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What Is Best Platform for my Website?

best platform for church website
Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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Continuing our Church Website Design Tips and Tools theme, one of the biggest decisions an organization has to make when considering church website design is the platform the website will use.

By “platform” we’re talking about the website development software, content management system, or website builder that will be used to build and manage the website.

In this video, we address the question, “What Is Best Platform for my Website?”

To decide the best platform for your website, we encourage you to consider 4 factors…

1) Determine what your needs are for your website.

By doing that, it will help you understand what you need out of a website platform. So if you say to yourself, “I need to be able to have online event registration, or I need to be able to have a blog or an eNewsletter or shopping cart,” that will help you in your research of website platforms in determining whether or not those website platforms will be able to provide that functionality.

Before you can choose the best platform for your website, you must determine the functionality you want for your website. -Mark Steinbrueck

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If you need additional guidance with this, check out How to Decide Your Website Needs

2) Consider whether the software is online or desktop software.

Online software simply means that you don’t store the software on your computer, but you login to a website using username and password to be able to access the back end of your website and make changes.

Desktop software, on the other hand, is stored on your computer. So that means that you have to have that software and that particular computer to be able to make updates. This also means that if you have a web team with multiple people, every single one of those individuals needs to have that software on their computer that they are going to be using. So it limits you in exactly where you can access it from, you probably can’t do changes from a smart phone or tablet. And it also it makes it more difficult to add people to maintain the website.

And then lastly, if you want to have additional work done by people that are not part of your organization, whether it be tech support or having someone do SEO for your website, going with a desktop platform, makes it nearly impossible to do that, so you certainly want to select an online platform if all possible.

3) Look at whether or not the software is proprietary.

Certainly you want to use an online software platform, and if all possible, try to find one that’s not proprietary. The proprietary simply means that, the organization that hosts the site, also owns that software so you can’t take the website with you when you want to leave.

Now if you’re not planning on keeping your website for a long period of time, or if simply the cost of a particular hosting package and the software that it comes with it is proprietary, fits your budget, then maybe going with a proprietary software is something that is reasonable and will fit your needs. But if you can, try to find some kind of software that you can take, that means that you can take your website with you, if you were to choose to leave and go to a another host.

4) Consider ease of use.

Research how easy a particular software platform is to use. Go online and see if there’s any online reviews. Talk to other people who may have used this, and these conversations and advice, can save you a lot of time in using a sub part platform.

In the same sense, research the support of the platform:

  • Can you even get support?
  • And if so, do you have to pay for it?
  • Is it free or is it a pay per incident or pay per month or what kind of fee structure is there?
  • How quickly can you get responses when you are looking for support?
  • And then also, how do they provide support?
  • Is there phone support?
  • Is it email support?
  • Is it only through the help desk?

Take a look at those things so you know what to expect if you select a particular platform.

If there is anything that we can do for you here at OurChurch.Com to help you achieve your goals and mission online, please complete the consultation request form below.

Comment and Discuss… What platform does your current website use and why? What other questions do you have about website platforms?

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About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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