We’ve all said it, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” This is the thinking behind “Build Your Own” church websites. You get exactly what you want, a customized church website optimized for your ministries.
If you want a new feature, simply write the code. Ultimately everything is on you, bug fixes, new features, backups, and strategy. It’s a lot to handle on your own.
Still many churches look at the up-front cost of build your own and decide it’s for them. We’ve seen churches move down this path without completely understanding the hidden costs.
While this isn’t a complete list, it will help you understand three hidden costs we’ve seen churches overlook.
1. Cost To Maintain and Expand Your Capabilities
Often in addition to the tens-of-thousands spent on the salary for a designer, you may also need a developer on staff too. There is a lot of money tied up in their salaries, but what about the investment you will need to make to maintain a quality team?
Designers have to keep abreast of the latest trends and developers must continually learn new standards. Which means your church will be spending money on conferences, online courses, and on-going software expenses.
Also, you need to consider your teams capacity to take on more responsibility. As your website grows, how will you meet it’s expanding needs? You have a few choices, hire more staff or transition part-time staff to full-time. Have you taken into account increased staffing costs?
These are the hidden cost that you need to factor in when choosing to build on your own.
2. Cost Of Upgrades, New Features, Security
Many of the build your own solutions offer free plugins to extend the functionality of your website. This may seem like a great deal, but the plugins aren’t entirely free. Finding the right plugin takes time, energy, and research.
Often the documentation from the developer is very limited or non existent. You have to install the plugin and test to make sure it offers the features you need. There are also no guarantees that the developer will be around to update and make security patches. Also, some plugins don’t play well together; at which point, you will have to start the process over again. While there is no outward price, your time does come at a cost.
Here is a simple equation to better understand this hidden cost:
Take your salary and or wage and multiply it by the amount of time spent researching, testing, and updating your site.
3. Opportunity Cost Of Going Without A Ministry Partner
Our team is full of pastors, church communicators, youth ministry leaders, and earnest Christians. We speak your language and know the problems you face.
We don’t measure success by how many beautiful websites we’ve designed. Instead, we’re focused on creating ministry impact and helping churches reach their goals. We also build technology from the ground-up for ministries.
Everything we do is centered around helping churches attract, engage, and develop their communities. With us as a ministry partner you get to focus on people not technology.
When you build your own, you lose out on the experience we’ve gained from helping thousands of churches. Our ministry partners have seen great results.
- The Village Church saw Home Group Page Engagement increase 120% four months after launch.
- Port City Community Church saw a 25% increase in site traffic.
- Eagle Brook Church reduced their content by 70%.
Consider The Hidden Cost
Build your own might seem like an inexpensive option for a church website, but that’s only if you don’t look at the hidden costs. We’ve only mentioned a few here, but there are even more.
Before you move forward, please take into consideration all the hidden costs associated with building your own website. We’ve seen too many churches hit with unexpected cost after they chose to "build your own".