Planting the Seeds of Growth
Church Website

FAQ

It's important to us to make sure we are open with you about our services. If we haven't covered your question below, please contact us. Or contact us anyway just to say hi.

General
  • First is effective communication. It's important for a church to keep both current and future members up-to-date on the latest information, newsletters and official documents. A website is a great tool to disseminate this information to other people. Plus, this information is at their fingertips 24/7.
  • A website helps reduce administrative expenses. Not only does a website help relieve the administrative burden, but it also reduces costs for copying, mailing and responding to requests since fewer items have to be mailed.
  • Better and timelier communication to your members. After a meeting you can post your minutes on the website so that members can be quickly informed.
  • Members can always see what's going on by visiting the website.
  • Paperless processes. Visitors can fill out forms online which will be emailed to the person(s) you designate. You can then respond to the the person via email.
  • Members can see “what’s gong on” and communicate easier. This gives members more of a feeling that they are part of the church.
  • Better organization of current and historical information.
  • Added value to your church. Your website should show the pride members have in maintaining the quality of their community.

Many people have web design skills of various levels. Chances are somebody in your own organization may volunteer to design and maintain your website. In these situations, it's a good idea to consider the following:

  • What is their level of expertise?
  • Will the site appear professional?
  • Can they create the functionality you need and want?
  • How long will it take to plan and develop the website?
  • Will the board spend too much time on an unproven process?
  • Can they manage a website hosting account?
  • What time do they have now and in the future to maintain the website?
  • Will they do what's in the best interest of the church?
  • What happens when they disagree with the board's actions?
  • What happens when they move or become too busy?

Any of these can cause tough situations for board members. When using a company that specializes in providing websites, these topics are not an issue. This is because all of the development and technical expertise is handled by the website company. Unlimited administrators within the organization are given access to manage the website using the tools that require no technical knowledge. Administrators can also be removed when they are no longer involved with managing the website.

We have been in the website development business since 2001 and have over 3,000 clients in a variety of industries. Faith Sites was formed as a response to board members approaching us needing a website solution. Some of these organizations had an existing website nobody knew how to maintain and others were looking for a new website to help reduce their administrative costs. We knew we could help on both fronts by creating a service specifically for membership organizations that made it easy for them to manage their day-to-day operations.

Don't take our word for it. Compare for yourself based on the look of the website and the features you can benefit from. Here are a few points to consider about how we work:

  • No mass produced website template scripts. Our web designers assemble the website's design and layout for you.
  • No cluttered and useless pages on your website. We design clean and appealing websites with information people need and will use.
  • No "one size fits all" website layouts. We easily tweak the website based on your desires which creates a very flexible website.
  • Day-to-day requests are accomplished the same business day.
  • Not being left alone to reinvent the wheel. We'll always offer suggestions as to what to include on your website, how best to organize it and what to say based on our experience with our other clients. This is not just during the development of your site. We share ideas as they come up even after you go live.

Plus, full support for your website by a personable and creative person available by phone or email who also gets to know you and your specific needs.

We make sure you are supported from every direction.

  • Support is provided M-F 8-5 EST, excluding holidays. Some after hours support is provided as well.
  • View real-time statistics on the responsiveness of our support here.
  • Browse our knowledgebase filled with step-by-step instructions including screen shots to better show you the best methods.
  • Helpful Tips are located throughout the Admin Panel to give you quick tips on best practices and to help you administer your website.

Yes. Both our features and services were developed from the ground up to ensure they are always scalable to support organizations of any size. Because of this approach we don't base our fees on the number of members or visitors.

No. Our user friendly Admin Panel is designed to be a self-service portal for non-technical people. You'll be able to edit your text, upload documents and control your website's functionality through our familiar interface. If you're comfortable using programs such as email software you will find the Admin Panel very easy to use. You'll simply add your text in a box, click save and it's live on your website. No HTML or technical knowledge needed.

Yes. Visit our website demo to see our features in action.

