Extend My ministry…

When churches traded the organ for a guitar and drums.  It was hard and required more people than a single organist, and yes, it was necessary to carry the Gospel forward. Getting your church online is hard and requires more people than a single person to “make a web page”

Once completed, you will wonder how you got along without it.

I Need Help Starting

Google My Business is the Easiest Place to start

If you don’t have a website, technical skills, the VERY BEST place to start is Google Business Profile (formally Google My Business) If Domain and Hosting are a rough place to start, start here.  Google My Business. You will get a very capable website with no coding and many benefits. 

church online

Google My Business Links

SEO for the Church

If Domains and Hosting are too hard of a place to start, Google My Business.  You will get a very capable website with no coding and many benefits. 

Step #1: The Very Begining

What is in a Name

Get an Online Address:  Just like your street address, your website needs an address. The online address is called a Domain Name. It is something like www.example.com. As a church, you can pick any name that has not been used by someone else.

If your name is taken, they try some small changes like www.exampleNY.com or www.MYexample.com. (Capitalization does not matter in domain names). You can use a .org or .com ending; they have no meaning anymore. They are just a new way of saying Drive, versus Street, versus Road. As you pick a name, make sure that your domain name is easy to pronounce, spell, and is as short as possible. Here is the best place to start and learn what to do.  What is a Domain name and how does it work

What is a Domain

So, now that you sort of understand what a domain is (LOL), now you need to find a place to buy one. They cost about $14.99 a year. You are just buying an address at this point. There is an option to also buy a “package,” that is, you buy the domain name and a hosting package. This is like one-stop shopping. Here are a few links with good prices that are very helpful. We use SiteGround Hostinganother one is GoDaddy for Hosting

What is Hosting

Hosting is like your house; the domain is the address. The address only goes to an empty lot until you build the website. You can buy your domain from one place and host it at another. It will work fine; the company that has your domain will point it to any host (website) you want. Your hosting company will help. If you are brand new to the web, they have both in the same place. It will be simpler. We use Site Ground for both.

WordPress and Facebook

You should start with a WordPress site. WordPress is a nice interface that helps you build a website without learning code. Ask your hosting company to install it for you. It is free and popular. Here is a good overview of how to start a WordPress site. (You can ignore the sales pitch in the beginning.) How to Make a WordPress Website

Facebook is also a great part of your online presence. It is limited, but it is easy to set up and a great way to start.  The video above is the place to start. 

Domain Tutorial

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Facebook Tutorial

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Some Encouragement

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
― Mark Twain

Jesus compares those who not only hear His words but do them to someone who wisely builds his house on a rock-solid foundation. The rains come, a flood comes, the winds howl, but the house stands firm.

-Matthew 7:24-25

Step #2: Preparation, The Foundation

Sign Up with Google Search Console

Get an Online Address: Go to https://analytics.google.com and sign in with the Google account you created. Google’s service is free.   This service will show you who is looking at your website, how they behave on your website, how they arrived, and many other valuable pieces of information. Like many powerful tools, it appears overly complex. Rest assured, it gets easier. After a week, Google will have some data for you. Start with looking at the Home Screen; it has a great overview. At the bottom, look at “What pages do your users visit?” for helpful insight.

Sign Up with Google Analytics

Go to https://analytics.google.com and sign in with the Google account you created. Google’s service is free.   This service will show you who is looking at your website, how they behave on your website, how they arrived, and many other valuable pieces of information. Like many powerful tools, it appears overly complex. Rest assured, it gets easier. After a week, Google will have some data for you. Start with looking at the Home Screen; it has a great overview. At the bottom, look at “What pages do your users visit?” for helpful insight.

Tools to Link your Website

These measurement platforms link to your webpage and measure (not a spy) on those looking at your page. These tools can tell if a visitor (someone checking you out) is new (hasn’t been there before) or if it is someone who often visits (a church member). This information is very important because it helps you know if you are succeeding or failing in your goals.

For example:  If you have an “About Us” page, but the average viewer only stays for 2 seconds, you know they are not reading it. This gives you a place to start making that page more appealing.

Google Search Console and Google Analytics install in very similar ways.  Either they will provide you with a simple file upload (See FTP Above in Step 1), or you can use plugins.  The file upload is best.  You are getting ready to make significant improvements to your website, and these tools will show you if you are succeeding.

Search Console

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Google Business Profile

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Some Encouragement

These features can be very technical-looking, but they tell you what is going on.

The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything.

