Topic: Is a cms okay for a church site

I do not want to seem negative when it comes to using a cms for a church site;  but I have yet to figure out why it is better than a coded site?  I know it is a steep learning curve and I guess that is partly why I have a big problem with using one! 

They do seem to be great for blogs;  but what are your opinions concerning Drupal versus hand coding a site for a church congregation?  It seems to me as I have been trying to learn Drupal;  that any and most of the graphics are still time consuming as you want them to reflect the congregation's  look and feel; so they must be custom designed.

And the written content is always unique to the particular site being built! I'm just trying to weigh out the need to go on and learn this cms or do it by hand coding as each time you code something;  you always can incorporate it into the next site!

I'm a little discouraged by the lack of wmv support from the modules and players and the sharp learning curve to learn how to use your own wmv sermons on your site server; instead they seem to offer more support for flash and for pulling sermons in from you tube and various other sources when you are trying to represent the congregation your building the site for!

I would love to hear your opinions about this!  Thank you and take your time as I not learning this too fast as it seems!   Have a great week!  And thanks in advance!
                                               As for me and my house;  we will serve the *LORD*!

Last edited by Dwayne Whitley (2010-02-01 19:24:31)

Re: Is a cms okay for a church site

Well, I think one thing you have to think about is that are you going to be the only one updating the site? If so, then it's up to you if you want to use a CMS or not. One thing I like about CMS's is that they have more features than just a blog and usually have a very good community for troubleshooting. If another person is going to be updating the site besides you, even if they are a coder too, I would go ahead and implement some sort of CMS, wether it's custom-built or an established CMS.

About the WMV, I would shy away from using that format because Macs cannot automatically play WMVs. That being said, I also don't like Flash either, so I would say to use a MPEG or some universal format that most computers will be able to open up. You might want to check out HTML5 for this as well.

Re: Is a cms okay for a church site

A CMS has some drawbacks that might be of consideration for anyone, especially a church:

1. Design
As churches seek to gain new credibility with strangers, they necessarily look at their facilities, bulletins, website, etc. Most Content Management Systems are built on a templating have to use, or hack, an existing template to make the site look the way you want it to. For some, this isn't an issue. For others, it's a deal-breaker. Fortunately, my own CMS isn't template-dependent </shameless plug>. I think a church's design should match their personality and the personality of their ministry area.

2. Search Engines
The point of church is to SPREAD THE GOSPEL. A church's website should help. That means that a church website, as much as any business site, should be the kind of site that search engines love. If it is, strangers looking for a church will find it...if not, fewer strangers will visit your church. A typical CMS template is NOT search engine-friendly. Some great templates can be found for each system, and the quality is getting better all the time. Fortunately, my own CMS outputs standards-compliant code that search engines love </shameless plug>.

Those two alone should tell you whether you should use a CMS for a church site. If you can find a CMS with great templates (or hack one to make it great) and if that CMS outputs quality code, you've got a winning combination. If not, you may not be doing your church a favor by installing and implementing it.

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

Re: Is a cms okay for a church site

Thanks a lot for your input!  I have been hearing so many great things about using a cms;  but after learning some about Drupal;  I started wondering if those bragging on these cms systems knew something that I did not!   I personally think they are great for blogs and maybe even businesses if the business will have more than one or two people keeping it up!

But so far I have to admit;  I'm turned off by using a cms for a church site!  Maybe in time I'll feel different!  Thank you and I'll check out html 5 link!  Have a great week!
                                           As for me and my house;  we will serve the *LORD*!

Re: Is a cms okay for a church site

Thankfully, not all CMS's are like Drupal. ExpressionEngine leaps to mind as one that is highly customizable and gives you direct control over the code.

Something else you can do is code your own custom solution once you've built the front end and know what you need.

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