Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How can I control who has access to my website?

    A: With SiteOrganic, you can set up new user accounts anytime. Unlike other companies, we don't place a limit on how many user accounts you can have in your organization. Each user will have a "role", which dictates what they can do. Changing a user's role is as easy as searching for the user by name or email address--then choose his/her role. Users can have access to one ministry/group, multiple groups, or all of them. Settings can be changed at any time.

    For instance, someone with a public role cannot do any editing of the site whatsoever. Group workers can make changes to web pages within their group/ministry, but nowhere else. Audio/Visual workers are permitted to upload and manage audio sermons. Administrators have full access to every portion of the site, etc.

    The SiteOrganic security tools let you set very specific rules about who can view, who can edit, and when. We call these security "rules", and you can have an endless number of rules applied to one or more of your pages. You can also deny access to any user, which will prohibit them from logging in to any protected part of your website.

  • Q: What if I have staff or volunteers with no web skills?

    A: SiteOrganic is perfect for even the most uninitiated web designer. As long as a person is familiar with using a computer and browsing the internet, he or she can help manage your website! The heart of your website is the admin console, which requires no software other than a Web browser. We support PC and Mac platforms.

    Once you're on board, you'll want to be sure to take advantage of SiteOrganic Video Learning Center, which gives you friendly step-by-step tutorials on a variety of tasks. We also have many free and paid training options available to our clients. Our goal is to empower you to keep your Website looking and working its best.

  • Q: What if I have a volunteer who is an expert in web design? Does SiteOrganic provide enough tools for an expert?

    A: In building the SiteOrganic system, our team works hard to balance ease-of-use with the desire to retain power, features, and functionality. We think your web gurus will be pleased with the result.

    SiteOrganic supports HTML round-tripping, allowing you to work either with our tools, or by taking your code into the tool of your choice... make changes... then bring it back to SiteOrganic with no alterations. We also provide several syndicated XML data feeds, making it possible for you to create your own rich, data-driven interfaces with Flash.

    Do you know CSS? If so, you're in great shape because all of our sites are written around well-formed XHTML, using CSS as the layout engine. We give you access to add your own style selectors, which means you can change, create, or omit entire sections of the site swiftly and non-destructively.

    You can also use our proprietary "SO tags," giving you access to pre-packaged data views from within the body of your page. These tags are fully documented in our Online Help Center.

  • Q: How do I know my website is safe and secure?

    A: We have a commitment to keeping your website protected.

    The technical details (Geeks, read this!)
    Our world-class hosting platform provides multiple connections to Tier 1 backbone providers. It is secured in a reinforced building with badge access, biometric scanning devices, monitored cameras, fire supression systems, and motion/heat detection devices. There is sophisticated network security detection hardware in place to frustrate would-be hackers or intruders.

    In the event of a power interruption, your hosting facility is also supported by a backup diesel generator and multiple freestanding UPS units.

    Secure browsing and peace of mind
    For clients with eCommerce features enabled, we will install your SSL certificate, which provides you and your users 128-bit encryption on any page of your site (especially those where you take credit cards, like event registration or book/tape/CD sales).

    We perform nightly backups of your data and weekly backups of your uploaded files. We do not store credit card numbers, and all of your users passwords are encrypted.

    Our managed hosting provider has been SAS70 certified by accredited third-party auditors.

  • Q: Can we host our SiteOrganic website on our own server?

    A: No. SiteOrganic depends on a sophisticated combination of custom code, database design, and regular updates (with support). Your monthly fee includes not only the hosting of your files and content, but also the use of the code to make it all run.

    If you have specific needs or requirements that don't allow for a hosted model, we have custom design and development services available. Please contact us for more information.

  • Q: How many audio/video files can we store online?

    A: A lot! Using reasonable compression rates (56kbps mono at 16-bit), most sermon audio files consume 1MB for every 6 minutes. This means that a typical 30-minute sermon will be about 5MB in size.

    Using this assumption, refer to the chart below:

    SiteOrganic Essentials
    (5 GB incl.)
    SiteOrganic Growth
    (50 GB incl.)
    SiteOrganic Premium
    30-min Audio Files
    (5 MB each)
    1,000* 10,000* Unlimited
    60-min Audio Files
    (10 MB each)
    500* 5,000* Unlimited

    *Assumes a 10% buffer for other files, images, etc.

    Video Storage
    Video files normally require much more storage space than audio files. Since video compression and quality can range dramatically, it's difficult to provide a rule of thumb. We recommend experimenting with various encoding tools to achieve the best balance between quality and file size.

  • Q: How many pages can we put on our website?

    A: There is no limit to how many pages you can create! With SiteOrganic, you are not subject to limits or a la carte fees based on how many pages or users you have.

  • Q: What kind of servers do you use?

