Who is Connected Word?
Connected Word was founded by a passionate team of people in the Los Angeles area. We saw a great need among churches for affordable websites and related marketing materials. There seemed to be only 2 options for churches that want to have a powerful presence online: expensive, or affordable-but-not-very-effective.
Using technology we had already created for other markets, we decided to create a new alternative for churches. Our mission is to truly put "Freely you have received, freely give" into action, to make powerful technology really easy to use, and to share that technology and design beauty with the faith community.
Which costs are recurring, and which costs are one-time setup fees?
All costs for our features and services are one-time setup fees, with the exception of monthly hosting ($29.99 per month) and Community Builder ($5 per month).
Is there a yearly contract involved?
Hosting is paid monthly, so you are not locked into a year-long contract. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
If we don't order a business card or Community Builder or any other feature at the time of purchase, can we order later?
Yes, every feature that we offer can be purchased at any time. However, because it is much easier for us to install those features at startup time, we offer steep discounts if you order those features with your website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Websites
Can we request changes to the color scheme?
Yes. A comment box is provided at the last step of the selection process, where you may request color changes to background, foreground, and text colors.
How flexible is the design process?
While we cannot make structural changes to the design (as that would require changes to the code that renders the layout in web browsers), based on your feedback we can create a unique look that reflects the essence of your church.
We have a logo for our website. Can that be worked into our design?
Yes. When you choose your design we'll ask if you have a logo you want incorporated into the header of your site. If you have a high-resolution copy of your logo, preferably on a transparent background, that is ideal. But we can work with any format.
If at some point we want to change the picture that appears in our header, can we do that?
Yes. We offer a "Swap our Header Picture" service wherein you may request changes to your header - such as replacing a photo, changing your name, etc. The first swap is FREE, while subsequent swaps cost $10.
If at some later point we decide we want to change our web design, can we do that?
Yes you can. You have the ability at any time to swap to a completely new design. One of the great things about our system is that you can change your design, all the content that you have developed on your site, including text, images, and navigation structure, remains untouched and perfectly in place.
We have our own design that we like. Can we give you that design and still use your system?
All of our designs are tightly integrated into our editing system. This is what makes our system so easy and so affordable, and it also means that we can only offer our own designs. However, as you look through the Design Gallery, you will find that all designs offered by Connected Word are of the highest quality, and will give you a completely professional and unique look.
Will you be adding more designs?
Yes. We are continually expanding our design gallery.
Editing and Managing Content
How much space do we get?
We have a flexible limit of about 1 GB of storage space per website. To conserve space on your site, we recommend that you upload most video files to a video storage website like YouTube. You can still embed the video in your web pages, while the file is saved elsewhere.
How do we get our initial content onto our site?
We will get you started with a ready-made menu and set of relevant pages populated with sample text and pictures, which you can rewrite to suit your needs. Your site will have an Under Construction message on the home page until you are ready to officially launch your site. This gives you a chance to shape the content of each page to your satisfaction without the public seeing your unfinished work.
Can we add and remove pages?
Absolutely. We give you a Page Management tool that makes adding, deleting, moving, publishing, and unpublishing of pages all point-and-click easy. You have complete control over which pages are visible or hidden from public view, you can add as many pages as you wish, and you can rearrange the order of links in your menu all from your Page Manager.
Editing content on a website sounds difficult and scary. Can we get assistance?
First of all, editing the content on your website is as easy as editing the content of any word processing document. If you can type, and click save, then you can edit your site! But just to be sure, when you login to your website, you will find a wealth of a easy tutorials, video tutorials, and other material that will help you with most issues. Of course, if you have any difficulties that you are unable to sort out after consulting the help material, you can absolutely e-mail us, and we will respond to your issue usually same day.
Frequently Asked Questions about Business Cards
Can we get reprints of our business cards and when our first batch runs out?
Absolutely. We keep your business card design on file as long as you remain with us, and at any time can send you another batch at a discounted price. See our pricing page for details.
Can we get different business cards for multiple members of our group?
At this time we only offer one card design per client. We find that this is more than adequate, as groups generally tend to want to have a single point of contact anyway. If we hear from the community that multiple business cards per group would be helpful, we may at some point offer that service.
Can I use your designs and print them myself?
We have a very streamlined and integrated system that enables us to give you a very affordable business card that also looks great. We do not at this time offer access to the raw design files.
Do you use a good printer?
While developing the service we sent the same business card to a number of the top online printers available. We found one print shop, which turned out to be very local to us, who beat everybody on turnaround time and quality of final product. They're not just good, they are excellent.
What if we're not happy with the print?