No. We do not force any advertisements onto your website for our financial gain. Any sponsors you have who wish to advertise on your website is 100% income to your organization. We will however place a link back to Faith Sites at the bottom of your website.

No. Unfortunately, there is a competitor who has resorted to sending emails and text messages to their clients' members. Organizations have been leaving them and contacting us to be their new website provider as a result. We do not send any messages to your members. Any messages that are automatically sent from the website to your members are either a response to a member posting something onto the website or an administrator sending a message to the members.

No. We hate spam just as much as you do. We do not share your personal information with third parties. You can view our privacy policy here.

We integrate features to help keep spammers from finding your email addresses to begin with. Fill in web forms are setup to hide the recipient's email address, require an image verification code and prohibit common spam words from being included in the message.

View our Website Service Agreement here.

Yes. We can help your members with their website needs as well. We provide custom website development services to businesses of all sizes.

Pricing

Our rates are a flat fee. View our pricing here.

No. Our support is included in the annual fee.

The prices on our website are not a gimmick to get you to sign up so that we can later increase your costs. None of our clients have had a price increase. But, we cannot predict the future of the economy as it relates to labor and technology costs.

If we fail to maintain 99.9% availability of your website during any month, please contact us and request a credit of 5% off a month's prorated fee.

We accept checks and all major credit cards.

Billing is done annually and begins the date we give you access to your new website.

No. Our fees are due on an annual basis. This saves both you and us the expense of processing multiple payments throughout the year.

No. You may cancel at any time. Refunds are not issued for the months you have paid in advance.

If within 30 days following your signup you are not satisfied for any reason you will be refunded the money you have paid minus a domain registration fee if applicable. See the full details here.

Other companies pay you directly to advertise their services on your website. We offer a special feature on your website for these advertisements. We recommend $40 per year for each company. We are not involved in this process and all money raised belongs to your organization. It is also a good idea to include your sponsors in your newsletters.

Yes. Contact some local businesses (especially realtors) and ask if they'll pay for your website in exchange for exclusive advertising. We suggest that they pay (reimburse) your organization directly so that you remain the owner of the website in case they stop being your sponsor later.

Design

Absolutely! Your assigned web designer provides information to help you make decisions about how you want your website to look and our membership management software to function. They will also make sure you understand how to use your website, walk you through anything you are needing help with, provide advice and answer questions.

No. Template driven websites are pre-built websites that are mass produced and require all websites running on the template to have a uniform structure. These are also known as "cookie cutter" websites. Because many layout and design aspects of template driven websites must remain uniform, they restrict the ability to be customized beyond swapping out a header graphic, page content and navigation. The end result is often a very "flat" website.

Because our background is in designing custom websites, we take a more personal approach. Our website designs are custom coded for each client and they stand alone from our other clients' websites. This means we can customize the aspects of your design and layout to better fit your unique needs and preferences. Our clients have found that this flexibility gives their website its own personality and "WOW!" factor.

Anything you put on your website such as text, photos and documents are your property and continue to be your property. This also includes the domain name(s) we register for you, as long as you remain an active client with no past due invoices. Items we put on the website plus the website's design, code and functionality remain our property.

Initially, your involvement will include: input on the look of the website, text for the pages and documents/photos you wish to incorporate into the website. We take care of the design, registering the domain name and providing support. You will always be able to maintain your own content, documents and functionality through the Admin Panel.

We will probably be able to incorporate aspects of your current website's design. We would not be able to take over your current website nor plug in our functionality without any compatibility issues. That's why we would have to create a new website for you following our design standards and processes.

Through the Admin Panel you can assign unlimited people admin access to help maintain your website and keep it up-to-date. We suggest keeping it to a core group based on the "too many cooks in the kitchen" philosophy.

Depending on your plan, you can also have unlimited sub-admins that are given restricted access to manage the content on specific pages and manage the functionality you specify in the Admin Panel. Each sub-admin can have their own access profile independent of other sub-admins or use sub-admin groups that share the same access profile.

