Migrating Your Website to a Christian Web Host

In choosing web hosting, oftentimes users will pick the easiest or most expeditious option. However, after spending some time with a web host or registrar, one may find that the tools they offer may not fulfill the proper requirements, or may find that the ideals of the company may differ. Most web hosting providers use specific types of advertising and marketing to appeal to a wide array of users, but many find this type of advertising offensive or in poor taste. In this case, we recommend migrating one’s website to a Christian Web Hosting Provider.

First, what does migrating mean? Several things can be used to reference web hosting, but let us specifically focus on taking the content and domain name from one place, and putting it somewhere else. Hosting providers may “migrate” your data between servers, but you as a customer are allowed to take your data wherever you would like (and for any reason!). The first thing to consider is the tool that was used to build your site. If it is something like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal (all open-source, well-documented tools), you can certainly just export the site from your old hosting provider, adjust the DNS settings for your domain, and then re-upload the database to your new hosting provider. This is often simpler than it sounds, but in most cases where a proprietary tool has been used (such as GoDaddy’s built-in site tool), the only way to migrate the site is to copy all of the data off of it, perhaps into a text document, and then re-upload that data to the new hosting provider. This means that your site may change in appearance or functionality, but the peace of mind of switching to a provider that is more aligned with one’s values often makes the sacrifice worth it.

Most of the users that decide to switch to Truepath (or another Christian web host) recognize that in hosting a website, one is really taking up a partnership with a technology company. Your data will live on the same servers as other websites, so many consider it important that these aren’t websites that would be offensive. A lot of church hosting clients do not care for the idea of their websites living on the same server as another site that might contain something questionable like adult content, so they opt for a Christian web host with the assurance that this type of content is not allowed.

After deciding to move to a Christian web host, the process is as follows: create a new hosting account with the original (or a new) domain name, archive the data from the old site somehow (either download a database file, or copy the content and structure into text documents), and finally, adjust the DNS to point to the new host (then transfer the registration as well, if one wants to completely sever the relationship with the original host/registrar). After creating a new hosting package, depending on the tool, it is most likely possible to edit the new site while the old one is live. The new one will become live when DNS is pointed to the new host. If this is the case, it’s often as simple as copying data directly from the old site to the new site. Once this is done, changing the DNS will cause the old site to become inactive (your old host can help with the DNS change, as can your new one) and the new one to become active.

From this point forward, you are free to cancel your old hosting account safely and knowing that your data is being handled by a company with similar values.


Top Video Apps for Christian Websites

Writing a blog has always been a great way to reach out to your community. Blogs however, do not have to be a completely one-dimensional medium. Have you ever thought about posting a video as part of your blog or just wanted to share a great video with your community? If you have not, then you have an opportunity to improve your communications with your church members. A Vlog (Video Blog), can bring your online presence to a whole new level. If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your website or just build a great rapport within your church or community, then you should take the time to find the right video app for your website.

Maybe your aim is not to attract more traffic to your website, but to engage more with your current members. If you enjoy writing a blog, there are apps out there which will allow you to create videos to be posted as part of your website blog. If you built your website using a CMS package such as WordPress then this is very simple, just search for a plugin that best suits your needs. Most CMSD products will allow for uploading an existing YouTube video or even a video from your own computer. Other useful video plug-ins include: MediaElement.js, VideoJS, Spider Video Player, and HTML5 Video Gallery & Player.

For those of you who don’t use WordPress for your website there are other video application options. For example, Hana FLV Player is one video app that would work with almost any style of website. Drupal and Joomla are other popular website builders in which you may have chosen. If you use Drupal you should check out OpenChurch for adding 3rd party video from YouTube and Vimeo. As for working with Joomla, another great extension to add would be AllVideos. The AllVideos application uses descriptive plugin tags to get rid of copying and pasting huge blocks of HTML code.

For full enterprise video hosting, ustudio has created a video platform that is very extensive. Again, it really depends on what your goal is with posting video content to your website. On a large scale, ustudio can help you distribute your videos to all other social media platforms like Youtube, Roku, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and more very easily.

Of course church media can be delivered to your audience however you like – audio, video, emails, etc. Video content can be much more engaging for viewers whether or not you have a daily blog or occasionally post updates about events. Getting onboard with a video application that makes managing your content as easy as writing a blog is the goal. No one wants to pour hours into trying to get video content onto their website. So take a look at some of the video apps we had mentioned above and good luck with adding a video section for your church website!