Church Website Content Management Systems

A team of us are beginning to build an affordable Church based content management sytem. What are important features that a church system wouldt need? (We’re going to call it, Ekklesia Systems. )
Ekklesia Church Content Management System
Overview:
1. Built based on Web Standards
2. Powered by a Flexible Open Source Structure – Upgrade path.
-Separation of Content and Web Features (modify navigation and website tools without disrupting content.)
-Separation of Content and Presentation (maintain consistency in design for all new content created with style-based content authoring.)
3. Integrates powerful Technologies – (mp3, podcasting, rss)
4. Easy to Use Administration
5. Great Design

Features:

ÔÇß Content Management System
o Editable classification and specific templates to handle:
ÔÇß Sermons
ÔÇß Articles
ÔÇß Teaching/Study Guides
o WYSWIG Editor
o Ability to add elements such as attachments (pdf/doc), images, mp3s, podcasts,
o RSS
o Relevant Linking ‚Äì Keyword ‘meta data’ to display relevant resources (eg. A sermon on God’s Sovereignty would show books, teachings or other resources attached to this term.)
o Photo gallery
o Resource Web Directory (recommended reading lists, links, etc.)

ÔÇß Contact Management System
o Newsletter tool

ÔÇß Event Management System
o Web-based Calendar
o Events (Sunday, home groups, small groups, etc.)

ÔÇß Membership System
o Personalization and Relevancy- Provide content to visitors based on their segmentation preferences and interests. Content can be linked by relevancy to create a rich user experience.
o Membership Features – Offer exclusive content, web features and secure login areas to create and modify profiles for members.
o Online Members Directory

ÔÇß Assimilation System
o Track guests through the assimilation process towards membership.

ÔÇß Interactive System
o Forums
o Custom Applications and Forms
o Blogs
o Classifieds

ÔÇß Tracking System
o Online Visitor Reports

Keep your eye out for Ekklesia Church Content Management System.

7 Comments
  • zug

    August 30, 2005, 8:29 am

    Not reinventing the wheel is the number one mistake I see in the current market for these types of projects — robust open source web application development platforms like xaraya and drupal are rising up as the next generation of Content Management Systems ‚Äì this is the place where all businesses (churches included) should be headed.

    We’ve got to take seriously the advantages of the open source development model in it’s ability to deliver features and functionality that no full time team of 100+ can — and do it much more rapidly.

    I’ve consulted on too many project where we’ve made the mistake of using a custom solution built by a 1-5 man shop (some of which I‚Äôve sold to clients) — when they can’t support the required feature set (which is ever geometrically expanding in the current business environment) or they go out of business — then the project is left high and dry.

    Sadly — I’ve seen the cycle unnecessarily repeat itself time and time again — as we pick another small shop and begin painting ourselves into the same corner suing a different color.

    With the current availability of solid and scalable open source systems to build on, we shouldn’t be making this mistake anymore.

  • zug

    August 30, 2005, 8:31 am

    >>
    suing a different color
    >>

    er, I mean using a different color (it sounds so much better without typos)

  • D. Goodmanson

    August 30, 2005, 3:10 pm

    Thanks Zug. Hey, check out this article:

    Creating a PHP-Based Content Management System

    For six months in 2004, Intranet Journal’s Peter Zeidman published a tutorial on using the PHP programming language to build a content management system (CMS).

    Writing your own CMS can lead to a solution that is better suited to your requirements, better addresses the needs of your users, and is better understood by your development team. If you have the time and expertise to write your own in-house system, it may well prove the better option.

    Just adding some food for thought. (whatever that means)

  • zug

    August 31, 2005, 10:47 am

    >>
    Writing your own CMS can lead to a solution that is better suited to your requirements, better addresses the needs of your users, and is better understood by your development team. If you have the time and expertise to write your own in-house system, it may well prove the better option.
    >>

    Nope — I’ve done it a few times — in PHP and ASP — MySQL and SQL Server.

    The problem is that this approach doesn’t scale — there is absolutely no way a small shop can stay on top of the feature sets that are being commoditized (and therefore expected by even non-technical clients) via open source web app systems like xaraya, drupal, and the like — or even blogging tools like WordPress, Moveable Type, Blogger, MSN and the like.

    Much wiser to build the custom enhanced feature sets for your audience inside the framework of an established extensible scalable system.

  • D. Goodmanson

    August 31, 2005, 1:11 pm

    More food for thought:

    Content Management

    Comment: Honestly, in situations like this it’s often best to develop a custom CMS of your own. Of course, this isn’t practical for everyone, but it beats the hell out of paying for an overpriced, bloated “enterprise” CMS (just because it’s “professional grade” doesn’t mean you’re really getting what you’re paying for or that it will make content management any easier for you; more often than not it actually makes things *more* difficult), even if you need to hire outside help to get the job done.

    Comment: Hey Mike, I’m with Chris — this sounds like a job for a custom CMS. Build it quick and light, include only the features you need, and tailor it to the job at hand. That’s what we did for a big project I just finished up, and it really helped us meet our goals while keeping the budget manageable.

    Comment: I’m always amazed at the ratio of the number of CM systems in the world to the number of CMS tools that actually do what I want them to. It’s something like 40,000 / 0.

    I think that the two biggest problems facing CM systems are that they work on adding features rather than improving existing features, and that they’re often designed by software engineers rather than designers. Instead of a tight, smoothly-operating and flexible content management system, we too often wind up with some abomination like PostNuke.

    I’ve been using a home-grown CMS for client sites for the past few years, and I’m not sure I’ll ever find an existing third-party tool to replace it, simply because I don’t think anyone will come up with a one-size-fits-all (or even -most) system.

    Comment: Everyone wants a custom solution when it comes to content management systems. Drupal is ok, but its hardly a plug in and go CMS.

    The Perfect Publsihing + Community Tool

  • Dsnyd

    September 13, 2005, 10:05 pm

    Sounds like you have most of the needs covered. I know that my church could have used this a while back when designing a new site, I had some input and presented some ideas and samples but eventually they paid someone to create something that is barely more than a few static pages. I am continually shocked at the number of churches that are still missing the boat in regards to web ministry.

  • small business it management

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