my church has 5 different websites related to it. 1 is the actual main website for the whole church, hilandpark.org. Another is the youth ministry website, hpstudents.org. The next one is the children's ministry website, hp-kids.org. Next is a website solely dedicated to our young adult contemporary service, seven30seven.com. Finally, we have a website that was created for the Men's Ministry in our church, hpmen.org (I'll let you guess which one I didn't help out in.)

Anyways, my question is, do we need all these sites? I think there is a need for the youth & children's ministry website, but the men's website and the worship service site, I'm just not too sure. Now, the Men's Ministry actually just went and randomly created their website without asking our Tech guy at church. I do know that the college ministry, which is what the seven30seven service is for, is looking to make it's own name and create a website just for the college ministry, so I imagine that would replace the seven30seven website.

So, what do you think? Does your church have just as many websites as my church does? Or have you found a solution to the problem?

Re: How many websites does one church need?

I don't think having multiple sites is necessarily a bad thing, but it does create a bit of confusion as to which is the "real" church site. To keep things consolidated (and to cut down on domain name registration costs) I would suggest bringing things together under one banner, so to speak, via using sub-domains.

Example:

hilandpark.org
737.hilandpark.org
students.hilandpark.org
men.hilandpark.org
kids.hilandpark.org

Then, if so desired, a custom domain name could be used for marketing purposes, and just point to the canonical sub-domains. Anyway, just my druthers. Seems like it would easier to manage that way, from an infrastructure standpoint.

Give me liturgy or give me death.

Re: How many websites does one church need?

I see what your saying, and I do agree with what your saying. What I was asking was is it necessary to have that many websites?

Re: How many websites does one church need?

I guess whether it's "necessary" is more of a subjective decision. I mean, someone at your church thought it was important. smile

Give me liturgy or give me death.

Re: How many websites does one church need?

I'd have to agree with Nathan...it's probably best to establish an "identity" for the church as a whole, and to let every visitor know that each site is PART of the same ministry.

A few thoughts:

1. http://seven30seven.com/ ...the background image doesn't fill my browser window when using IE8. One solution I've used is to put the image in the html and not just the body. Different browsers calculate the "viewport" differently.

2. http://hpmen.org/ ...I'd NEVER make a website with sounds (like music) that start automatically, unless it was a website for a band. Most people (right or wrong) surf at work, and it's a good bet they'll close your site immediately after the music starts playing. If you're going to do it, you'll want to make sure that the controls are CLEARLY marked.

3. http://www.hilandpark.org/hpkidz ...the nav images aren't in a horizontal line when viewed in IE8. Yes, I know...IE still isn't the best browser around. It IS the most popular, however, so every website should be checked thoroughly using it.

4. http://hpstudents.org/ ...looks pretty good. Definitely the best of the bunch!

We're all looking forward to the future...but none of us more than the giant, evil robots.

Re: How many websites does one church need?

I believe that the seven30seven website is fixed. I'm not really sure what you are talking about on the HPKids website, because as far as I can tell, they look horizontal to me. The hpmen site wasn't created by the tech team at church some guy from the Men's Ministry just randomly created that site without ever asking the team or the Tech Director at the church. I would agree with you that I wouldn't make a website with music ever.

Re: How many websites does one church need?

I think it may depend on what information is going to be on the site, and if the target audience is drastically different. For example, a youth group might have a lot of information and want to own it's identity as a distinct part of the church. For the kids site, it really doesn't seem necessary given the amount of info on the site. I'm also surprised that the Children's ministry page doesn't seem to link to that site.

Re: How many websites does one church need?

Well, we have just gone through a hiring of two Interim Directors for the position, so that would be one reason as to why the website hasn't been updated. I have talked to the two Interims and they both say they want to put info on the site, and I told them to just email me their postings, but I have yet to receive anything from them so we removed the Children's site from the main site.

I have been asked to redo the Men's Ministry website, but I am not really sure a want to do a whole stinking website, but instead do a mini-site inside of hilandpark.org for the Men's Ministry.

I do see what you are saying Les, and that is also my thinking on the subject too. I am really not too sure as to why the seven30seven site was created because the main way people know about that event is through Facebook.

Re: How many websites does one church need?

Well, our church is really tiny, but we have two distinct sites simply because the main site was originally developed in plain html, page by page, and then there was an urge to create a site for the youth group with blogging facility.  In the beginning the youth site was set up in Wordpress by amateur, then I replicated it and further developed it in Textpattern, and registered a easy to remember domain name for it.

Anyway, I think sometimes we need multiple sub-domains just to address the issue of information focus or target audience. At the moment I don't have the problems like you -- having someone to set up new sites for the church without consultation, which I think is bad for the church as a whole. On the contrary, I need help to develop and maintain the sites.  I do find it hard to get the kids to check news on the main site if they are also meant for them.  Duplicate the news on the youth or not? A hard question.

You may find my church sites on www.stpeterseastlindfield.org.au and www.stpetesyouth.org.au.  On both sites, there are links pointing to each other (on the navigation menus, footer and relevant articles) to help bringing the sites together.

Last edited by monicahu (2009-10-17 05:04:19)

Monica ++ Life is purposeless without God.