Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much disk space do we get and can I buy more if I need it? Show Answer
Every website comes with 100 GB of disk space and 100 GB of monthly bandwidth for $50 per month. We have hundreds of partners, and only a small handful have approached that limit. To put the number into perspective, 100 GB is enough to store about 6,000 audio sermons (if compressed properly to about 15 MB per MP3). 100 GB of transfer means that people will be able to listen or download sermons equivalent to that amount. So, if your sermon MP3’s are each compressed to around 15 MB, then people will be able to either listen or download approximately 6,000 of your sermons per month. If the usage ever exceeds 100 GB on a regular basis, service will remain uninterrupted and our team will notify you of the total usage. More disk space or bandwidth can be added in blocks of 25 GB for an additional $15 per month.
Q. How do your prices compare to other website providers? Show Answer
Church Plant Media’s price is lower then most website providers. There are a few solutions that are a little less expensive than ours, but there are many more that are significantly higher priced. We firmly believe in creating a company that will last; one that will be around to serve our partners for years to come. We do this by setting a fair price for great design and serving our partners with excellence.
Q. How does your paid service compare to the free service with Wordpress? Show Answer
Although Wordpress is a great open-source blogging platform, it takes some technical skill to get it to do everything a typical ministry needs. Multiple plug-ins must be installed, maintained, and hosted to work correctly. In contrast, our system only takes 10% of the time to setup and we release all feature updates and system upgrades automatically, which means you’ll never have to do any version upgrades or maintenance installations yourself. We take care of all of the development and programming for you, so you can focus on the more important aspects of building your ministry.
Q. Why is your monthly fee $50 when I have seen “unlimited” hosting from other website providers for less? Show Answer
Our monthly benefits include much more than just hosting. We provide 24/7 usage of our cloud-based Content Management System, hosting of both your website and mobile site at Rackspace (a secure, industry-leading datacenter), fast and reliable media transfer from Amazon S3, daily backups of all your website content, regular upgrades to the CMS modules, and toll-free telephone and online support. To learn more, read the "Monthly Benefits" tab on the Pricing page for all of the details.
Regarding “unlimited hosting” from other providers; there is no such thing. Running an “unlimited” amount of data through a hosting account will result in sluggish load times and server crashes. We don’t make unrealistic promises; with Church Plant Media, you know exactly what you’re getting.
Q. Are there any costs other than the design setup price and monthly fee? Show Answer
Not from us. The only other thing you'll need is a domain name, which you can purchase from a domain registrar such as namecheap.com for around $10 annually.
Q. How much does it cost if we want to change our design after we buy? Show Answer
All of our designs have at least 3 color options available (A, B, or C). After we install your staging website we can change to one of the other color schemes for FREE at any time. Depending on the design, you may need to provide a new logo that will work with the new color scheme. If a different design is available in your area, we can switch to that design BEFORE the site launches for FREE. If you want to switch to a different design AFTER launch, we are happy to do so at 50% off our regular price. To learn more about these and other design upgrade options visit our Upgrade Pricing.
Q. Will your system allow us to charge a small fee for sermons? Show Answer
No. We firmly believe that the gospel is free, so we do not offer a way for churches to sell sermons.
Q. Do you register my domain name or do I need to register it? Show Answer
It is important that all of our partners have full, legal control over their own domain name(s). We recommend that you use a domain registrar such as namecheap.com for registering your domain.
Q. Do each of your websites come with a matching mobile site? Show Answer
Yes, we provide a standard mobile site with every website that includes flexible output options and colors that match your design style. A module in the CMS allows you to add a mobile-friendly logo, service times, ministry address, a mobile-friendly home page banner and footer information. You are able to select events, blogposts, and/or sermons to display on the mobile home page. The mobile site also displays the full website navigation from a drop-down menu.
Q. Do you offer password protected pages? Show Answer
Yes, all current designs styles come with password protection. Adding a password to the page will disable the content from view by website visitors and search engines. The protected page will display the note “this page is password protected” with a login box. When a visitor enters the password, they will be able to view the content for one hour.
Q. What type of Admin Permissions does your system have? Show Answer
Our system has 3 levels of Admin Permissions (Master Admin, Admin, & Guest). Master Admins have full system access to all modules and can add/edit other Admins. Admins have system access but they only have permission to edit the content within specific modules that Master Admins give them access to. Guests do not have any system access, but their names can be added to modules and assigned to roles as a Sermon Speaker, Blog Poster, and/or Event Coordinator.
Q. Are your websites easy to update and what is a CMS? Show Answer
Yes, our website solution provides a user-friendly Content Management System (CMS) that is used to update the information on the public website. Our CMS has been custom developed by our team and is not only easy to update, but fun to use as well. Without any need to know programming languages, you are in full control of your text, photos, navigation, events, sermons, blogs, video, audio, photo galleries, mobile site, and much more. Check out our video tour to see how easy our CMS is to use.