Some of our competitors provide instant websites that are available as soon as you sign up. This is because they use automated template software that sets up all of the pre-designed code for your website. The end result is a "cookie cutter" website which restricts your ability to modify and personalize it to your unique needs.

We take a different approach. Your assigned web designer will guide you through our step-by-step process which will help you setup your website and make informed decisions. This personal touch is how we ensure you and your members are proud of the end result.

Normally, the design for your website is assembled the same day you submit your preferences to your assigned web designer. You are then given access to our step-by-step process which will explain the decisions you need to make about your website. You can view the details about this process here.

Visit our designs page for several designs you can choose from. Keep in mind that each of our clients' websites are assembled specifically for them. So, all of these designs can be customized to better fit your organization. We put these designs out there to give you a starting point or "inspiration" for your new website.

Yes. You can have whatever pages you would like on your website.

You will be able to maintain your own content, documents and features through the Admin Panel. We will also continue to assist you as much as you need to maintain your website.

Absolutely! We look forward to seeing your photos. We will use your photos to create the custom graphics at the top of your website. This is a great way to add a personal touch to your website for your members and visitors from your local community.

Yes. We suggest istockphoto.com or fotolia.com for stock photography. They have 5 million high quality images on their website.

There are many ways to spread the word to your members about your new website. Consider including a message in your periodic newsletters or send a letter to each person. One of our clients had a great idea to post a permanent sign at their entrance telling visitors to visit their website. As an additional service, we also provide full color postcards and refrigerator magnets for announcing your new website. View pricing on these items here.

Features

There are many. You can view a list of features available in all of our designs here. You get to pick which features to include or not to include and even suggest new areas for inclusion. As part of our dedication to fully maintain your site, you can also change your mind after your site goes live without any additional cost.

We require all websites to maintain a level of business professionalism with regard to its look, content and use. We will change or remove items we do not feel are professional or directly related to your business.

We are open to the idea. We would need to look at what you are wanting us to add to make sure it compatible with your website and that we are comfortable having it on our server. To be a little techy, the code will need to be embed code. We will not allow any code that runs server side nor css.

The people you assign as Administrators for your website will be able to edit the content on the pages, upload documents and manage the features through the Admin Panel. The Admin Panel works a lot like Microsoft Word and sending email, so it does not require any technical knowledge.

No. FTP is common with hosting accounts and allows access to the files and code that runs a website. We do not provide hosting accounts nor stand-alone websites. Therefore, there is no FTP access. Our clients (and their website visitors) access to our proprietary software which runs on our network of servers. Based on the domain name being requested by a visitor, our software knows what graphics, files, content etc to display as a website. Administrators also use our software to manage their data, files and features used on their website.

Yes. An administrator can easily control what pages are on your website along with how your page links are organized on your navigation. Pages can also be hidden or left off the navigation and instead linked to on other areas of the website. Choose individually, for each link on your navigation, if the link is only viewable when the visitor is logged in and has one of the required levels of access for the page. Administrator(s) can add, remove, hide and reorganize navigation links and pages on-the-fly. Drop down submenus can also be created which display additional page links when the visitor clicks a link on the navigation.

Yes. Online surveys give you the opportunity to ask for your members' opinions on topics you choose. You can post multiple surveys and members can view real-time results after they have voted. Closed surveys can be left online for viewing only. Members may also leave a comment with their vote to further share their thoughts. This also includes the ability to restrict one vote per survey.

Yes. Online forms can be configured to match your current paper forms using the Request Manager feature. Visitors fill out the form online and the responses are automatically emailed to the person you indicate. Fields can also be required to ensure you receive the data you need.

Yes. We've found some organizations wish to hide their financials and other member documents from public view. Each registered member will have their own username and password to the website. An administrator also determines for each member which areas of the website that member is able to access. So, when a member logs into the website, the website will automatically restrict the member's ability to access pages and features.

Yes. The registration process allows visitors to fill out a form with their personal details and submit the information through the website. Their details are then stored in the administrative side of the website. New members can either be automatically approved or require an administrator's approval. Once a new member's access has been approved, the website will send a customizable email to the new member to notify them of their approved status along with their login details.

