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Old 2012-09-01, 06:18 PM   #1
Notabot
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Lowden, IA
Default I need basic help with setting up a website.

Our church currently has a website through a free hosting site, but the site has been very slow, is kind of cumbersome to use, and today it started giving us problems with logging in. Does anyone have any suggestions for different sites that give free hosting for a fairly simple site?

Secondly, I think we're paying an annual fee for our domain name. Is that normal, and how much is too much? And, if we change host sites, do we get to keep using our current domain name?

Thanks for any help and suggestions. I know that I should know this stuff better, but I don't deal with it all that often and don't want to commit to something that won't be any better than what we've got already.
 
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Old 2012-09-01, 09:28 PM   #2
Denyer
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Google Sites is probably the only free one I'd put much trust in.

A dotcom shouldn't cost more than $20/year, but there are different rates, registries and rules depending on the extension. It may also matter whether it's been registered to an individual, to your organisation, or to the current hosting provider. The latter would almost certainly involve a fee to transfer it (if not greater hassle.)

Who's the current provider?
 
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Old 2012-09-01, 10:48 PM   #3
Notabot
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The site is hosted by ForMinistry.com, and I think our web address is through GetYourChurchDomain.com. We may have accidentally switched companies in a mailing slam, but we did get a better price on it. I'm not sure what we're paying per year right now since our treasurer takes care of that end.

The current host has web publishing that's actually fairly easy to use, but somewhat limited. Is it very difficult to come up with something similar to what we have right now (www.FirstEnglishCenterville.org) through Word or something similar?
 
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Old 2012-09-02, 11:51 AM   #4
Denyer
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If your knowledge is of WYSIWYG tools and up until now you've been adding pages through an online content management system, it's probably best to stick with something that does that but offers more functionality. Using offline WYSIWYG editors and uploading the content after, installing (and maintaining, don't forget) a CMS or working from scratch with a text editor (either raw HTML/CSS or getting into a scripting language such as PHP or ASP and building either a simple DIY CMS or just some timesaving code to do things like headers and standard navigation) all have their own pros and cons.

In particular, on projects that have bearing on more people than yourself it's best to go for a solution that someone else can pick up and work with. Having a provider that isn't likely to disappear maintain the backend system is a big plus and has to be weighed against the benefits of more DIY approaches.

My advice would be to take a look at Sites and have a play. Work out what you might want to add, and see how easy it is to. http://www.steegle.com has some information --eg, how to add a calendar for events. Have a look at what ready-made templates are available -- eg, featured ones here https://sites.google.com/site/sitetemplateinfo/ -- and so on.
 
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