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Getting Started

Step One: Plan
You will need to describe your audience, define your purpose, prioritize your needs, inventory your assets, and garner organizational support. Develop a set of Web content guidelines that meet the needs of your members for privacy and confidentiality, and also adhere to copyright law.

Step Two: Design
Define the content you’d like to start with, and design site navigation with growth in mind. Do an inventory of site features (e.g. congregation e-mail devotional, calendar with different views, private chat for youth, photo albums for congregation events, blogs for reports from congregational trips, private congregation directory, etc.). This will help when you approach the next step.

Step Three: Select
It might be a good idea to use Web site management software or a “content management system” to develop and maintain their site. Depending on the software or system you select and the features you’ve described in step 2, there may be advantages of one Web hosting plan over another.

Step Four: Maintain
Some things to keep in mind when developing a congregation Web site: If you develop a Web site and never update it, this can reflect on your congregation. You can develop procedures for getting the latest information and making sure old information is updated or removed. Maintenance also means promoting your site by registering in search engines and publishing your Web address everywhere. Maintenance also means checking your site for broken links and missing images. Review your site periodically.

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