Probably a lot more! You probably should know that this article is inspired by three different interactions. One, reading Niki Brown’s article, Why Logos Should Cost More Than $300. Two, reading Jacob Cass’ Why logo design does not cost $5. Third, a common question I hear from Pastors, “how do I convince my church to spend money on a website when they don’t see the need?
So leaders, I’m going to attempt to give you some viable and truthful information about why a church should invest money in a church website…
To Honor God
Your building and grounds, bulletin shells, and website should all be done with exellence, fit for the King! Simple enough.
To Communicate the Gospel
A web site is another platform from which to spread the message of eternal life. I don’t think you should see your website as “just one more tool,” but that’s probably best left for a future post.
To Connect with the Public
You might still use a phone book, but most people under 30… no wait, 40 don’t. We use Google… or Bing… or Local, Ask, Dogpile (don’t ask) or something similar. The closest we get to the yellow pages is Google-411 or Anywho.com. So when John, Jane, and their kids Johnny, Jr., Jimmy, and Jasmin move to your town, they’re going to search for “churches in anytown, usa.” You might want to be there to meet them.
At Bethel, about 70% of the people who walk through our doors saw our website before coming!
To Provide Information About Your Church
Service times, maps, events, ministries offered, staff and leadership – all are common ingredients of church websites, and they should be. You’re telling everyone who you are.
Wait… our question wasn’t just “why do we need a website,” but “why do we need a good website, that costs money?” Well, here then…
Your Website Should Reflect Your Church’s Story and Personality
Please, please don’t use the template and space that comes with your home ISP account. Let me make this simple – your pastoral business card, church sign, bulletin, and website should all have a common theme – a brand if you will.
Your Website Should Encompass a Well-planned Usability Strategy
A page with a bunch of links and text worked great way back in the 90’s, but that was a previous century! A professional designer will understand your website from the perspective of a user, a visitor. The flow of information will be user-centric. You’ve got to think through your online communication strategy.
Your Website Should Look Good
Plain and simple – your church website shouldn’t stink. It should really look great, like these.
What Should A Website Cost?
Impossible to answer here. Why? Because there are a variety of needs, a variety of solutions, and a variety of approaches taken by a variety of designers. Personally, I’d be wary of anyone charging less than $750 – 1,000 for a complete site solution. I’d also probably avoid anyone charing more than a few thousand dollars, unless they’re really creating some awesome applications for you from scratch. So, anywhere from $750 – $5,000 depending on a range of factors.
Rather than look for a particular price, keep these points in mind…
- Find a designer you can trust based on references, previous work, and the evidence of strong ethics.
- Don’t be cheap. You’re paying for creativity and art, not a mass-produced commodity.
- Don’t be extravagant. It’s God’s money (all of it) so be a wise steward, but don’t be cheap…
- Form a relationship with your designer so that he can perform future work for you with a growing understanding of your vision and values.
- Value a designer’s work as a contribution to the honor and glory of God.
They’re Still Not Convinced
I’ve been there. In fact, eGrace Creative exists today because I felt a $2,500 price tag would shock some of my congregational leaders into immediate cardiac arrest. So I started playing around with web creation software. That was 1998 and the rest is history. I’ve been helping churches since then. So my next post along these lines is going to be quite the opposite sentiment… How Can My Church Have a Nice Website for Less than $100 (They’re Too Cheap To Spend More)