In the fall bedecked beauty of southern Maine, a church planting team is working hard in a bustling Portland suburb. They chose to use a Sharefaith website for their church startup. We asked them some questions to find out about their experience, and perhaps share with you some perspective on what it’s like to use a Sharefaith church website.
Inside a Sharefaith Website: An Interview
Andrew Warde, lead pastor of Gracepoint Church has been a Sharefaith website user for about six months. During that time, he has put Sharefaith websites to the test—posting sermons, adding videos from Vimeo, embedding YouTube videos, posting pictures, implementing social media widgets, customizing graphics, changing drop down menus, changing out widgets, linking up a Google calendar, creating a contact form, using CAPTCHA codes, customizing logos, and basically using tons of the powerful tools available on a Sharefaith church website. (You can find out how to do all of these things at the church website tutorials.)
We asked Andrew a few questions about his website.
Why did you decide to go with the design/template that you did?
We already had a logo designed for our church, so we went with a theme that seemed the easiest to modify while having the colors match with our logo. We also were conscientious of the audience we are trying to reach, so that played into our decision.
What customizations did you make to the Sharefaith church website template?
We obviously used our own logo and modified the menus/widgets as it suited us, but the website was pretty close to usable from the beginning.
How long did it take you to get from step zero (having no website) to having a fully-functional website?
Copywriting took the majority of the time, but once we had the copy written, getting the basic website up took 2 hours perhaps. We’ve done a lot of tinkering and adjusting with it since, but we had a web presence pretty quickly.
Do you make use of the library of predesigned sidebars or headers? What program did you use to edit them?
We’ve made some use of the Sharefaith predesigned sidebars and headers. Both are fairly easily modified in Word or in picture editing software.
Tell me about the technical learning curve. How much HTML did you have to use or learn?
I’ve not had to learn any HTML to use the website. I’ve used it a little bit while copying maps, videos, pictures, etc into the website, but it wasn’t a need. When I get stumped, the Sharefaith blog has tons of helpful articles to help me navigate past the sticking point.
Compared with, say, using Facebook, how easy is it to learn how to update your church website.
Updating the website itself is a breeze. Pages are easy to add, delete, or modify.
A functional website that looks nice and access to professional looking graphics make Sharefaith hard to beat. I’m also impressed at the features that Sharefaith continues to add (sermons, online giving, etc). The trajectory looks good.
Want your own free church website? Start here.