– Sean Gerety

Step #3: Preparation – Facebook

The Right Type of Facebook Page

Does your church presence on Facebook have “friends” or “fans?” You may have set up your Facebook page as a “personal profile” on Facebook, rather than a “Group,” “Fan Page,” or “Page.”

NO WORRIES, this can be fixed. Look Here for Facebook help

Update Your Facebook Page

Facebook changes all the time. You should be posting on your Church’s Facebook twice a week. Celebrate recent successes (Baptisms, Weddings, etc.). Plan to show a slide with the Sermon headlines, events, and changes to service times during Easter or Christmas.  

Setup Facebook Business Manager

To show your church service and advertise your church on Facebook, you need to have access to Facebook Business Manager. At this point, we just need to turn on the account; we will play with it later. Setup Facebook Business Manager

Content

Just like your webpage, your Facebook page needs content. A photo with some text is much better than text alone or a photo with text underneath it.

If you want to remind people Lent is coming up, add a photo of people participating in last year’s Lent with a text overlay of your message. Photos of people and actions are best. Don’t overuse photos of the outside of the church and the altar. This is a common mistake to avoid. 

Building up a repository of photos takes time. Until then, use free services like Pixabay.com, which provides public domain images for free. Do not use photos you find on the web; you can get into copyright trouble because of that.

Also, never use a song that has been recorded on a CD/mp4, etc., that some else recorded.  Your license to a song bought by you is for your listening pleasure, not for you to broadcast. Your team singing the same song is fine.

Facebook Page

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Some Encouragement

You can’t tiptoe into social media. You have to jump into the pool. People have a natural fear of it. But the scary part is not being there. Your customer (future member) is already there.

– Dave Saunders

Facebook is the entryway into Social Media and the simplest to work with. It is a forgiving platform and still effective.

Step #4: Preparation – Website

Secure Your Website

Websites today need to be secured.  You need to see the padlock like this (below). It is often offered free from your host service. Google and Facebook do not like linking to unsecured web pages.  Don’t skip this simple step.  Use this website to check your website Why No Padlock.com.

Review Your Host Contract

Your host might be a shared host that shares resources. This is normal and is OK. As you proceed, understand if your host has any limits on your growth and the criteria to upgrade your service.

HTML, WordPress, Wix etc.

If you want to remind people Lent is coming up, add a photo of people participating in last year’s Lent with a text overlay of your message. Photos of people and actions are best. Don’t overuse photos of the outside of the church and the altar. This is a common mistake to avoid. 

10 Things you Need and 10 You Don’t Need

  1. Updated, modern design. Look around at other successful churches or organizations. 
  2. It must work great and look great on a mobile device.
  3. Do Use Only well-written content and clear images
  4. Do Use your images, not stock photos (only use stock photos as placeholders until you get a photo yourself).
  5. Do Crosslink, if you talk about your small groups, then link to your recent posts about small groups or other relevant pages on your website.
  6. Do test your webpage often with GTMetrix for A Speed Test and Google Page Insights.
  7. Great branding, your colors, icon, logos images need to follow a clear plan of how you want to look.
  8. Update often. Images, content.
  9. The menu needs to be simple.
  10. All links need to work; check often.
  11. Talk about others, not yourself. Not why you are awesome, but why you have answers and can help. 
  1. Don’t use stock images primarily; use your own images wherever you can.
  2. Don’t use sliders; people don’t stick around to watch.
  3. Don’t ignore SEO, ever. Provide keywords for every post and page; provide “Alt text” for all images.
  4. Don’t use large images; they are slow loading, long Mobile load times will hurt you.
  5. Don’t make money with ads or pop-ups.
  6. Don’t fill up your webpage with animation and good-looking junk, like fancy icons; it is content, not a beauty contest.
  7. Don’t ignore security; backup daily or weekly.
  8. Don’t get the cheapest host; we recommend SiteGround Hosting.
  9. Don’t post your email address(es) anywhere; I really mean anywhere, ANYWHERE on the website! Only use contact forms. 
  10. Don’t make the website for people in the church, but you must decide if this is an evangelical tool or a door sign for people outside the church. 

Secure Your Website

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church online
How SSL (Secure looks)

Some Encouragement

A website is a window through which your business says hello to the world.

– Amit Kalantri.

Many think of a website just as the sign in front of the church, saying welcome, services at 10 am.

In fact, your website is an extension of your church, not only Sunday Services but ALL its ministries, every day of the week.

