WEBSITE BASICS -- Like Building a House
Building a website is a lot like building a house:
We need to settle on a set of house plans before we can get down to serious business on a new house. There are books full of house plans and there are thousands of website templates available at a very nominal price. You can hire an architect to draw up a set of house plans, and you can do much the same for a website if you want a really good professional looking design. The website architect need not be the person who builds the site. If you do hire a website architect (i.e. designer), it is important that you have a pretty good idea what you want before you do so. If you play the roll of architect, then draw up what you want on paper—or you can use Power Point, which is how this site was sketched initially. Use what ever approach works best for you.
When building a website, it is typical that the architect and contractor are the same person. It need not be that way. The person who is good at coding up the website may not be much of an artist.
Living In It
Church websites and houses are not worth much unless we live them. Somebody has to take out the garbage to keep the website cleaned up. Somebody has to bring home the groceries to keep the site current and up to date. The lawn needs mowing, the house needs painting and the website needs many of the same things done to it. We don't go live in the local hotel once the house has been built, we move in and live in it.
So, don't forget that after you've hired somebody or a company to design and build your website, the local folks are going to end up living in it or abandoning it. The design must be simple enough for your church webmaster to take on. Or the content management system must be something the church office can happily work with. Even if you sign up for services that do everything for you, somebody or a team at the church needs to be calling out the necessary changes. Otherwise you can have a grand looking house, with all the lights on, but obviously nobody lives there.
Primary Author: David Buxton