How much time and money did this site cost?
You may or may not be asking yourself that question. Either way, I’m pleased to answer it.
God has blessed me with the tools and desire to build inexpensive websites. I love technology and I’m constantly looking for ways to use it for the ministry. It helps that technology gets cheaper as time goes on.
There are two reasons I’m including this section in our website: (1) to be accountable for my time and the way we use our finances for the ministry and (2) to (hopefully) show other missionaries how easy, inexpensive and time efficient a ministry website can be.
My domain name (www.jonathanashcraft.com) cost about $8 to set up and around $25 per year thereafter. I set it up about 5 years ago.
My server cost $3.99 per month.
I use WordPress.org, witch is free.
I use a template from www.elegantthemes.com where I purchased a one year license for about $39 to gain full access to a couple dozen WordPress themes which I use across all of our ministry sites.
$47.00 in one-time fees
$6.07 per month or $72.88 per year
I believe that a missionary should stay in touch with his supporting churches and do as much as possible to reach out to potential supporters and prayer partners. This is part of what a missionary does. As missionaries, we must strike a balance between “busy work” and truly being productive. It’s easy to “kill time” sitting at the computer (too easy). I have a checklist and once I’ve completed the items on that list I walk away from the computer.
I recently updated our site. I have spent a total 10 hours on the site alone. This includes graphic design. I don’t include writing newsletters and blog posts or production of video updates and video presentations as work on the website itself. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but most of the content was just copy and paste work.
I spent no more that 25 minutes on the “Mount Hebron Baptist Church – 30th Anniversary” video, not including the time it took to actually film the footage, render the file and upload it to Vimeo or post it to the site.
Total time on website content: 10 hours
Total time on video presentations not including filming footage, rendering files and uploading: 9.5 hours
I have invested considerably less time and money on our website and video presentations than it would take to travel to one missions conference. My ultimate goal for the site and videos is twofold: keep our supporters up to date on our ministry to encourage more fervent prayer and continued financial support; and, make our information available to prospective supporters and prayer partners in a sufficiently effective way as to gain support and prayer while on the mission field.
I hope I’ve answered your questions.
Oh, it took 15 minutes to write this.