One of the first questions on your mind when you set up a website is, “Where do I host it?” There are so many options to choose from. How do you make sense of it all. How do you even get started? Well, I can offer some recommendations, but honestly, it comes down to what you’re comfortable with. We advise you to choose a company with a good reputation that has a track record of providing good service for their customers. Here are some more specific recommendations:
** UPDATE August 5, 2019 ** A “microsite” is a small, one-page website that is created for you. This option is available to all GCI Churches. It requires no knowledge of how to make a website. Once the website is created, all the text and images on the page are editable. If this is what fits you the best, please contact GCI Technical Support and ask to be set up with a GCI branded microsite.
DreamHost provides free shared hosting to U.S. based non-profits. They offer a host of features include easy installs of WordPress, and a web site designer they call “Remixer”. You can use Remixer to drag and drop elements into a web page design to your liking and deploy it to one of their websites. Or you can export it to a WordPress theme. GCI also provides a GCI-branded WordPress theme for local churches. You can get more information on how to install that here: https://churchtech.gci.org/2019/03/gci-branded-wordpress-theme/. Instructions on setting up free hosting at DreamHost:
- Assuming you’re not separately incorporated, contact our legal office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ask for our 501(c)(3) letter and a statement saying your church is covered by our group exemption. You’ll need both in PDF. If you are separately incorporated, you can use your own 501(c)(3) letter to do this.
- Sign up with DreamHost for shared hosting and your domain name. Note that you can use the option to “do this later” if you already have a domain name. This will require a credit/debit card.
- In the DreamHost control panel, submit a support request to DreamHost asking for non-profit hosting and attach the two PDF documents to the request.
- Wait for them to approve the free hosting. At this point, they will also refund the cost of the hosting plan.
A number of our churches use WIX to design and host their websites. They have a free option to get started, but there are monthly charges if you want your own domain name. Here are some examples of WIX websites: