Why Automated Setup is the Future of Church Websites

Matt Morrison explains why Sites is a superior web tool for churches, compared with other automated websites platforms.

Why Automated Setup is the Future of Church Websites

I think this is really important to a church to look into finding something that it can automatically set up (eg. a great church website builder), because like any project that your ministry might get involved in, it has the opportunity to drain a lot of time and resources out of the church and often you can see that happen where the website project begins.

Even some people now thinking about building a website, thinking, "Oh, we don't have three months to do this. I just don't have that in my schedule."

So maybe you put it off another year to build your website because you're too overwhelmed in thought.

Maybe it's a matter of not having to spend a ton of money on a developer. If it's going to be a manual setup process, it might mean paying that developer thousands and thousands of dollars to build it, and that's just really not in your church budget right now. So again, maybe that means you push it off.

Maybe it's the frustration of just waiting for your website to launch. You're in this middle place where you can't add events yet to the new platform because it's not launched yet, but you're not sure how much you want to edit the content on your existing one. So what that means is kind of being in this purgatory of our website's really out of date, but we don't want to take the time to update it because it's taking us six months to launch our website.

And so finding a speedy launch process will help solve that and then also finally it helps keep you out of the technical side of things, if you have a platform that's going to do a lot of that auto setup for you, it means you're not having to kind of dive into databases and dive into code. And also it means that a lot of those bugs have been taken care of because the process has been refined in some platform that lets you automatically set it up.

When you use a platform that has taken a lot of the considerations of your church website before you've even started, there's a lot of jobs that come off your plate that you might not even see. Things like where are we going to host our website? What kind of platform code are we going to use to build it? How are we going to have a secure encrypted connection?

There's so many different pieces that can actually take a lot of time to figure out, find the right solution, maybe if your volunteer doesn't then have to code them from scratch, it saves a lot of time and effort when those things are already taken into consideration. So a platform that does all of that for you is going to save you a lot of time, but also means that someone's probably maintaining that code to make sure it's up to speed with where it needs to be, instead of custom-creating something that's all of a sudden going to be now on your plate to maintain going forward.

The launch time of a church website can absolutely vary depending on how complex your website's going to be, what kind of features you want it to do, what platform you're choosing to build it on. I'd say that if done well, a church website should launch within three to four weeks, but it's not uncommon for website processes, depending on how many committees it has to go to or boards that has to be approved by or double checked or maybe if your developer has another job and this is a side gig for them, that process can easily push out to four to six months and that's where I think it causes a lot more problems for the than solutions.

This was a huge piece of what we wanted to change with Sites was that we could actually have you launching your website, we say, in minutes where you actually get through a ton of those major steps where we get a whole bunch set out for you right out of the gate. And so, yeah, literally within 10 to 15 minutes you're editing your website content and at any point, even that same day, you could say, yep, this is good to go. We're going to launch the website today.

Obviously if you need a little bit more time, that's totally fine. Or you want to have a couple different team members collaborate on it and we get that it can take a few days or a few weeks and that's okay too, but we wanted to make sure that you had everything technology-wise that you needed to launch as soon as you were ready.

There is a huge opportunity to save yourself a lot of pain in choosing the right platform or developer. And I think some of those are that all the features are available to you right away so you're not having to reinvent the wheel and saying, "Okay, let's build a sermon platform." There's a lot of functionality that goes into a sermon player so that it connects to your iTunes feed so that you can upload video and audio to it.

To build that from scratch causes a lot of pain, probably costs a lot of money. So choosing the right platform means everything your church needs is already right there ready to go. You don't have to work out all the bugs. In any software development, there's a lot of bugs that can come up, but if the platform has already been created, it means you're not having to solve those bugs yourself. They've already been cleaned up and the platform's already ready to go tomorrow.

It means you now don't have to rely on any one person being available. I so often ... again, we love volunteers. Volunteers are a massive part of what makes churches run well. But this is one area where I would say that if you've got a developer, a volunteer who's who's really great and super capable, often they can get tied up in other things and they can either get a job that takes a lot of their time or they're working on a number of big projects and so being reliant on one specific person can cause huge challenges down the line when something breaks.

So often in choosing a platform to build your website on means you've actually got a team of developers available to you to help you if anything goes wrong or often a problem is actually solved before you ever see it because someone else using that platform has already reported the problem, the team fixed it and you didn't even know there was a problem and so that's a huge advantage to kind of being on a larger infrastructure than just any single one website.

Also, it can save you just a lot of time. You're not the one having to go to every feature to make sure things are working well or having someone report something back to you. Again, it doesn't even come across your plate because everything's just working the way it should, and it allows you to focus on things that matter to you. You're not just spending your time trying to get a feature working right. You're getting to to focus on the vision and the message of your church and how that communicates through the website. And so that's where we want you spending your time. We'll worry about all the technical details.

Show Notes

Read the full blog of this episode here:

Today on Modern Church Leader, Matt Morrison explains why Sites is a superior web tool for churches, compared with other automated websites platforms.

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Why Automated Setup is the Future of Church Websites