Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why do you take on so few clients a year.

Don't you hate it when you feel ignored by your vendor? We do! So in order to continue providing excellent customer service without upping our prices, we must limit ourselves to a certain number of clients we can take at a time. We never want to get to the point where we can put up a website but can't provide good support to back it up. We want to make sure each church website is being maximized to its full potential and that everything is working correctly.

Please write to us today to see if we can take on your project! We'd love to see if we can help. We CANNOT accept all projects.

Who owns the website if we don't want to keep using your services and want to take the website elsewhere?

All the content on the site that you've written, and the graphics you have added yourself are your property. The graphics that we have created as well as the layout are ours and cannot be taken with you until a period of 2 years is over. Once 2 years have passed, you may take the church website design and any graphics we have created for you and do whatever you want with them. Because we don't make you sign any long term contracts, it is too easy for people to use our services, take all our work, and then leave soon after. This is our way of protecting ourselves from this.

No access is given to our servers to download any software the runs the site. It is your responsibility, should you decide to leave, to transfer all content and images into your new site without our help.

Are any contracts required?

No. If you decide to pay up front for the whole year and STAY for the whole year, we give you the equivalent of almost  2 months free.

If you do pay up front for the whole year and decide to leave halfway through, you will get a pro rated refund for the unused portion.

Once we have the website up and running, what do we do?

Once your website is up and running, we will have you create an account on your website. We will then assign you to be an administrator, which will enable access to all the features that come with the site. You have access to our full online help site with step-by-step text and video instructions on how to use all the features the site comes with.

There are some settings that are not documented however due to the nature of every site being unique in how it is setup, so if you need help with something, we will be glad to guide you through it over the phone.

How long will it take from the time we send you our information and pay, till the time when the website is up and running, and ready for us to use?

Because each site is uniquely customized to the needs of the church, it takes about 15 business days to complete a church website from beginning to end. This does NOT include how long it takes for the client to get content to us to put initially (as this oftentimes is what holds up a church website from going live right away).

First drafts of the design can take up to 1.5 weeks to complete. We then go back and forth with each church to tweak the design to make sure everything is to the church's liking. Once the design has been approved, we begin work on putting it into the system. This process takes another 1.5  weeks. Once the design is in the system, we will notify you and collect the content you want us to transfer into your new site. This process takes a few days. After it is in, you as the church will then want to go through everything to make sure everything is setup how you wish.

All in all, from start to finish, you can have your website up in about 5 weeks. It all depends on how quickly you get us your initial content.

Do we send you photos to use for the website or do you provide us with them?

Both! When we are doing the design, we will provide our own stock photos or use yours that you provide, as long as they meet a certain standard (we can also enhance the photos in photoshop if they don't look good at first). This allows us to maintain the high quality of the website look. Because we set ourselves apart from other church website creation companies by not only offering an easy to use content management system but by also offering extremely high quality designs and layouts, it is important for us to have this control during the design process.

Once you go live, you are free to add your own photos within the site, but we just ask you be mindful to try to use as high a quality of photos as possible 🙂

How many pages can we have?

You get unlimited pages no matter which package you choose!

Do you really transfer over everything?

We will transfer over all text on all the pages of your website. Not only do we transfer it but we organize it and make it nicer looking, formatted better, and more modern, if we can. If the church has usable images on the content pages, we will also transfer those.

In regards to media data, we will transfer up to the past 3 months of sermons, up to 8 forms, and up to 10 photo albums. It is up to the church to add the rest of those, through the easy to use system we offer.

Pricing

What is the design and implementation fee for?

This is a one time only fee that covers:

- 1 Customized church website design

- Custom graphics created for church website design

- Putting the web design into the church content management system

- Customizing the church content management system for the 1 custom church design we made for you, based on your specific church needs

- Setting up & putting in all your content pages for you. Right before you go live, you will just put in your time sensitive data: sermons, announcements, & calendar items.


The payment schedule is as follows:

- 1st payment due on start-up
- 2nd payment due 2 months from design completion or upon launch, whichever comes first.

Can we host the website ourselves, so that we do not have to pay the monthly fee?

In order to have full control over the content management system and ensure that it works properly, you need to use our servers. This lets us easily troubleshoot any problems that may arise as well. It also enables us to add paid features you request, upgrade current features, and guarantee you that the system as a whole will work properly.

Your monthly fee is also payment for the use of our content management system. If you were to host your site on a different web host, the content management system would not be available for you to use.

What does the price per month cover?

