This is the second post in a series on creating and maintaining a great church website.

The first step to having a great church website is determining what the purpose of your site is going to be.  We discussed that in the previous post.

Now that you know the “why” it’s time to move onto the next step. The who (not the band, although “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is a great song and can serve as a cautionary tale to anyone who violates this second step).

Just because your intern has heard of the internet or your mom’s friend writes a blog doesn’t mean you are obligated to have them build the church’s site.  Too many small to medium-sized church’s have a member’s only approach to web sites.  Don’t limit your potential because you are afraid of bruising an ego.

Here is a checklist for hiring a company, firm, or freelancer to do your church’s site.

  1. Do they have a portfolio with sites you wish your site looked like?
  2. Do they offer content management systems (CMS) or ongoing maintenance?
  3. Do they use best practices in SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? How do you find out? Google their other clients to see how easy it is to find them.
  4. Do they provide ongoing training? Most church’s like to have some control over their site (CMS like WordPress for example) Does your new web team provide training.
  5. Are they able to provide all of the services you need based on the goal of your site. (Examples: streaming video, podcasting, Facebook integration, signing up for small groups online, etc.) Keep in mind, the more features you ask for in your site will likely increase the budget.
  6. Is their pricing comparative with other web design companies in your area? Remember you get what you pay for. If your church website is the first impression with many of your potentially new members do you want cheap or quality (rarely do these two go together)

These are some simple questions to pose when talking with prospective “web guys (girls)”.

So, who you gonna call?