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Step #5: Optimize SEO
(Search Engine Optimization)

What is SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, makes your website easier for search engines to find. Search engines use “bot” programs that scan your website for content and then try to match your content to people who are searching for you. We use a WordPress site and the Free Plugin “Rank Math” to help with our SEO. It is time-consuming but going through each page, adding the right Keywords (Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about) is worth it. 

Search engines try to learn about your content. They try to then see who is looking for this content. If your content only says “Church”, then you will be at the end of a long list of people searching for churches.

When someone searches for “best churches near me” how does a Search Engine determine who is the best? They can’t know you or your people, they only see what is on the website, and what others say about you and what people did the last time they sent traffic to your website. If people are clicking on your website more than others, if you update more than others if you are listing and updating your church profile on churchfinder.com, Yelp, faithstreet.com, Google Business Profile, then search engines think you are “Best”

Click Here for a dedicated SEO
Step-by-Step Help Page

Secure Your Website

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Some Encouragement

“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” – Phil Frost, Main Street ROI

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Step #6: Ready to Live Stream

Software and Studio

The Studio can be your phone or one video camera. When you start, you do not need multiple cameras or closeups. You do need quality. A great service broadcast with poor video quality or poor sound will not retain your current members and certainly not retain new guests.  

Here is a website with some great details. Church live streaming guide – learn to easily stream live church services

Church Online Platform

Church Online Platform (CHOP) is the best method to get your church online. It allows interaction with people. You are NOT looking for numbers; you are looking for engagements, people who interact with your service, not passive watching. Your hosts are very important in creating a worship environment.  Here is the Setup Video.  

Facebook and Youtube

Facebook is the easiest way to get online, but don’t stop there. Facebook viewership tends to be older and often will not leave that platform for anything newer. It also has a very limited ability to interact and engage.

YouTube is the Google of videos. A YouTube channel that looks great and is well organized is a great way to attract new people, better than Facebook and CHOP. Ensure each video post has all the SEO data filled out with unique Titles, Descriptions, Tags, etc. Think about what people are searching for and what makes your videos unique when filling out these fields.

Ready to Broadcast, the How

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Some Encouragement

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.

– Winston Churchill

This is new, this is hard, but it is worth doing.

Step #7: Live Stream for Growth

Broadcasting

Practice. Practice. Practice. Then practice some more. 

Have a backup plan, a video to show if yours doesn’t work. 

Decide if you will delay the in-person service if the online service isn’t ready.

Start with broadcasting an empty church just to test it. 

Broadcast sound: work hard to make sure it sounds good. (DO NOT play artists’ CDs, albums, or copyrighted original recording. Facebook and Google will ban you for rebroadcasting copyrighted material.) You may broadcast songs you sing, but you cannot broadcast the recording artist. Churches don’t get that right with a standard CCLI license.

Live or Recorded

You can broadcast live as it happens (this usually has a 5-15 second delay). There is a risk that the stream can be interrupted by internet issues or other software issues.

You can broadcast a “Simulated Live” broadcast you previously recorded that looks live. The viewer cannot stop it or “rewind.”

What you do depends on your confidence in your skills and the system you have.  The goals are to live stream the church service and the in-person service simultaneously. 

Online Hosts

Here is the best overview of the duties of an online host:  Chat Host Training Video

Going online WILL require MORE people than just broadcasting to Facebook. These people are important. Select them carefully. 

Facebook Page

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Some Encouragement

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.

– Winston Churchill

This is new, this is hard, but it is worth doing.

church online
Twenty-five years ago, a pastor had to make the hard choice to give up the single organist and one instrument to upgrade to reach the people with a guitar. Then they needed a drum, then a speaker, then a soundboard, etc.

We are at the same tipping point with technology. Don’t be the only church still playing an organ in 2025.

Step #8: Tracking (Who and How many)

Broadcasting

Do you remember Google Analytics? Now is the time to put it to real use! Complete start to finish Google Analytics.

Google Analytics can be your best friend. The one that always tells you the truth, congratulates you for every win and provides you a way ahead after each defeat.

Analytics support solid decision-making. This is the house built of solid rock that can withstand the storm. 

We will expand this section to a full page of instruction this year. 

Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are things like registered users, downloads, and raw pageviews. They are easily manipulated and do not necessarily correlate to the numbers that really matter.

vanity metrics

The Biggest Number is the Most Un-Important!  While it may hurt your ego to go with

If you have 1200 impressions and six engagements, is that good or bad news? Impressions are the number of times your site shows up in a search. Engagements are the clicks; this is where your growth is. People who do more than watch are your harvest field. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

Instead, pick a number that is rock bottom staff.  We like ‘peak viewers’ it gives real-time numbers that us useful to compare week to week, month to month.   Use a figure to watch a trend, not to boast.

