Should I Use Publishing as My Church Website?

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Not sure if you should use Publishing for your church website? The answer to one question will help you see how to use Publishing best.

Do you have a website?

Yes

There are certain benefits to using your own website alongside Publishing:

  • Search Engine Optimization: People can discover your church through a web search; if you use Publishing as your website, people cannot find your website.

  • Custom domain: Every Publishing domain has .churchcenter in its URL, which is not customizable.

  • A more customizable design: Publishing is limited in how it displays information.

If you already have an established website, you can still use Publishing as a place for your members to access specific information on Church Center, such as built-in pages or pages with lists of events. If needed, you can link back to your website from Church Center for easy access.

Here are some reasons to link to your website from Church Center:

  • You already post information on your website, and you don't want to have to manage it in two locations.

  • You want to use the Church Center mobile app. 

  • Your church does not have an app, and you want people to be able to access your website from the Church Center mobile app.

Publishing already has a built-in Home page, so if you want to add a link to your website instead, you need to delete the built-in page from your navigation. Then, you can create a separate Nav Item for your website. 

To delete the built-in page, hover over Home, and select the trash icon.

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To add a link to your website as your Home page, select Add Nav Item, and then add your church's website.

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Enter the label as Home or a related title and select an icon.

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No

If you want members of your congregation to access your giving, groups, event signups, etc., you can create a presence on Church Center using Publishing. Publishing can be used as a simple website if you don't already have one, even on the free pricing package.

There are a few steps for using Publishing as your website.

1. Set Up Pages

Create pages to display the most important information you want people to access.

Here are some examples of the formatting you can use:

  1. Use headers to break up the flow of the page.

  2. Use images to show what you're referencing, and place them right, center, or left on the page.

  3. Use grid blocks to group similar items, such as staff photos and contact information.

  4. Use content blocks to display events from Calendar and Registrations and to allow easy access to Giving funds.

Newly created pages do not automatically update with your changes; you need to save changes to see them.

When you select Save draft, the page can be previewed by administrators in View mode, but it will not be updated live until you select Save & Publish.

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  • Customize the Home Page 

If you want to stay on the free plan, you can customize your home page to reflect your church, including adding links and other important information for your members.

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  • Upgrade for Custom Pages 

If you want more than the built-in pages, you can upgrade your pricing package and begin adding custom pages.

You can format each custom page to hold the most important information.

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2. Add Pages to Navigation

For your pages to show, you have to add them to the Navigation.

Add the four most important pages to the top, and then the rest of the pages will be in the More menu. You can reorder these by dragging and dropping them.

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Tip

You can add any URL to the Navigation.

3. Help People Find Your Site

Once your website is ready for people to view, help them find it!

Here are ways to help people find your new website:

  • Share it on social media.

  • Send it in an email newsletter.

  • Add it to your bulletin via link or QR code.

To find the link to your site, go to the Church Center resources section in the Customize Settings. You'll find a link to your site and app stores and some promotional material to help spread the word.

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