What's the Process?
Ready to get started? Great! Joining the Church Pages Initiative is simple and here is what to expect:
1. Apply to Church Pages
As with many good things, it starts with a short application form so that we can learn about your church, and apply for the Church Pages Initiative discount. Within this form you'll indicate which design and hosting option you'd like to go for, and if you're unsure, don't hesitate to ask one of our team.
Please take time over choosing the template because this at this point you are commiting to the size, spacing, and look of your finished website, along with its functionality. Obviously the website will have your images and copy in it, but take a look at the templates and our recent work to give you an idea of how your site might appear on the web.
Finding a template that works well can be difficult, but try to keep in mind your brand or logo when you pick. We have information on branding for churches here: https://www.churchpages.co.uk/247/How-Can-Branding-Help-Churches, which we think will help you with your decision.
It might be that you don't want to use a template, or you would like to change it considerably and of course that is possible. Please ask us if you feel that a bespoke site is something that would work better for you, or if you would like to chat about which template would work best for you.
2. We'll be in touch
We'll use the details you provide to make contact and start either the first steps of your design or we'll arrange a time to train your chosen designer. If you have opted for a templated design, we'll send through the images and text we require and if are choosing a bespoke design, one of our design team shall drop you a call to understand more about the look/feel you'd like for your church.
3. Send us your content
We usually find that it can take some time to collate high quality images/photographs along with text content and therefore we advise starting this as soon as possible. The quality of your images is essential so it may be worth finding a talented photographer in your congregration and don't hesitate to ask our team if you'd like further advice on this. Several (~50-100) high definition photos is a standard amount. Make sure to capture activites that your church does throughout the week!
4. You'll receive a 'mockup'
Once we have all your content, we'll send through a 'mockup' of your website design. This will be on a temporary domain (therefore not found by the public or search engines!) and you'll be able to see how your website will look.
This is an opportunity for feedback and we hope you're delighted with your website. However with templated designs there are limits on how much we can amend the look.
Once you're happy with how the site looks, we will get in touch and arrange a time to train you in using the Church Pages admin system. This only takes about 30 minutes and we are always happy to answer questions you have either now or once using the system.
6. Going live
Once you're happy with the design, we'll choose a time to 'go live' with your new website. This will involve ensuring that your chosen domain (URL) points to your new website.
If you already have a domain, this will just mean changing some settings on your domain control panel and these changes can then take up to 24 hours to 'propagate' onto the wider web. If you don't already have a domain and would like help registering one, simply ask one of our team as we can help with domain management and renewal.
If you have email at your domain, updating your website will not change your email service (however, you'll need to ensure your settings for email are unchanged!) If you do not have email, again just ask our team as they'll be able to help.
7. Updating content
You'll be responsible for the upkeep and maintainance of your website, and we recommend you write regular news articles to let people know about your activities. Support will be always be available and depends on which hosting option you have chosen.
If you're using one of our templates, the templates are very flexible and easy to edit. You can quickly add entire pages or just change single words with your admin login. We recommend that you don't edit your main home page or logo too dramatically without informing us as this can sometimes interfere with the overall theme of the site, but it is yours to change. The templates are more like layouts, and new pages created will have the same layout as your existing ones.
8. Part of the Initiative network
As part of the Church Pages Initiative, you'll be kept up to date with other work we are doing around the UK and how your contributions are serving other communities across the country. We will keep in touch and want to hear what work you are doing that others can support!