This list of resources is by no means exhaustive and is meant to show examples of the type of services and programs that are available. There are also many others out there and the conference does not specifically endorse the products or services of any of these companies. There are literally tens of thousands of options available - fitting every conceivable need and budget.

To share this list with others, use the following link: http://www.txcumc.org/webresources 

UMCOM offers a hosted site based on WordPress: http://umcchurches.org/

This system has different tiers at varying price points and different options.

FUMC Alvin http://www.alvinmethodist.org/ uses Church Plant Media

St. Peter's, Katy http://www.stpkaty.org/ uses Solerant

FUMC Livingston - http://www.livingstonfumc.org/ uses Faith Connector

Marvin UMC, Tyler http://www.marvinumc.com/ uses Church Media

Lakeview Retreat Center  https://lakeviewmcc.org/ uses Clever Mutt

 

Technically Proficient User Resources

If you understand how to read and write web languages (php, asp etc.) and know how to manage a database, open source Content Management system software is available for the technically inclined. They can be very daunting and time-consuming to learn to set-up if you are just starting out. They offer some advanced functionality and templating. Some open source systems are run by volunteers. Some are really good and some aren’t. Many are free. Some are not. Here are links to examples of hundreds of systems that are available.

http://www.opensourcecms.com/

http://www.cmsmatrix.org/ 

If the list is too much and you just want to see a few more commonly used ones available look at Joomla, Word Press, and Drupal.

Note: there are also free - hosted sites available if you want a blog-style site - though some options and control are limited if you choose this option. Check out the hosted versions of Word Press, Type Pad and Blogger. 

Server Space

These are examples of low-cost shared hosts. Note: make sure the any content management system you want is compatible with the server provider. Shared servers are probably sufficient for small churches not doing any video or audio – but it may not handle the needs of larger churches. Companies like these also offer private hosting plans when you are ready to move up. 

www.bluehost.com

www.hostgator.com

 

Domain Name Registry

Your host or developer should be able to help you with this process -  they may even provide a domain for you.

www.Directnic.com is a place you can register your domain name

(a domain name is the "url" or "web address" visitors type in to get to your page – something like www.churchname.org) Make sure to keep it renewed or you can lose it. 

Go to www.whois.net or www.whois.com to see if the domain name (web address) you want is available or who the registered holder is for an existing website. 

 

FTP file transfer

Filezilla is a free software that transfers files to and from your server quickly. 

http://filezilla.sourceforge.net/

 

Cool Homepages

http://www.coolhomepages.com/

This site offers links to many Web pages to help you start thinking about how you want your website to look. Note: Just because it is “good design” doesn’t mean it is user friendly or will meet your needs.

 

Blogger

Blogger is a freely hosted blog that is very user friendly to setup and use.

https://www.blogger.com/ This may not be the best choice for a church or ministry’s main website - but could be a good resource for a sunday school class or and individual's blog. It requires a "gmail" e-mail account which is also freely available at www.gmail.com

 

Photo Sharing/Hosting Sites 

Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/ 

Photobucket : http://photobucket.com/

Video

www.youtube.com  

www.godtube.com

Hosting video for free.

RSS and Podcasting Resources

What is RSS

www.rapidfeeds.com

www.itunes.com 

http://www.godcast1000.com/ - This site is a searchable directory of Christian Podcasters from everywhere. Search for "Methodist" and a lot of selections appear.

You can add your podcast feed to their site for free promotion. 

Free Photo Editor

There is a free photo editor called GIMP (Graphic Image Manipulation Program) http://www.gimp.org/

Training and Discussion Links

www.lynda.com

A great resource for learning new software. You can access everything for your team for $30 per month. 

Creative COW (communities of the world)

If you're looking for tips and tutorials for using audio, video, or web related technologies www.creativecow.net has a directory of forums where professionals of all backgrounds hang out. They can offer advice on any major program, application or equipment available and many have a breadth of knowledge regarding technical workflows and issues. Whether you're just starting out or are frustrated over a technical problem there is almost always someone around to offer advice.

Many of them offer freelance services on the side as well, so if you're looking to have some work done they can usually point you in the right direction.

www.videocopilot.net advanced graphics and compositing techniques for video

rayer Management

A virtual prayer room and prayer team management system (as well as a way to manage hospital visits and other needs) developed by Toby Dagenhart (communications director at Chapelwood) This is a really nice resource:

iprayerworks.com 

A prayer room system was also designed by Rev. Teykl at Renewal Ministries: 

www.virtualprayerroom.net

Event Registration

Eventbrite

www.eventbrite.com

Service U

www.serviceu.com/

Online Surveys

Survey Monkey www.surveymonkey.com/

Zoomerang www.zoomerang.com/ 

E-mail newsletter

Service U

www.serviceu.com/ 

Constant Contact

www.constantcontact.com

www.mailchimp.com

How to Write a Press Release

http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp

An Opinion on Dealing with Online Criticism

http://www.coyotecommunications.com/outreach/critics.html