Avoid Sending Spam to Your Parishioners

As anyone who has used email can tell you, spam – or unsolicited bulk email – can be scourge. We all can agree it’s a nuisance at best and it’s important to realize that even an otherwise innocent email can come off as “spammy”. The last thing your parish wants is to have its email or newsletters be considered as spam by a computer, or even worse, get marked as spam by one of your parishioners. Keeping a few simple ideas in mind, though, it’s easy to avoid having your emails or newsletters being confused as spam.

Almost all email providers have built in spam filters. Spam filters are, essentially, automated processes that examine emails and compare them with common spam messages that decide if a message is in fact spam. Unfortunately, since these are automated processes, they aren’t always correct and can falsely categorize your message as spam. When writing your email, be certain your subject is not only appropriate, but short and accurate. Avoiding a few “trigger” phrases – words in a subject line that may automatically cause the filter to think the message is spam. Some common phrases like “free”, “limited time”, “buy now”, and “hi”, “hello” and even “help” are often used in spam emails and can trigger filters. Using a subject in your email that is short and appropriate will often help you avoid using these words. Using proper capitalization and punctuation, rather than all caps or all lowercase also helps. This is a great rule of thumb not only for spam filtering software, but for readability as well.

Many of these same rules also apply to how your parishioners will view your emails. While proper capitalization and punctuation is indeed important, as well as a clear and concise subject, you’ll also want to make it clear as to whom the email is from. Certainly, “Pastor John Q. Doe” is a far clearer and better thing to see than “pastor” or even “pastor doe”. A good rule of thumb is to keep in mind when crafting an email is about how the email will look when someone else receives it.

Additional concerns might arise if your church offers an online newsletter. In fact, these newsletters might have some of the highest risk of being marked as spam when they are indeed sent legitimately. Remember to make all the content appropriate, as well as using proper formatting. The key when sending newsletters is permission: Not only do you want to have permission from every member of your newsletters list to send to, but also keep in mind that your recipients need a way to opt out easily. If you’re using a third-party service to send your newsletters, they often provide ways to unsubscribe. However you decide to handle them, make certain to honor the user’s wishes on receiving these emails. Always honor unsubscribe requests without exception. If not, you run the risk of being blacklisted – a list of email addresses and entities that have been marked as sending spam. Once blacklisted, it is difficult to get your domain off of this list.

Always remember that if your newsletter contains just general information or promotion, it can sometimes still come off as an advertisement. Advertisements can be easy to ignore, but it’s also easy for a user to mark that peice of email as spam and cause issues with your deliverability of email in future mailings.

All in all, the best advice to avoid sending spam to your parishioners is to consider how the email will be perceived. This includes not just considering how the recipients will read the email, but how the computers along the way will interpret it too. While this is especially true for newsletters, it holds just as true for other messages. Keeping these simple practices in mind can help you avoid any issues with accidentally sending anything that might unintentionally be interpreted as spam.


Christian Web Hosting for the Micro Church

For a culture that has mostly believed that bigger is always better, there has been a trend towards downsizing in many areas. Whether it’s small houses, micro farming or apodmonts, people are beginning to live with less. That’s happening with the Christian church too with the advent of micro churches. Micro churches don’t have large congregations or buildings. You are more likely to find a mirco church that meets at your local Starbucks or through a Google Hangout. Micro churches are more focused on intimacy than large congregations who come together through mega churches.

As micro churches grow in popularity, it’s still important to manage the ministry similar to a large church – with budgets, websites and other organizational needs. Church web hosting should be an integral part of managing your micro church. Small Parishes can use their website in a variety of ways to really get the most out of everything. Finding a Christian hosting provider who shares a statement of faith and caters specifically to churches and other Christian needs is very important. This helps to ensure a suitable environment and you know you’re entrusting your web content to someone who truly understands your needs, and in finding a partner in Christ.

In the past, hosting a website on your own domain could become expensive very quickly. With the advent of shared hosting, even the smallest church or parish can utilize the web much more efficiently and inexpensively. This is a practical, economical option for those who wish to build a website for their small church, especially as your parish and your needs grow. Shared hosting plans are capable of expanding to support these needs.

A variety of tools are available to help build your Christian website and create a professional and attractive site. WordPress is one of many available options that are great for this purpose. It provides a variety of themes and templates that require little to no technical knowledge to use. Content Management Systems like WordPress can be used to manage your content, develop a blog for your parish, or provide extended features with thousands of available plugins. Plugins are a great tool that adds a variety of functionality to your website, without the need to know complex html or have a large amount of technical knowledge.

