I am gathering information on what other churches are doing with web development. Would you mind replying with a quick answer to these questions? Thanks in advance!
Do you outsource your web development? If so, who do you use? And how many weekly staff hours do you dedicate to managing web content and the managing the relationship with the outsourced company?
If you don’t outsource and develop in house, how many weekly staff hours do you dedicate to this? And what platform do you use? (Wordpress, Drupal, SquareSpace, etc)
Director of Technology
If you are looking for what the vast majority of churches do, they are overwhelmingly under 300 members and if they have a website on a CMS then it’s usually Wordpress (I’ve seen many on Squarespace, Weebly, or other builders too). At that size they usually only post their sermons once a week, if at all, so they spend a few hours on it. Some are on a hosted or high-performance stack, in those instances the outsourced company usually only provides technical support and hosting but they may provide a certain amount of updates. I saw a lot of predatory rates being charged for basic websites so I eventually built a Wordpress hosting solution with a curated set of plugins and a popular theme with a builder (Divi) that we let those small churches and missions organizations in our region on pro bono.
Now, when I’ve worked in very large/mega churches, there tends to be dedicated resources in the communications department to web development/upkeep. They may outsource design, but communications handles weekly updates, sermons, etc.They’ll usually work with media/worship arts teams so they do draw some man hours from there as well. If IT is involved then it’s strictly hosting/stack and possibly custom php development. I haven’t worked in anything bigger than 10K so things may swing beyond that size, but the above is what I see 99% of the time.
We are a church of about 1500. Our website is developed by our Communications Director and overseen by him. I am not sure of the number of hours put in because it is integrated with our communications. The different ministries have pages and work on their own content. Our website is hosted by Squarespace. We stream our services through our website(Vimeo) as well as one service on Facebook. We also have an internal website run by our ChMS where most of our internal communication takes place. We look at our public website as our entrance to the church for people looking for a church to get information about us, or as in the case of our streaming to help members that are deployed or otherwise unable to attend church.
We are a church of about 3000 and are currently moving from an in house managed Joomla install to an outsourced Wordpress install. I have assisted with the process of the move since I have experience working with websites and web content.
Our communication director manages all web content with the assistance of different departments depending on specific content needed. Not sure how many hours a week, it will vary depending on events going on.
We use Fish Hook. They designed and are hosting our site. It’s great because it’s all automated pulling events from our ChMS. All our communications department does is design graphics and make sure descriptions are correct. Then once an event is approved, it goes live at whatever time it’s supposed to and comes down automatically when it’s over.
SquareSpace, in-house, about 3 hours a week. However we have 2 other sites for specific ministries hosted on Weebly. Less than 1 hour a week spent updating both.
Church of ~2500/wknd
RockRMS used for database ChMS duties, and CMS duties. Best piece of software I’ve ever used.
For large projects, such as migrating CMS from squarespace to rock, we contracted out (Fishhook)
We don’t have a number on the amount of hours. It’s a team effort…I wish we knew