Church Websites Should Never Be Free

We have been researching, experimenting, brainstorming, and skipping meals trying to lower the cost of quality websites for churches. I would love to find a way to do websites for free and still feed my family, but that just isn’t going to happen. Here’s why:

  1.  Free websites are not really free. They are paid for by advertisements or a single sponsor/benefactor that ultimately controls the site.
  2. Limiting advertising to just compatible businesses/organizations is more expensive than running the site in the first place. Plus think about the message you are sending to potential visitors. This church is a commercial enterprise.
  3. Few churches have volunteers skilled/dedicated enough to keep site up to date. Look at the average church bulletin board – you know the one with the push-pins.
  4. Free sites get forgotten. It is a sad, but thoroughly tested truth that free things are not valued. A website with “upcoming events” that have past is likely to run people off, and is an embarrassment to the cause of Christ.

We will continue to search for better ways to provide better sites and better web-services at prices that churches can afford, and may even be launching a free option soon. But, the free option will only be for those who feel a need to learn through experience instead of reading this post.

What do you think?

Is free a good option? Are there other reasons a church site should not be free? How about reasons it really should be free?

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