A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to easily create and maintain a website without the need to write code. In addition to making website maintenance accessible, a good CMS will help you follow best practices and ensure your website will be viewable to as many users as possible across all devices.
When it comes to choosing a CMS there are many options available, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. When weighing the options, the most important consideration is your ability to work within that ecosystem. Will you be able to keep your site up-to-date? Will you be able to troubleshoot issues that arise when you have to upgrade your CMS? If you are not able to confidently answer "yes" to both of those questions for a particular CMS, it is not the right choice for your parish.
The Website Hosting through the Department of Internet Ministries is capable of hosting most popular CMS choices, as long as they are PHP/MySQL based. If you are not sure that your choice is compatible, please reach out to us so that we can help you make the right decision.
We decided to use Evolution CMS (EVO) for all of our custom website solutions because EVO is known for its security, adaptability, and small footprint for performance and speed. When we create a site for a client on EVO, we use a current version of the CMS, and we make sure to update the CMS if there is ever a security vulnerability. The Department of Internet Ministries currently has 9 templates designed specifically for EVO. These templates were designed with Orthodox parishes and organizations in mind, and the design elements and content of these templates reflect the unique artistic style of the Orthodox church.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System currently across the Internet. They have many great features and plugins to offer. Though there are many reasons to consider WordPress, there are also some areas of caution which should be addressed. Being the most popular CMS on the web, WordPress websites are the most targeted websites by hackers. If you choose to run a WordPress website, we require you to keep the website fully updated (including the plugins and themes).
Websites built with WordPress out of the box can also be very resource intensive and require optimization for improved performance and to lower the cost to us for hosting your website. Though we provide hosting to GOA parishes for free, there is still a cost that we incur, and we would like for that cost to be as low as possible if we can help it!
If you are considering using WordPress, please read through the following articles:
Whatever CMS you decide to use to host your parish website, always remember that no one system is a panacea. You still need to put in the work to cultivate good content, keep it updated regularly, and build a communications network - social media, directory services, local businesses, email newsletters, print bulletins, posters, etc. - to ensure traffic is flowing to your website.