Which website Content Management System (CMS) do you use?

I thought I had seen a poll posted at one time or another, but sadly, I couldn’t find one. So, I have two questions to ask, to learn how other churches make website decisions:

  1. Who “owns” your website? I’ve heard it falling under Creative/Arts, IT, Media/Marketing, and even Outreach. By owns it, I mean which department makes decisions on website direction/tools?

  2. Which CMS does your site use? Clearly, many use the WordPress/Drupal/Joomla open-source systems, but of course, there are others, both church-specific and not.

If anyone has seen any research done on this, that’s relatively recent, it’d be great to get a link too.

Thanks for chiming in! I’ll be happy to summarize for anyone interested.

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Tim, our Communications Team owns the website, but they actively seek input from our Technical Task Force when it comes to evaluating and selecting a platform. Websites are a mixture of messaging, technology and design. Since no one group has a monopoly on these varied skills, it makes sense to involve the groups that have these specific expertise.

I had researched question #2 several years ago (in 2014) of about 80 popular churches (meaning, they’re larger) and the breakdown is at http://djchuang.com/2014/list-cmses-used-popular-church-websites/ - I’d anticipate the breakdown would remain similar, since WordPress, ExpressionEngine, Ekklesia 360, Drupal, and others are still commonly around.

Cool! At our Regional, I was surprised to see so many had chosen Site Organic, so that one has certainly grown in adoption. I’ll check out your evaluation.

In the situation of a major website project, I could see that. But I guess my question is, in the day-to-day, is it still the committee that evaluates and works to achieve website goals (whether that’s new visits, info delivery effectiveness, engagement, etc.)? Which group is actively setting goals and looking at analytics? Or does that slip as it does in our org?

The website falls under our Communications office whereas IT falls under the Finance Office. IT and Communications is working on a joint project to replace our aging website. We sent RFI’s to 8 developers and have narrowed it down to two candidates. Both CMS are proprietary. One is based on SharePoint by Parish Connexion. The other is called XpressIT by Christian Brothers. It’s a hard decision. They both rocked their demos.

Our website falls under our Communications dept.

Tim, in reply to your follow up question, yes, the Communication Team owns the day-to-day operation and changes to our website. We have Operations staff that implement many of the weekly updates on the site, but it’s all under the direction of the Communications Team. In the past, we tried a model that enabled ministry directors to own and revise content in certain sections. That did not work well AT ALL. Generally speaking, it was not considered a priority, thus leading to an obsolete and static state to the site, and there was a lack of skill and focus in the messaging that was put up.
We do set goals and targets and drive to them, but the goals we set might not be the ones you would normally think. For example, we do NOT have goals associated with number of visitors, page hits and the like, with the exception of things like landing page hits tied to specific ad campaigns. Instead we tend to focus on things like: number and percentage of visitors that connect with our church (measuring the effectiveness of the website to be the front porch for visitors and drive connection), evaluate our website against best practices for church websites, and measure registrations for events that we promote.

  1. Communications department. We also have a small team comprised of communications and IT that help make decisions for our website and mobile app.

  2. We currently use Wordpress. We really like it. It is much better than our previous one. We are looking into the possibility of having Rock be our CMS in the future.

The physical server falls under it but all content and updating goes through our communications team.

For the CMS, we went crazy and decided to use sitecore