If you look around at church website providers who offer a good content management system, you will notice they all charge a monthly fee. This is not something unique to Mychurchwebsite.com. This fee is NOT the cost of hosting. Hosting is included free.

Putting together this new 2015 system took over 2000+ man hours. You are renting the use of our custom content management system we have assembled with all its many features that work together (ie. advanced calendar, sermon manager, galleries, forms, etc). Using this is a completely different experience than what you would find with off-the-shelf open source systems. Without the use of the content management system you would not be able to easily update any content, assign staff editing privileges per page, calendar items, audio/video files, etc onto your site.

Keeping your site updated so that it is secure is no easy task. The monthly fee enables us to offer upgrades, support, and maintenance of the content management system you are using, since there are many software/security updates being released all the time as new vulnerabilities are found.

Oftentimes a church will have a member make them a free or cheap website. When this is the case, we've noticed software updates are usually missed, especially if that person ends up leaving the church.  Without someone proactively monitoring and updating, your site is left open to be hacked. Religious sites remain the top hacked sites of any other, so we take this threat very seriously. 

In summary, we are a full managed solution that takes the load off of you.

Note: For churches with over 2000 active members, and thus very high web traffic, there is usually an extra $20/month charge to cover the cost of single dedicated server that ONLY hosts that site.

Can I upgrade to a different price package if I choose to at a later date?

Yes. Just email us to let us know which package you want to upgrade to, and we will just adjust your monthly charge, starting on the date the site is upgraded.

Do you offer any type of refund?

Your design & implementation fee cannot be refunded once we have done all the work on the design. We do as much as we can to show you the system control panel ahead of time and work with you to make sure your website looks the way you want. Keep in mind, we have made every effort to keep the design & implementation fee low in the first place, as other church website providers are charging up to 3x this amount for the same professional design without offering refunds either.

If you decide to pay for the whole year in advance, and decide to leave before the year is over, we WILL refund you the monthly payments (not the Design/Setup fee) you did not use on a pro-rated basis. Keep in mind you will only be given a pro-rated amount based on the monthly price (not the annual price), since you did not stay the full year. If you decide to leave before 2 years is over, you cannot take your design with you, as we still have ownership of it (unless it was based on a problem we could not resolve).  All content, of course, is free to copy to your new site.

Is every website $3,500?

90% of church website projects are the $3,500 cost. Typically larger churches of over 1500 members end up costing more because of project size / scope / specific functionality. When we speak to you on the phone about your project we can determine cost normally.

Email

How many email addresses do we get?

Churches can choose between a few different email options that we offer, depending on what situation they are currently in and what would meet their needs.

Churches can also use their existing email provider without issue.

Can we access our email online?

Yes, each different email option has a webmail interface you can use to check your email via a web browser.

Can we receive our email through outlook or outlook express?

Yes,we offer detailed instructions on how to set up outlook to work with your email account.

Website Manager

Is any training required to use the website manager?

We give you access to our special help website that includes step by step documentation to help you along the way and to guide you. Most of the features are simple and straightforward however, and can be used by anyone with minimal computer knowledge. If for any reason you need help or have problems, give us a call, email us, or contact our live support online.

Can we upload our own photos to put in pages?

Yes. Adding an image to an article or section of your website is easy. The interface for typing out your content and adding images is the same as your average word processor program. To add a picture, you can simply drag the image from your desktop into the editor. You can also add your own slides and photo albums or import your photo albums from Facebook. More detailed instructions are found on the help website.

Can we give only certain staff members the ability to add content? And can they each have their own account?

There are 4 default different groups a super administrator can assign to people, 3 of which can edit content on the site:

Registered: CANNOT edit or submit content to the website. This is the user group automatically assigned to users who register through the front end of your website. This is usually for your normal church member. They CANNOT see the front end control panel.

Editor: Can submit and edit events to the website, but the submissions will not go live to the site until they are approved by the administrator.

Publisher : Can submit and edit events to the website instantly without any approval

Author: Can only edit the page you assign to them and nothing else

You may also add your own user groups to the system and assign permissions to them.

Can I change the design of my website at a later date?

Yes. If you want to update your site with a completely new design, it will cost between $900-$2400 (which is about 40-60% off normal price!). All your content will automatically fit into the new design with our system and will not have to be reformatted.

What if I cant figure out how to do something with the website even after reading the documentation?

If you cannot figure out how to do something with the website, please contact us and we can either show you how to do it through our live online support, or do it for you... for free! Telephone, email, and IM support are all available for existing clients.