James: All right Jo today we're talking about the price of a church website. And that is not just the price of building it but also maintaining it. We did a poll on our Facebook page for visualmediachurch and the number one you know range of price per month was $26-100 but I actually see that you put between 200 and 500. Why is that?
Joanna: Yeah because we want to think about not just the cost of the wbsite itself but also the salary hours that we spend maintaining it.
James: All right Joanna. So the cost of a website is something that is really debated online. I've noticed a lot of people asking about it and talking about it and unfortunately arguing about it and I mean my personal belief is that a website shouldn't really cost you a lot. There are lots of great options that are going to land somewhere with work in probably around 50 dollars a month. And that is unbelievably good where the cost is really cheap. What are your thoughts and what is our church pay per month?
Joanna: Yeah. Well I think the things we need to think about are not just the cost that we're paying for the service online whatever they're charging your credit card but you also want to think about that cost the human costs of how much it takes to maintain. So in the past when we were using a WordPress site we spent lots of thousands of dollars to build it and then we realized we didn't have the skill set in-house to properly maintain it at the level that we wanted. And so we're constantly having to go back and pay somebody outside the organization to do some stuff that we didn't physically have the skill set to do. And so now where we're at with the Squarespace site you know we have like a mid range per month on there whatever the mid-range is. I think you might know it off the top of your head.
James: Yeah it's like 25 dollars a month.
Joanna: 25 bucks a month for that and then we and then we have a junior employee who's whose job is to every week do the updates to the changes add new events take stuff away that's outdated all that kind of stuff. So I'm also factoring in like salary dollars so we probably spend a few hundred bucks a month on our website including salary.
James: Absolutely. And like if you're picking a platform I am a true believer that you should not be spending more than 25 or 50 dollars a month because there are options that are wonderful options that are at that price point. Like there's lots of places that are going to try to convince you that you should spend hundreds of dollars a month because they have some sort of advantage. And the truth is that most of those websites that are cheaper can actually do the exact same things they just may not have a nice fancying marketing term for it. Yeah the reality is either a Squarespace or a ChurchCo something like that you can build encounters you can build an online giving rate into those websites and you don't need to spend more than 50 dollars to get that kind of stuff. You just might have to do a little research and and ask the right questions and find those platforms that are doing that because price is the number one thing I think people get confused about.
Joanna: Well in a classic case of like "do you want to give a man a fish or teach a man to fish". I find like a lot of people they're having the cost of their website is high because they don't know how to do anything themselves. So the upfront cost of learning how to maintain and build your own website is probably going to be a little bit more. But in the long-term if someone in-house or a key volunteer or staff member of the church knows how to update the website in the long-term you're saving a ton of money because you can do it yourselves rather than having to pay out to somebody else.
James: Absolutely. And the reason why people are confused is because it has changed so much so fast. Five years ago we wouldn't be talking about these options like 25 or 50 dollars a month was not attainable. You would be talking about probably at least 500 dollars a month because you're having to hire someone to do all the work for you. Yeah. And now with these new systems like you can train an intern you can train someone who's been working in the church for 30 years to go on log on create a new event add a picture and you know a new page is made and it can be maintained by multiple people in the church. You can have 10 people trained to go in and do and do the work so that it doesn't fall on one person's shoulders all the time and become this burden.
Joanna: Yeah we're at this point now where a lot of websites can be made to if you know how to do a word document or make a simple PowerPoint presentation you know add a picture and type a title and a PowerPoint presentation like the whoever does your slides for your Sunday sermon. That same kind of skillset can be used to maintain a website. And so the price the cost of it the time has really reduced.
James: Absolutely and I think we just need to be good stewards of the money that comes from the church and overspending on a website that is a very fast way to kind of give all that money and and then on something that you don't really know why you're spending that amount of money on whereas it could be used for some much more fruitful things.
Joanna: Well James where can people find you? Speaking of websites.
James: People can find me at visualmediachurch on Instagram and Jo where can people find you?
James: The next episode where we're talking about some helpful pages and maybe things that you should include on your website that maybe haven't thought of before.