Before your card is sent to the printer we will get a proof to you for final approval of the text. In the extremely unlikely event that upon receipt there is anything amiss with your cards, we will of course rush a replacement set to you free of charge.
Frequently Asked Questions about Community Builder
How does Community Builder work, do I have to do anything special?
Community Builder provides you with an amazing set of tools, that don't interfere with anything until you're ready to use them.
For example, your Members Only area will be there for you, but exactly when to have your folks (staff OR congregation at large, depending on how you want to make use of it) start signing up is totally up to you. Similarly, with the Podcast player, all the functionality is there for you to use as you get your site going. But you can bring them onboard gradually as you choose.
All the functions in Community Builder are incredibly easy to manage. As daunting as some of the ideas may sound, the fact is we designed everything for the non-techie person. Almost all of our churches have office people (NOT trained tech people!) managing everything.
What if we only want one of the features offered in Community Builder?
At this time we only offer the full package. But you will find if you're using one of the tools, almost invariably you will start to use the other functions as well.
We know nothing whatsoever about Social Networking, how much do you help with that?
If that's true, you've come to the right place! Even if that's NOT true -- i.e. you have an established facebook and twitter presence -- we work with you to get just the right communication between the various media and your website. But if you haven't yet ventured into it, or are just under way, we will set up everything for you, Facebook page et al., and connect it to your site for you. Then we explain fully in a number of video tutorials that you'll have access to, how to use this powerful new medium, not only to bring fresh new faces into your church, but also to connect those already there in new ways.
On the Podcast Player, do we upload the audio to the site? And if so, is there a limit as to number and length of the audio?
If you can get an mp3 file of the latest sermon on to one of your computers, you're a few clicks from having it online for the world to hear. The management and deployment of podcasts is point-and-click easy, and you have a choice of podcast players. You have room for up to 50 hours of audio on your site.
Can we have multiple people be bloggers?
You sure can. There is a member setting that you can elevate any member to, which gives them blogging privileges. The place where you add a new entry has a very simple interface, and archiving of older articles is done automatically.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Church Store
What is CafePress?
CafePress.com is an online marketplace that offers sellers complete e-commerce services to independently create and sell a wide variety of products. When you order a CafePress store, Connected Word sets up your account, creates the artwork to be printed on your merchandise, and builds the interactive catalog into the Store page of your website. Actual transactions, printing, and shipping are handled by CafePress. Learn more at www.cafepress.com.
When you say that we can sell CafePress products "from a page on our site," how does that work exactly?
Our storefront programming finds your catalog at CafePress.com and channels the items into the Store page on your website. Users can browse your products without ever leaving your site. Only when they are ready to purchase, will they be taken to CafePress.com to finish the transaction.
How does pricing of products work?
CafePress has set base prices for all their products. You can set the price of any given product to any amount greater than that base price. So for example, if there is a T-shirt that has a base price of $11, and you set the price to be $25, you will make $14 on every sale of that product.
How do we get our money?
Periodically CafePress will send you a check with the proceeds from the sales of products. Because they offer a full 30-day money back guarantee for their customers, you will typically receive a payment for an item about 45 days after it was sold.
Are you saying that without doing anything, we could be raising money for our group?
Well, you do need to attract visitors to your website, and encourage your family, friends, and fans to buy products. But yes, this has the potential to be a phenomenal fundraiser for your church or ministry.
If we already have a CafePress store, may we use that?
Absolutely. When you sign up for the service, we will give you an option to send us your store URL. The setup cost remains the same, as we still need to integrate your catalog into your site.
If you set up our store, will we have access to it?
Not only will you have access to it, but you will own it, and be able to log in to CafePress.com and manage it in any way you wish.
Do we manage our products from our Connected Word website?
All management of your store takes place at CafePress.com. Your actual store web address will be www.cafepress.com/YourStoreName. To manage your products, you will go that address, login (we will send you your username and password), and use their management tools to get your products just right.
Can we upload our own images to add to the ones you've created?
Yes. CafePress offers a reasonably easy interface to upload as many images as you would like and place them on any product you wish.
Do you have any tutorials on how to manage products in our CafePress store?
Yes we do. When you order the Connected Word store package, we will provide our own online resources and tips to help you understand how to manage your store.
Will product changes that we make on our store be reflected automatically on our website?
Yes, any product additions are subtractions, new images that you may upload, or any price or description changes, will be automatically reflected on the CafePress page on your site.
Meet Connected Word
Connected Word is based in Studio City, CA, in the greater Los Angeles area. Here are a few of the faces that make up our dynamic and dedicated team. We emphasize the personal touch with our churches, so you will undoubtedly get to know some of these people as you develop your site.