Q. Is your CMS custom built or did you repurpose another CMS like Wordpress or Joomla and put your logo on it? Show Answer
Our CMS is completely custom built by our team and is created specifically for gospel ministry. This ensures that churches and ministries get the features they need without having to wade through the features they don’t need. Another benefit of using our CMS is that you don’t have to cobble together different plug-ins to get a non-church CMS to do what your ministry needs.
Q. Can I download your CMS and install it on my own server? Show Answer
Our CMS is a hosted web service and we do not have plans to make a downloadable version. By having our CMS available as a hosted service, it allows us to continually monitor the entire technical environment and ensure that your experience is fast and reliable. This also allows us to immediately release new modules and features to all of our partners as they become available.
Q.What technology powers your CMS? Show Answer
Our CMS is built on the L.A.M.P. stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).
Q.Does your CMS support languages other than English? Show Answer
Yes, our system does support other languages. If your keyboard supports non-English characters, you will be able to input those characters into the CMS. The page titles and text are able to display in whatever language you type into the system. With that said however, minor aspects of our sermon, event, and blog output will remain in English. For example, if the home page says “Latest Sermon” or “Upcoming Events” these headings will always display in English, even if the sermon or event titles are in a different language.
Q.We have English and Spanish services; can we have a bilingual site? Show Answer
If you need bilingual content, then you will need to create different pages in both English and Spanish. Our system does not provide an automatic translator for your content. Many churches will have a section of their site titled “Español” for Spanish speaking visitors. If you need the entire website to switch back and forth between English and Spanish, you may need to purchase our multi-campus selector along with an additional website. This would allow you to have one site in English and one site in Spanish, with a way to select between the two. See our Multi-Campus Examples to learn more.
Q. Why do you have a geolocation restriction on your designs? Show Answer
We strive to protect the brands of each ministry that we serve. If two or more unrelated churches in the same immediate area had the exact same design, it would look like they are connected. This would result in brand confusion and frustration among these churches as they reach out to the same community using the exact same design. This is why we have decided to limit how many times each design can be used in each area. It may feel like a restriction when you are selecting a design, but it is our promise of respect and protection for the duration of our partnership.
We are not aware of any other website company who provides this same level of design protection.
Q. Will you install my website immediately after I pay? Show Answer
Depending on your method of payment, our Project Manager will usually install your temporary staging website within one business day after the payment has been processed and confirmed.
Q. Can I design my own website and use your CMS? Show Answer
Our designs and CMS are custom built by our team and they go hand-in-hand. We currently do not offer one without the other. If you have coding skills, we would be happy to provide a CSS override file for you to update the colors and fonts in our design to match your branding.
Q. I’m an HTML pro; do you provide FTP access so I can tweak the CSS?
If so, what changes can I make to the design? Show Answer
Sure, we can provide you with FTP access so you can update the CSS override file with your custom CSS. With FTP access to the CSS override file, you are able to change colors, textures, and fonts, but not the API output for sermons, events, blogs, etc. So all of the structure and output of the website will remain as-is, but you are able to modify the aspects of the design that are controlled by the CSS.
Q. Do I have to make a final decision on my design before moving forward? Show Answer
No, you do not need to make your final design selection at the time of your verbal agreement. However, we do request that you make your final design selection within one week of your payment. A key part of our process is the Project Agreement which asks you to select your design style before submitting the form. As soon as your payment is received along with your Gospel Agreement and Project Agreement, we will reserve your design within 30 miles of your protected location.
“The early bird catches the worm” when it comes to design style selection.
Q. If our logo is not ready yet, can we still move forward with a website? Show Answer
Most definitely! We serve a number of church plants each year that do not even have their official church name selected at the time of their verbal agreement. We understand the planting process well and we realize that your brand may be in flux, but you still need to publish a great website. If you do not have a logo when we launch your website, we can easily add the name of your organization where the logo will eventually go. Once your branding process is wrapped up, we can easily add your logo into the design at no additional cost.
Q. Is MP3 podcasting and RSS feed output included with every website? Show Answer
Yes, an RSS podcast of the sermon feed and RSS feeds for each blog are all included with the system. After we launch your site, we also set up your podcast in iTunes, so you only have to add a sermon into our system and it will automatically be published and searchable in Apple’s iTunes. Your podcast will live at http://www.yourdomain.org/feeds/sermons and your blog feeds will live at http://www.yourdomain.org/feeds/blog/blog-name.
Q. We plan to upload about 1 GB per week of video; will 100 GB be enough? Show Answer
If you plan to shoot video weekly, we always suggest making use of Vimeo Plus for your video storage needs. Vimeo offers a cost-effective, HD video hosting solution that is proven and they feature an HTML5 video player which ensures playback on iPads, iPhones, and other non-Flash equipped devices. We can house your videos in our CMS, but Vimeo is the best and we’ve built in full integration with it. With your videos on Vimeo, you’ll be using their hosting and bandwidth, so it may actually take a number of years before you bump up against 100 GB.