Always remember, Facebook and Google are advertisers. It is in their best interest to give you numbers, but some are worthless, and some make us feel good.  Dig for the truth instead.

Tracking

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Vanity Metrics

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vanity metrics
The Range on Numbers to Choose from..

Some Encouragement

Vanity Metrics are the numbers that make us feel good about ourselves and that job we are doing, but that is an extra fancy gloss on junk.

Step #9: Get Better

Optimize

Your website needs to be optimized in a few areas. None of these is really hard, and even working a little bit will bring great rewards.

Visual:  The page needs to use the same color and branding across all pages. Does your “Contact Us” page look like your page or somebody else’s?

Speed: The pages need to load fast. People, especially on mobile phones, will not wait for an 8-second page load. 

  1. Make sure all your pages are working. 
  2. That there are no bad (broken) links.
  3. Update your pages regularly.
  4. Fix any errors Google Search Console has found.
  5. Get rid of pages you don’t need. (More is not better.) 
  6. Make sure every image has an alt label (Attributes title) so Search engines can also find your page through its images. 

How to Optimize Your Website

Here is a great website that will analyze your website for common issues: GT Metrix Speed. This site has a scoring system (IGNORE IT). The numbers that matter are on the right. You want your fully-loaded time under 8 seconds.

Mobile View:  Google Analytics will tell you what percentage of users are using a phone to view your website. 50% or greater is standard.   

This website Responsinator will show you how your webpage looks like on various devices, desktops, tablets, iPad, iPhones, etc. 

Recommend Tools

We use the following plugins on our WordPress website: 

  • Elementor: Plugin helps to build fast and great-looking content
  • Generate Blocks: A very Fast and easy tool to help you with the native Gutenburg Editor. (This page is built with this)
  • WP Rocket:  Cache plugin that helps speed up the website
  • Permatters: Helps speed up the website by stopping extraneous code
  • WordFence: Security Plugin prevents unauthorized access to the website
  • Generate Press Theme:  Fast, safe, powerful, simple to use theme
  • Rank Math SEO:  Great and Free SEO tool

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How to Optimize

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What are Core Web Vitals

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Some Encouragement

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
– Proverbs 16:32

Always remember, your website can Always be Better, Faster, Always.

Step #10: Advertise

Did You Say Advertise

Yes, we said advertising, and we recommend you spend money doing it. Today, how much of your church budget is spent on outreach, evangelism? Can you find a part of your church budget that is meant to reach the lost? Do you spend nearly all your budget on maintaining what you have? Advertising is a way of getting the Gospel in front of people searching. 

How much is your evangelism/outreach budget today? 50%, 20%, 1%, non-existent?  

Start with $100 a month; this is enough to learn with.  Once you get some success, reinforce your success.

Google Versus Facebook Ads

You can buy ads on Google and Facebook, but please ensure you understand that they serve different audiences.
1) Google ads work by matching you with what people are searching for.
2) Facebook works by sharing your ads with people who may have a like interest.

If you want to advertise a Saturday Evening Church Carnival, use Facebook to reach your friends and friends of friends.

If you what to let people know you have a great video about “What is Prayer,” use Google.

You NEED both.

Content, Content, Content

This cannot be overstated. If you have what people are searching for, Google will send them to you. 

Make ads that answer questions. What is happening Saturday night in my town? Have an answer, “Come to our event.” If someone in your neighborhood is hurting, does your website have answers?  

It cannot be overstated; make unique content that answers questions like “Where can I baptize my children?” Clearly define what your church is like. Avoid common terms like “healing center” or “worship center.” Avoid church terms. People who have not been to church will not know them. Find what makes you unique. 

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How to Optimize

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Some Encouragement

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

– Matthew 5:15

If you have the answer, shout it from the rooftops.

Useful Links

Grammarly:  Mistakes on the Website are not cool.  Check your Grammar. Grammarly for Good Grammar

Pixabay:  Free Public domain photos and images.  No copyright issues. High Quality.  Pixabay for free images

Cloud Convert:  Got the wrong format.  Change it here, nearly anything.  Convert Anything

Fiverr.com:  Stuck? Something doesn’t work? Need Help? Hire an expert, safely and at a great value. We’ve used this for years.  Fiverr a Freelance Tech Service

Uptime Robot:  A simple and effective way to ensure your website is up ad running. (Helps evaluate your hosting provider.)  UpTime check your website uptime

Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America

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