Unless you want to spend the money to hire a professional developer, there just doesn’t seem to be a great solution out there for churches. Now, I understand that there are some good efforts going on. My problem with those is that I need to be able to hand off the daily maintenance of the site to a staff member or a ministry volunteer and the “good efforts” are still not very user friendly.
Our church is currently using the Joomla CMS to handle the website. Keep in mind, I’m a systems administrator, not a web developer. We’re finding that Joomla may not be as flexible as we need it to be. For one thing, the pastor and elders want a specific look, or “theme,” for our site. While I can come close using templates downloaded from the web, we can’t quite get there. I’m sure that a developer could jump in and make the thing look beautiful, but I struggle with paying that kind of money out.
While I like the all-in-one integration of Joomla, I’ve been kicking around the idea of splitting the functionality of our site into multiple systems. I think we’d still use Joomla for the main site. Then for blogging and pod-casting, I might use Word Press. For online bible study, I’m considering Moodle. The problem with this is the need for multiple user account databases, which increases management overhead and end-user frustration.
The best solution would be to have a full time technical person on staff at the church. That sort of commitment would allow focus on the site and the time and ability to learn the system. We’re not quite big enough to tackle that yet, though.
I’ll keep you posted with my progress on this little (huge) project.