One key feature that many micro ministries use is the ability to accept donations online. Online tithing can make it easy and convenient for your parishioners to donate funds to your church from anywhere in the world. And accepting credit cards is also proven to increase your tithing funds. In fact, many parishes may even have the majority of donations come online.

Developing and fostering your micro ministry online with a website hosted by those who understand the needs of churches will help you get the most out of your small parish. It is critical for churches to have an online presence in this day-and-age, and smaller churches aren’t an exception to this rule. Christian web hosting is the perfect tool for you to get more out of your micro ministry. Please visit us at for more details and to sign up.


Transferring Your Domain Name to Truepath Christian Web Hosting

Transferring your domain to a new Christian Web Host can seem like a daunting task at first, but in reality, it’s very simple once you are familiar with the process. Whether you’re changing hosting providers to save money or gain additional functionality, this can easily be accomplished. After signing up for your new Christian Web Host, your first task is to log into your current domain name’s registrar. When transitioning your domain name from one provider to another, this involves transferring management from one registrar to another, not the ownership of the domain.

Every domain name – or the address you type in for your website – is registered through your Domain Registrar. In order to transfer your domain, it has to be unlocked and a transfer request initiated. An EPP Code (sometimes referred to as and Authorization Code or a Domain’s Secret) will be sent. The EPP will be provided by your current Registrar, and then given to your new registrar. Often an automatic form through your new registrar is provided for this, or in some cases can be handled via email.

Once this transfer has been confirmed with both registrars the transfer process can take 7-10 business days to complete. Domain names must be registered for at least 60 days prior to transfer elsewhere. Domain transfers may include a small fee to process. These fees can be offset through vendor offers or incentives for signing up with them.

Many Christian web hosting providers offer domain name registration as an additional option. When choosing a Christian Web Host to transfer your domain to, it’s important to not only weigh out the cost options, but also to find a company that has similar values to your organization. Keeping your domain with your church web hosting company is not only convenient, but also makes things more manageable and helps keep management of your domain and website under the same umbrella, saving you both time and effort.

At Truepath Christian Web Hosting, we offer an easy to follow domain transfer guide for all customers.


Choosing a Christian Web Host for Your New Blog

A church blog is a great way to reach out to your community in an accessible, conversational manner. In addition, in connecting with younger parishioners, speaking a language they understand is paramount. Most young people these days don’t subscribe to email newsletters, nor will they read postal mailings or newsletters. Connecting to the next generation means using technologies that they already interact with in order to reach them on a meaningful level.

But, having a blog is not so simple as having some ideas and writing them down. In fact, different tools have different benefits and usefulness. The choices one organization might make may not be the best choices for every church or community. For example, if all that is necessary is a periodic update on the goings-on (e.g. a newsletter), it’s often sufficient to simply paste this information onto the homepage of a website. If the updates are occasional or sporadic enough, this solution is easy, and mostly pain-free, only requiring you to add with a tool you’ve already used to build the website.

However, for more complex blogs, such as one that contains important information that needs to get out to your members quickly and on-schedule, we recommend using a church web hosting environment that supports RSS, a feed-aggregating tool. When choosing a web host, it’s a good idea to choose one that supports well-known blogging software such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Implementing an RSS feed with a tool that doesn’t support it can be problematic, but by choosing a host that supports (or specializes) in these content management systems (CMS), you are setting yourself up for success.

In addition, most tools can be used with most hosting environments. In many cases, the actual software provided amongst web hosting companies is relatively similar. However, what you should look for when choosing a hosting environment and blogging software is: “How simple will this be for ME to set up?”. It’s possible to install web software on a wide variety of hosts and services, but doing it yourself may be more complicated than you’re willing to contend with when the ultimate goal is simply to host a blog. We recommend choosing a web host that has a quick-install for for the tool of your choosing.

In addition, it may not be necessary to install the blogging software on your site at all. Rather, some churches choose to use Blogger or another external blog host to host the blog portion of the website, and then simply link it from their main page. This is a good solution in terms of speed to set up; it is often the fastest. However, being able to have granular control over the blog’s design, style sheets, and websites are not something that is present with these types of solutions. For example, instead of you might end up using something like This type of change is sometimes not what users are looking for, and can be the deciding factor on whether or not to create a full CMS-type blog.