Q. Does your system support HD video with an HTML5 video player? Show Answer
If you decide to use Vimeo Plus for your video storage needs, they provide unlimited HD video storage (5 GB per week). Vimeo has been featured on the Apple website as a premier company who has optimized for HTML5. The file formats that Vimeo supports are: ASF, ASX, AVI, DivX, DV, DVX, M4V, MPEG, MPG, QT, WMV, 3G2, 3GP, 3ivX and 3VX. If you decide to use our system for video or other types of files, we allow for the following file formats in our files module: JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, MOV, MP4, MPEG, FLV, MP3, DOC, PDF.
Q. We love Facebook & Twitter; can we integrate them into our website? Show Answer
Yes, website Admins can hook up their CMS account to automatically post updates in Facebook & Twitter when adding sermons, events and blogs. You can even choose which Facebook pages and groups you want your updates to post into. All of our currently design styles also include social media icons in the footer that can be linked to social media websites for easy access by website visitors. A few of our design styles display your selected Twitter feed in the sidebar or footer of the home page.
Q. What is the process to set up my website and when do I pay? Show Answer
First, select your design and ask us if it is available at your ministry meeting location. Once we receive your (1) Gospel Agreement, (2) Project Agreement and (3) one-time setup fee, we will then install your staging website with our Content Management System (CMS). The $50 monthly fee will begin on the following business day. You will then be able to add your pages, navigation, sermons, events, blog posts, photo galleries, and mobile site. After you are confident with your content in the CMS, we will launch your website and help you set up your Google Apps Email (if Email is needed).
Q. Where do we review the agreement & terms before we seal the deal? Show Answer
Q. What types of payment do you accept? Show Answer
We accept credit cards, debit cards, checks, and bank drafts.
Q. Do you make me sign a long-term contract? Show Answer
No. We do not require a minimum sign up period. We bill for our system access on a monthly basis, so you may cancel at any time. We are here to serve you as long as you need.
Q. Do you charge an additional fee for your customer support? Show Answer
Nope, all partners get toll-free phone and online support at no additional charge. We view our service as a partnership and we want you to know that we are only a phone call away if you need help. We believe our calling is to serve your church and mission.
Q. Will our site be hosted on a dedicated server and will it load fast? Show Answer
Yes, we have a dedicated server at Rackspace (the gold standard for dedicated hosting). Your database, content, and pages will be served from there, and all media will be served from our hosting environment on the Amazon S3 cloud. That means all of your website pages will load quickly on the front-end and our CMS will quickly upload your media files in the back-end. But don’t take our word for it, go ahead and compare some of our examples to examples from other website companies.
Q. How reliable will my site be on your system and will it ever go down? Show Answer
Our system is rock solid and we’ve only had a few minutes of downtime in the last few years.
Q. Will we have access to export the database if we ever decide to move to a different website provider? Show Answer
All of the content (i.e. text, photos, media, etc.) that you add into the CMS is yours to copy and transfer manually whenever you need. Our CMS and designs go hand-in-hand and they will remain on our server. For more information, please review our Service Agreement & Terms.
Q. Are you Christian owned and operated? Show Answer
Yes, we are first and foremost a gospel-centered company, and second, a web design company. Everyone on our team enthusiastically believes in our Gospel Agreement and we are all believing members of evangelical churches, in a number of different denominational traditions and church associations. Using our time and talents to expand the reach of the gospel via the Internet at Church Plant Media is just one way we give honor to God and enjoy Him.
Q. What do you mean by gospel-centered company? Show Answer
Q. Why do you refer to “customers” as “partners”? Show Answer
We view the ministries that we serve as our partners in the gospel. This means that we don’t view ourselves as a web design company with customers; we view ourselves as a gospel company that provides websites for church and mission. Because of this, we refer to “customers” as “partners”.
Q. Do you have any restrictions on who you will work with? Show Answer
Yes, please review our Gospel Agreement. We will work with any gospel-loving, humbly-othodox, body of believers who will commit to uphold three basic creeds without reservation. First, they must be Christians and adhere to the 2nd century Apostles’ Creed. Second, they must be Protestants* and uphold the 5 Solas of the 16th century Reformation. Third, they must be Evangelicals and fully agree with the National Association of Evangelicals’ Statement of Faith. Fourth, they must be Biblical and believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
* NOTE: For the purposes of our agreement the term “Protestant” includes some Anglican, Lutheran, and Baptist churches who may not consider themselves to be historically “Protestant” per se.
Q. How do I know you will be around in the future? Show Answer
There are a lot of fly-by-night web design companies. Thankfully we’re not one of them. We’ve been in business since 1998 and the number of ministries we serve has grown every year. We are privately owned, which means we don’t answer to outside investors. We serve hundreds of gospel-loving ministries and we are positioned to continue growing for years to come.
Q. How do we get started? Show Answer
Simply complete our contact form, and we'll give you a call. Or, if you would like to connect right now, feel free to call Matt Ayers, our Account Manager, at: (800) 409-6631 x 1.
Before calling, please review our Gospel Agreement to be sure you are able to affirm our partnership.
We look forward to serving you!