To Put Your Church Online
Christian® is a non-profit organization whose mission
is to help churches establish, maintain, or further their Internet
a combination of education, consulting, and working closely with
both resource centers and UM Conferences, we help churches
find the solutions that best meet their Internet needs. Below
is our Internet Education area.
It contains a series of articles and 'How to' papers on every aspect
of your Internet
days when it comes to web solutions there are so many options
and vendors available it is hard to know where to start and
who to trust. Establishing and maintaining
an Internet presence requires a financial commitment. Computer
technologies change rapidly, therefore, your church's financial commitment
will not be a one-time-only investment. There
are ways of defraying initial costs. However, there may be no
better way to insure you get the most value from your investment than
knowing what you want and knowing what options exist with today's
are a series of articles and
additional resources to help you identify the steps
your church may need to take in order to establish or further its
First you will need to register
your name. There are companies
which register domain names, companies which provide web hosting, and
some which offer to
do both for you. It is not always a good idea to have a web hosting
company register your domain name (i.e., www.YourChurch.org). In
some cases, the domain name is registered in the hosting company's
name not your own.
churches know they want email or already have some form of it.
Most take their email service for granted.
But what exactly are your needs? What is the difference between
POP, IMAP, WebMail, Aliases, SMTP, SSL, email clients, and aliases?
How much security do we need? What about SPAM? We'll try to
light on these concepts and show you what features you should be looking
for from an email service provider. [More]
there are many companies providing hosting. Some are more reliable
(in terms 'down time') than others. Monthly hosting costs have come
down considerably. Choose a provider who can grow with your church's
your homework! First determine why you are going online.
What is our mission? Who is our audience? Are we reaching
out or providing a service to our members?
Next, think about what you
need to accomplish that mission. Do
we need a web site or just a mailing list? Do we need
a bulletin board site, an interactive site, or a community
investigate how you should build it. Should
we build our site in-house? Should we use a service-provider, start
with a pre-built site or use a database-driven template? Each method
has its pros and cons.
Now the real work begins. Establishing
your web presence is only part of the process. Keeping
the content up to date may be the most under-estimated area
web presence in terms of the resources required. Have you visited
have a staff of 30 people working on the maintenance of their site.