If you need a website designed for your Church organization, the many Church web hosting options are an obvious and natural first choice, but how do these services compare with a regular secular web hosting company in terms of service and value to your cause?
The simple answer is, it depends…
A web hosting service will vary from company to company, whether it is Church-run, a regular secular web hosting company or any other sort of hosting company. If your goal is to attract people to your Church or Christian Ministry, the first question you need to ask yourself is which is going to offer the most value for my money?
A hosting company run by the Church may sound great, considering you are expecting to be served by like-minded people, but in reality, with a good host, once your site is up and running, you will rarely need much direct contact with the people who run the company.
Also sadly, often these services cannot compete with larger secular web hosting companies around. Worse still, others are only posing as Christian and will try and rip you off outright, justifying their inflated prices by the fact that they are “Christian” owned and run.
Having one of these companies design your website for you is another matter that should definitely be treated with extreme caution. In fact, having ANY hosting company also design your website is often a bad idea. If a host is dividing its resources between web design and hosting, it cannot provide the same quality of service – resources are spread too thin and quality suffers.
On the other hand, if they have solid design experience in the type of website you’re looking for, they should not be discounted offhand either, but I’d definitely be asking for some hard evidence of a proven track records in such projects.
Another option if you are up for a challenge, is to design the website yourself. It’s a trivial matter to set up a WordPress blogging platform for your Church and it costs nothing but your time. Many affordable web hosting companies provide the option to auto-install WordPress using Fantastico and provide loads of FREE templates, including many Church themes.
Whatever your choice in web hosting companies Christian or Secular, it pays to shop around and research your options. Seek information from a lot of different sources like Magazines, Online Review sites, Directories, Blogs, Web Hosting Forums as well as the forums of the hosting companies you are considering. Post questions in as many forums as possible and try and find reviews from people who have actual experience with the host.