Should your web development learn to code?
I believe every man and woman in your church’s web development team should understand the code that the church website is built on. If your church has a web ministry that is dedicated to the creation and maintenance of your church’s website, your church web ministry would probably build its church website using tools such as a content management system like WordPress or a site builder like Wix.
These tools give your web ministry the ability to choose from prepackage templates so that they don’t have to design the look of the website. These tools also give your web ministry the ability to add functionality to your church’s website without knowing code through plugins. These tools will help your web ministry build sites fast and they have a low learning curve because you are learning a user-friendly tool and not the code that the tool is composed of.
The problem is that they are some web ministries that solely rely on these tools and never learn the fundamentals of code and graphic design. Not learning these two disciplines of coding and graphic design will keep your web ministry team at a disadvantage.
In no way is the blog post bashing any tools that help build websites. When I create church websites I use WordPress a great content management system, but I understand the difference between using a tool to help me create a website and solely relying on one without understanding the code the tool is built on. That’s why today I like to give you four quick reasons why your web ministry should learn the disciplines of coding and graphic design
Your church website won’t look like every other website.
Tools like Wix and WordPress both come with a number of templates you can choose from.WordPress templates are free for basic websites and cost money for advanced feature rich websites. Wix templates look great and are free but you have to have a premium account to unlock advanced features like web hosting for your church website. The problem with both solutions is that there are not a lot of church website templates to choose from. Your website ends up looking like a carbon copy of so many other church’s websites.
Your church website will have custom functionality.
When working with content management systems and site builders, these tools employ plugins such as a calendar to show your churches events or a media player to play audio and video sermons. These plugins give your website functionality, but beware you are bound to the limits of what these prebuilt plugins can do. The functionality of these plugins can be frustratingly limited. The functionality of these plugins may be inadequate for all of your church’s website needs and the look and design of these plugins may not marry well with your church’s brand.
When you build it you can easily fix it.
All software can potentially break. Content Management Systems and Site Builders all come with their fair share of bugs that can potentially cause your church website not to function as expected. When your web ministry cannot debug problems on your church’s website your church ministry will be forced to do one of three things. They will either ask people to solve the problems for them, they will have to pay people to fix the problem for them or they will have to switch to a different solution altogether. Which can end up costing your church time and money?
Your website will be more secure.
Plugins that create functionality for your church website may be written by developers that don’t take security as seriously as you do. These developers may not dot all the I’s or cross all the T’s when it comes to keeping your congregations identity and personal information safe. Hackers know once they find an exploit in one plugin they can use that exploit to corrupt every website that uses the plugin. When your web ministry is learning to code they usually learn in parallel the processes and fundamentals of creating secure code. This keeps your church website more secure which is important to your congregation.
Learning to code is an essential part of a web development ministry. When your web development team depends solely on site builders and content management systems to create code for your website it limits your web development ministries ability to develop remarkable web projects. When you Learn to code websites you can help your church web ministry break out of the box and create solutions for your church website that goes beyond the scope and ability of any site builders or content management systems.