While netAdventist will no longer be supported, it's still important to have an online presence. Here's a list of considerations when making your choice.
Why does my church need a web presence?
One of the core purposes of our Church is to reach out to the community. When someone from the community comes to a point where they are deciding whether to visit your church and they want to find out more about you, they will often research your church online before they visit. This is to help them both decide whether to visit in the first place and to make their maiden visit as stress-free as possible by learning where and when to go and what to expect. Among other benefits, your church primarily needs a web presence to assist people deciding to visit your church for the first time.
Security & backups
If your self-hosting a website CMS such as Wordpress, Joomla, Typo 3, etc you'll need someone with experience in websites who can:
- actively keep up-to-date on security updates for the base CMS and plugins
- maintain daily backups
- ideally add an SSL certificate
- purchase a URL and manage DNS records
- use an app like 1Password to securly keep track of passwords
- respond to a hacking.
It's recommended to have two or more people with admin access to your website even if one the people isn't involved with the website. In the event that something happens to one of the admins you'll need to be able to regain access.
We recommend the essential information on your community/visitor-focussed site should include: Church name, street address, map and instructions for parking, service times and descriptive explanations of what generally happens at each regular event, a contact us form which is monitored, general statement of beliefs and vision of your church, what your community involvement is and a list of ministries you run. A neatly produced video of church members sharing why they love to attend your church is also a great asset to your site.
If you are using Wordpress or an alternative netAdventist hosting solution, the General Conference has created a custom Adventist theme you can use. Check out framework.adventist.org.
* country code (au, nz, fj, etc).