Faith Lutheran Church has been around since 1951. It's helped to create a school, and it's continued to serve LCMS Lutherans in Sturtevant, WI. However, it has not had a website. There was an attempt to get one started, but, as is often the case, the task proved to be too much for one volunteer. It really is harder than it seems, and your volunteer will likely burn out if tasked to go at it alone. I don't want anyone to ever think that a volunteer who works on a church website is lazy or uninformed. It's just time-consuming, especially if it's your first website.
Faith contacted Luthernet over a year before the website was eventually built. Then the staff ran out of time to complete the request. We've seen that A LOT, and it really means that someone else at church that has a little time needs to volunteer to get a new website done. Luthernet ended up building the new website in less than a month, once the request was organized and finalized. That's what we do, and we do it fast. In fact, if you want a website the next day, we can do that, even on a weekend.
In fact, once we get started, it's a creative montage of sorts happening. I need images and content quickly, and that church member who volunteers will be given several specific tasks to complete. If it all happens, the website is ready in a week. I'll often be up at 2am because that's a creative time of the morning, cropping and testing. It's ironic, in a way, that it took the first fifty years of Faith Lutheran for the internet to exist, the next fifteen years before the church really decided to get a website, and then about a month to get it all done. Now Faith Lutheran in Sturtevant has one of the best websites in LCMS land. For under $1000!
Please don't waste my gift to you as a Lutheran church. Contact your local web designer. Ask them what it would cost to build something like Faith's website. If the web designer tells you less than $1000 and $100 a year for hosting, then hire that person. It's probably a freelancer, and she/he needs your business. I'll even match any written quote from a competitor, but you won't find someone who has the portfolio and experience willing to build a website for this amount. And it's because these skills are important and expensive. I just have decided to make it my business to build fast, inexpensive, responsive, and user-friendly websites for Lutheran churches.
A large web design firm will put your website into development for a year, use many employees and hours, charge you for their fancy coffee breaks, and spit out something I could have done in my sleep. And I don't sleep a whole lot.