No matter what choices you make in the deployment of a blog on your website, it is important to know what’s available before being forced to do things in a way that is not ideal. With a little time and research, and a few smart decisions, it’s easy and fast to set up a site that fits your needs and reaches your community more effectively than ever before.


What is Shared Web Hosting?

Shared hosting is a great option for many who are looking to build their own website. It can be best suited for individuals, small businesses and other small groups, such as small non-profit organizations, churches, and other similarly-sized institutions. These hosting services are also available for medium-to-large organizations. It is a useful and economical option for those who want to build a website, from a personal blog to a church website since there are many uses. As business requirements grow, shared hosting plans are capable of expanding to support these needs. Though for the entire lifespan of many small businesses, this type of service will often work quite well with a shared hosting plan.


Another benefit to shared web hosting is that some hosts, like Truepath, provide managed services to assist users with maintaining their servers and infrastructure. Resources for shared server space can be managed in many different ways – often, disk space is limited on per server by the hosting provider, and that specific disk space is not directly shared with other users in the same shared space. Resources such as RAM and processing power are shared amongst servers within the same account. With websites becoming less reliant on resources and sharing the costs for server maintenance, shared hosting becomes a more attractive and affordable option to many.


Keeping all of this information in mind, it becomes clear why shared hosting is a great option for many. Shared hosting provides unlimited resources, but the truth is that many websites just simply do not require an abundance of resource usage in support of a dedicated web server. Thanks to shared hosting, many Christian website owners now have an accessible and affordable option for web hosting for their own domain.


Church Web Hosting at an Affordable Price

In the past, purchasing cloud hosting space to manage a website was considered an expenditure relegated to larger businesses that had an ample budget. Nowadays, in this age-of-technology, where websites are more of a necessity than a luxury, the price of web hosting has reduced substantially. There are many different things to consider when purchasing a web host, but the first thing to understand: what actually is a web host? Essentially, websites are built from webpages that are viewed by people on the Internet all over the world.

Creating these pages can be done by an endless amounts of ways, but using tools such as Content Management Systems (like WordPress) are by far the easiest and require no website code whatsoever. Once the web pages are created, they are available to visitors who type in your website address (also known as domain name). A web host is simply a company that provides cloud-based server space for managing your website. They can, and often do, offer many other perks, but the basis is simply the ability to showcase your website to visitors and make sure the web pages remain available and accessible.

So why isn’t all web hosting the same price? The resources that you are purchasing need not be the same for every site. For example, a huge e-commerce website will take up more disk space than a standard blog. For this reason, the owner of the e-commerce site would need to purchase a plan with larger disk allocation to store all of this data. In addition, the web page data that are being served to your visitors consume bandwidth to be presented on the world wide web. Bandwidth measurements can vary, but a user with a complex site will likely use more bandwidth than a user with a smaller site. The amount of website traffic and type of data being hosted will dictate how much bandwidth is actually consumed. Primarily, the combined price of CPU, RAM, disk space and bandwidth are the main factors involved when it comes to price differentiation amongst web hosting plans.

Some web hosting providers are front-and-center with all of their costs. You can see the services you’ve purchased and how much you are paying for them. Conversely, other, larger web hosts make a profit by claiming that bandwidth and disk space are “unlimited”, but forcing the user to pay for increased services or rates if they ever reach these amounts. For this reason, finding affordable web hosting often comes down to reading the fine print. Paying for “unlimited” bandwidth or disk space is often a mistake, as purchasing a plan with a set (but known) amount can often be much cheaper in the long run.

For a simple website, such as one that contains pictures, audio, embedded video, and text, we recommend a very small hosting plan. This type of website does not take up an inordinate amount of space, and paying for an extremely large buffer of unused resources is where many churches run into trouble while purchasing web hosting. A good rule to remember is to only purchase what you need. For many hosts, increasing the plan resources is as simple as a phone call. In the vast majority of cases, our smallest plan (with 5GB of disk storage and 10Gb of bandwidth) is sufficient for users. This plan can be purchased yearly for $3.99 per month, plus the cost of registering a domain name ($18.99) if one is not already owned.

In a time where everyone gets their news, social interaction, and entertainment from a computer, not having a website is a detriment to many churches. The cost of entry into the field of website hosting was once a barrier to smaller communities that could not afford the expensive, technical plans that used to be the norm. However, with a little help and a little research, it’s possible for a website to be built on the most modest budget.