An unlimited number of these custom registration forms can be created and made available on your website. This allows the creation of forms specific for each purpose needed by your organization.

Yes. New registered members can be added to the website by populating a file with their details and uploading it through the website. During the upload process, the website will automatically check that the data meets the requirements. Administrators can also mass update existing members' profiles by importing a file that contains the information that is needing changed.

Yes. Administrators choose which options are available and which profile fields can be shown. Members then choose which of their profile details are shown. Like social media, members can also upload a profile photo plus create albums to store other photos they wish to share. Finding members in the directory is easy with our search tools and families are automatically grouped together.

Yes. Message boards allow members to share thoughts and post questions for other members to respond to. Categories are also created to help keep things organized. The person assigned to be the editor is instantly notified via email of new posts so that they can monitor and edit/delete inappropriate posts. Members can also choose to subscribe to individual categories so that they are notified via email when a new post is added.

One of the issues with sharing photos over the internet is the size of most photos produced by a digital camera are too large to effectively share online. We have the problem solved. Our functionality automatically resizes your photos when you upload them to your website so that they are user friendly to view online.

Yes. Administrators can quickly and easily share information by sending mass emails to members' inboxes and text messages to members' phones. We also make it flexible by allowing administrators to schedule the message to be automatically sent at a future date and time. Emails are not sent from your own email account so there is no need to worry about getting blocked as a spammer nor expose your personal email account. Messages can be sent to all members, a single member or a filtered selection of members based on the information in their profile fields.

Yes. You can export your member profile data into Excel at any time. This will be useful for creating mailing labels. Although, we hope your website has drastically reduced your need to mail items to your members.

We are not able to customize our features for the needs of individual clients. All of our clients are running the same software. Always let us know how you think our features could be better. If it's something all of our clients could benefit from, we'll make it an enhancement request for future development.

Accounting

Members enjoy the convenience of viewing their invoices and payments they have made through your website. Members can also easily make these payments online and directly through your website. Even better, these transactions automatically create accounting entries and update your financial reports. No more external links and separate logins to third party payment providers. No more dealing with interfaces and exporting data as you try to keep systems in sync. We specifically developed features that allow us to automate your tasks that matter most.

No. There's no need to be an accountant. We have created a solution that does the accounting for you. Accounting entries are automatically created based on day-to-day transactions entered on the website. These transactions feed important financial reports that help you analyze your financial health. Manual accounting entries can also be created to move money between accounts.

The website can automatically create invoices based on member activity on the website. For example, a member buys a product or renews their membership. An administrator can also manually add an invoice and mass create invoices for all or selected members.

Each payment can be applied to one or multiple invoices. If a payment covers the open balance of an invoice, the invoice is automatically marked as closed and the accounting entry is created. This process allows the website to track and record all transactions in a single location. Members also have a seamless process to view the amount they owe and make payments.

When a payment is made online, the payment is automatically matched to the member's open invoices and credit memos. With our automation, there's no need to deal with posting online payments. A payment that was made online can also be refunded to the member's credit card, which automatically records the accounting entry.

Yes. Signing up to accept online payments is simple. Enter your details, the bank account you want funds deposited to, verify your email address for notifications and you are all set. Your account is immediately available and the website is ready to accept online payments.

The website is compliant per SAQ-A. This means we do not process credit cards through the website and all credit card related information is outsourced.

You can keep track of your organization's spending by creating custom expense accounts. Each account is a category to help organize each type of expense. These expense accounts appear on financial reports so that you can get a better picture of your organization's financial position and historical spending trends. Whether you pay with a check or credit card, the expense entry captures this information and an automatic accounting entry is made to the appropriate account's balance.

Yes. Unlimited products can be created and offered to members for purchase. Individual products can also be set to only be available to certain members based on their membership. These rules go even further by controlling which products are required to be purchased along with quantity restrictions. The cost to purchase a product can also be automatically prorated based on the member's membership renewal period. So, we have built in a lot of logic to make this process automated and easy for administrators. Administrators can also create invoices for products at any time and email the invoice to the member. When a member visits the website, the member can view their open invoices and past purchase history.

