FAQ - Christian Web Site Features
- How do I purchase a site?
You can purchase a site when you are setting up the
free trial site - there is no setup charge if you activate your free trial. If you prefer a pre-designed layout or custom site you can order those online. We will setup and activate the account. If you prefer, you can contact us at
Service@ChurchSquare.com or by
calling 1-800-883-1773, 8.30 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday. back to top
- How do I pay for a site?
We have several payment options but our preferred payment option is a credit or debit card on the site. This is the only automatic payment method and is less error prone, especially if you change your site plan. We also offer:
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- Pay by yearly statement and check - direct statement customers can pay 12
months in advance. Customers wishing to pay 12 months in advance receive a 5%
discount. Yearly pre-payment is not refundable.
- Pay by quarterly statement and check - You will recieve an invoice about 30 days in advance of the due date. You can still cancel and any paid months after the month of cancellation will be refunded.
- I do not have the time to get started? Can you help?
Our sites are completely self-service and we would like to encourage you to build the site yourself. We think that is the best way for you to learn how easy and simple it is to setup and maintain a ChurchSquare website. The interface is simple and straightforward and there is plenty of on-line help.
About 20% of our customers ask us to help them get a quick start and then they maintain the site after it is up. Many find this an effective way to get a profession site up and running very quickly and economically. We have pre-designed layouts that are a quick and cost-effective way to get started. We can also build you a complete custom site or you we can give you an estimate to suit your particular needs. back to top
- How many ministries can I have for a multi-ministry plan?
Unlimited. Sub-sites must be connected to the main site's church or ministry (under the same 501c3), they cannot be separate churches or ministries. You can create as many sub-ministry sites in your plan as you need but there are several cautions. First, the more sites you create the harder it will be for you to police and manage your site. We recommend that you start with a few sub-sites and choose the primary ministries of the church. We also recommend that you have a committed person to create and manage the site, someone with good administrative and scheduling skills. Second, remember that the only limitation is the size of the site for the plan you have purchased. The cumulative space used by all your sites cannot exceed your site plan limit. back to top
- How often can I update my site?
We encourage you to update your site frequently. With fresh external content, users adding profiles, interactive message boards and multi-ministry sites, we expect the site to be updated several times a day.
Your site is automatically updated several times a day with fresh external content through RSS feeds, but let's face it, most of your members are there to see what is happening in the church. We recommend that you update your site a minimum of once a week to keep the content fresh.
Better yet, come up with a schedule that coincides with your church activities and update your site in several different areas several times a week. For example, say you finalize your weekly Sunday bulletin by Friday noon. Post those on the website right away. Can you get your sermon audio ready for upload to the site by Sunday afternoon? Maybe your members would like to listen to it again to let it sink in after the football game is over! Perhaps you freeze your newsletter on the 15th of the month; develop a schedule to post new articles then. Your users will learn to check the site for the new content when it is posted and will appreciate being kept up to date. back to top
- Do I have to have a Domain Name for my site?
No but we strongly recommend it. If you want sub-sites or e-mail you must have your own domain name. back to top
- Where do I get a Domain Name?
While you are in the site editor you can register a Domain or point your existing Domain to us. From the ADMIN page click on the domain manager. back to top
- Will our site appear in search engines?
ChurchSquare includes site submission tools with your site. Edit your site and click on the SEO button at the top of the ADMIN page. Then click on Overview for the SEO tools and you will see an explanation the procedures for optimizing your site and submitting it to search engines. back to top
- Can I Live Stream my Services on Your Site?
Yes but we do not offer the actually live streaming technology. We do offer Streaming on Demand (where you upload a file that you previously recorded) and with the Interactive Plan and above Podcasts (automatic downloading of files to Podcast subscribers). However, you can get started Live Streaming your services fairly easily using platforms like Livestream or USTREAM. Your viewers would get commercials but the service is free!
Creating a low-tech webcast is not too complicated or expensive. You need a digital camera (maybe 2 or 3 for different viewing angles) a way to input the camera feeds to your computer, a patch from your sound board to your computer and a good Internet connection. You will need a Livestream account (http://new.livestream.com and click on the Join Livestream button) or a USTREAM account (http://www.ustream.tv and click on the Sign Up link).
Once you are on your channel you will want to get the Embed code so you can stream on your ChurchSquare site. Click on the Embed link and copy the code in the box. Now log into your ChurchSquare site and create a new Live Webcast page. Edit the page and add an HTML component - the HTML component is in the Standard / HTML category. Save the changes and you should see your channel but it will be "off air".
To learn more try watching some of the Live Streaming tutorials on YouTube. This is one I found that has alot of technical info (if you can put up with the personality and rude language) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMQGTQrViF4. The video also discusses the differences between Livestream and USTREAM and equipment choices. back to top
- What external content is available on the site?
ChurchSquare offers an RSS feed component. There are literally thousands of RSS feeds available at no cost and many excellent sources of Christian news. Please CLICK HERE to learn how to add RSS feeds to your site back to top
- Are there limitations on the number of calendars or message boards, etc.?
As long as you have signed up for the Interactive Plan or more, you can create as many interactive pages as you wish. back to top
- What if I want to create a page but publish it later?
You can work in your site editor with new pages as much as you want without affecting the site. Set the menu as a 'not in menu' page or click the under construction option. The page is there but no one can see it until you link it into your menu or navigational structure. When you are ready go to the page list and click on propterties for the page and place it in the menu structure or unclick the under construction option. Your page will then be viewable from the web. back to top
- Can I work on a new template design offline?
Yes, go to the design tools and click on the design manager and save your current design as an archive copy. Now save the design again but save this one as a working copy for the new design. Click on the edit link for the working copy. You can work on the new template, save changes and then load the new design template when it is ready. back to top
- Do you have training available?
We have found that the best way to learn the interface is just to begin using it. We have content sensitive online help that can help if you get stuck. Also on the help page is a link to our downloadable user guide and online tutorials. These are animated movies that will give you a good overview of how to use the tools. There are also TIPS on our main website that help you with special issues like uploading sermons and HOW TO VIDEOS on some of our special tools. back to top
- Are site statistics available?
All of our sites come with some level of traffic statistics. The Starter and Basic Plans give you statistics on traffic and page views for the month. All other plans give information on referrers and search engines and store statistics for multiple months.
Also available for an additional fee is RapidInsite which is a comprehensive site statistics package. RapidInsite is designed to help you understand your traffic, the effectiveness of your site marketing and the effectiveness of your overall site design. back to top