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Why Church Management Software Should Build Your Next Website
By: Abby Kahler

So you want a nice church website. Youíve been looking around, visiting other pages, asking other church leaders what they use, pining over fancy features and gorgeous designs of all the neighboring churchesí sites.

But you donít just want a pretty site. You want a functional, helpful, community-building site. Youíve heard about how having a really great church website can help your congregation connect with each other and stay up to date. It also encourages people to start giving online, which could really give your donation pool a boost.

So what about ChMS?

Thatís right, not WordPress, not a famous and expensive private web developer, not just any nonprofit website building software. Church management software with website creation tools.

ďWhy?Ē you ask. Church management isnít anything like website building. Sure, there are some intersections, but why not use a secular website tool, and let each program do what it does best?

Thatís an option, and it may be a more affordable option if your ChMS and web service are both fairly cheap. However, there are ChMS packages that incorporate website creation and going with this option can have some huge benefits.

Four Reasons to Use ChMS to Build Your Site

1) Itís integrated.
This one is easy. If you have your web software and ChMS developed by the same provider, they will be integrated, which can clearly save you a lot of time and effort. Integration allows for easy data import, synchronizing calendars, and often the ability for members to update their own profiles online. It also means online donation is a breeze, which can be a huge help to your financial team.

2) Itís easy.
If you buy two different products, youíre going to have to learn two different programs. Keeping your website creation software and church management software together makes training much easier. ChMS providers also know youíre focused on church management, so they often design their website tools with usability in mind, and donít expect you to devote as much time to that product as you might to an unrelated program.

3) Itís relevant to you.
Itís easy to say all websites are basically the same, or that you can make it work for you, but in reality churches often need some specific features that secular website creation tools canít provide, or at least, not cheaply. ChMS providers know exactly what churches need as basic features (online giving, easy announcements, church directory access) so their software is tailor-made for your needs. Not to mention the fact that they come with church-oriented layouts and themes that you might not find on secular options.

4) Itís getting better all the time.
Well, so is everything on the Internet, isnít it? True, but ChMS providers are getting better at understanding what churches want and are experts at fitting the newest technologies to your churchís needs. Now you can have access to church apps, integration with Facebook and Twitter, media centers where you can post sermons and stream services, event registration, and more.

Though your friendís small business might have used a certain software program to build his site, it doesnít mean itís the best fit for you. Whether or not you already have ChMS, finding church software that integrates with your website can make your site prettier, easier to work with, and more relevant to your content than other secular programs. So check it out! A great church website is out there waiting for you.

Abby Kahler is a software analyst for Capterra, www.capterra.com.

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