Yes. Manual journal entries can be created to move money between general ledger accounts. Our features automatically make sure your accounting stays in balance. The audit log also keeps track of who made the entry and when the entry was made.

There are many common financial reports available to help you review your accounting and your organization's financial performance.

Postcards & Magnets

It is said that a brand resides in the hearts and minds of people who interact with a business. The more you show a consistent brand to those you interact with, including your own members, the more value it creates.

Our print items include refrigerator magnets, business cards and postcards. All items are printed in full color and on quality paper. They are also branded to match your website and fully customizable to fit your preferences. Click here for details and pricing.

The key benefits are improved communication with your members and value for your church's brand. If your website was recently launched, now is a perfect time to get the word out to your members and build the excitement. The more your members know about the features of your website, the more they will visit which in turn helps you benefit even more from your new website.

Our printing solutions are not only for newly launched websites. Utilize postcards to announce your next annual meeting or refrigerator magnets to welcome new members to your church.

Absolutely. As a starting point, we will first create a design for you that matches the graphics of your website along with our suggested text. We will then modify the design to better fit your needs.

The price is a flat fee based on the quantity ordered. It includes the custom design, proofs, printing and ground shipping. View pricing here.

Yes. If we are creating your postcards we can also label and mail them directly to your members. Our services include using your properly formatted Excel file with everybody's names and addresses, individually labeling each post card, postage and delivery to the post office. Plus, you receive discounted first class postage rates. View our Mailing Services pricing here.

Once you place your printing order we'll have an initial design created and ready for your review in a couple days. After that, we'll take care of your design modification requests until you're happy with the final product. Once you've approved the design, we'll send the graphic files to our printing company who will print your items the next day. The items then will be ground shipped directly to you. Faster delivery methods are also available.

If there's something wrong with the quality of your printed items we'll certainly want to address the problem with the printer. We'll ask that you fax or mail us a sample so that we can point out the issue. We'll have the issue corrected and have new items sent to you free of charge. If the problem originates in your review and approval of your design proof we'll work with you for a equitable solution.

Domain Name

This is the same thing as a web address which is what you type in to pull up a website in your internet browser. (Such as faith-sites.com)

Yes. You may find with some providers that when you type in your domain name it is redirected back to your provider's domain name. So, instead of seeing your website on www.yourdomain.com you'll see www.theirwebsitename.com/yourname. Not only does this result in branding issues, but this can also be confusing to visitors and more difficult for you to direct people to a specific page when your website isn't located on your own domain name.

We'll register one for you. Depending on the plan you choose, the price for this is already built into the annual services fee. So, you don't need to worry about maintaining your domain name at all. We will suggest an available domain name that matches the name of your community. Then you'll get to choose the domain name you feel is best.

Not if you are going to have us maintain your domain name for you. It's much easier and quicker if you allow us to purchase your domain name. You can instead choose to purchase your domain name on your own through another company and maintain that domain name through that company.

Yes. We can register additional domains for you. Reasons you may want to have more than one domain name is if you wish to own both the .com and .org. Each domain name after your primary (the one your website is hosted on and included in your annual fee) is $15 per year per domain name (depending on your plan). We can also point the other domain names to your primary domain name so that people don't get lost.

Yes. We will automatically register your domain name with our privacy protection service which hides your contact information from spammers and marketing companies. This service is included for free with all domain registrations.

That would be between you and the company you have your domain name through. You can continue to keep your domain name with your current provider. You can then simply point your domain name to your new website.

Each domain name we register and maintain for you is the property of your organization as long as you are an active client. If you decide to cancel services, we will release your domain name to your new domain provider unless your website services are suspended, cancelled or you have past due invoices.

9757 Westpoint Dr
 Suite 450
 Indianapolis, IN 46256
Phone: 317.608.6533