    A: Your SiteOrganic website is hosted on a cluster of IBM servers with at least the following specs:

    • 3.0 GHz Dual - or Quad-core processors
    • 4 GB RAM
    • Windows 2003 server, IIS 6 and SQL Server 2005
    • Dedicated IP Address
    • Dual loop-relay connection to the internet backbone (OC-12 or T3)

    For more technical details, please feel free to contact us with your questions.

  • Q: What happens during the setup & design process?


    For SiteOrganic Express clients

    The setup process is quick and hassle-free. Since you'll be selecting your design from our gallery of themes, we can have your site ready for you to test and use within 2 weeks (some restrictions apply). We'll be handing you a fully-working Website with test content (example text, images, calendar events, etc.). Your team can then load the site with all of your unique information before launching the site publicly.

    For SiteOrganic Custom design clients

    The setup process lays the groundwork for a unique, eye-catching site that will reflect the mission and culture of your organization. Then, we hand you a complete, working engine that allows you to create and maintain the perfect website. We break it into four main steps:

    1) Client Interview We believe this step is the most important. We will conduct a meeting with you and your key team members. During the meeting, we will gather your thoughts about how you want the web to fit into your organization's mission. Remember that we are trying to find the key aspects of your culture, as well as the technical considerations that will serve the majority of your congregation. We will help you prepare for this interview with a questionnaire.

    2) Design concept & integration Once we have gathered information about you in Step 1, our information architects and designers will create a recommended design for the site. First, we will present you with a set of Wireframe Diagrams to lay out the digital "blueprint" for your web presence. We give you a chance to make a round of changes to the wireframes, to ensure that we get it right.

    Building on these wireframes, we will create the look & feel for your new website. Our designers are experienced at creating eye-catching graphics that flow well into our sophisticated data-driven site, so you're guaranteed that our designs will work "as advertised" when we integrate them into your website. We present this to you and then gather your feedback. Your setup fee also includes a round of changes to the design.

    Once the design direction is approved, we will convert the design into working HTML. Additionally, certain elements of your site may also be built with Flash, which is a special design tool capable of providing rich experiences for your users with a minimal download time.

    Lastly, our designers will create all of the key pages of your site so that it flows seamlessly. These key pages include (but are not limited to): home page, calendar, media archives and media player (on certain plans).

    We can also design your individual pages ministry content for an hourly fee.

    3) Hosting & technical setup Our architects and designers aren't the only ones hard at work during your setup process! Our development team will also be busy setting up your basic hosting environment (includes disk space, email accounts, database records, etc.) along with your admin console for SiteOrganic. We thoroughly test your site so that you receive a fully-functional web space.

    Do you already have a domain name? If so, our technical team can help you through the process of transferring the domain over to our servers. We also provide hosting of extra domains for your account (fees apply), so you can have as many addresses as you would like!

    4) Training Once your new website is ready for content, we will schedule a time to train you and your team. Normally we hold these training sessions using an innovative live online meeting technology, which provides for a low-cost training platform in a fully-interactive environment. However, if you would like to have a SiteOrganic representative come to your facility for personal training, we can schedule that as well (travel and time expenses will apply). You will also have access to our online Help Center. This provides a handy desktop reference for all of the features in your new website. Remember that training videos are always available, free of charge.

  • Q: What do you mean by "Websites the Way God Intended"?


    1) God wants our best We truly believe that God expects our best in every aspect of ministry. This includes not only the hands-on work that so many church staff accomplish, but also the materials and communication that represent the church. For many people, your website may be the first or only glimpse of your church that they see. What does it say about your ministry?

    Our professional and custom design will ensure that you are putting your best "face" forward online. This solves the first dilemma; so you'll know that your website reflects the quality that God seeks.

    2) God wants us to empower our volunteers Sadly, even the best-looking church websites can suffer from an all-too-common malady: stale content. Either it's been too long since the site was updated, or the staff/volunteer(s) who maintain the site can't keep up with the demands of a growing ministry.

    SiteOrganic solves the stale content problem! It allows your website updates to be handled by a wider team, allowing the website to "grow" along with your church--hence the "organic" metaphor. Now, the people who are actually doing the ministry across your church can also be the ones who keep their sections of the website up-to-date. This makes for more current and more accurate information online.

    3) God wants us to use relevant tools to reach people As today's generation becomes more and more mainstream in your church, it becomes imperative to use digital forms of communication to reach them. Relevant ministries will survive and flourish as time marches on. Lay the groundwork for a growing website now and for years to come...we believe this is the way to have a website the way God intended!

  • Q: Do you offer design services whenever we need a new page or image created?

    A: Yes! Our award-winning design team is available for any design challenge. We can create new graphics for a single page of your site, or develop a sophisticated Flash movie for a completely new feature. Our hourly rates vary from $70 to $90, depending on your SiteOrganic plan.

  • Q: What software do I need to edit web pages?

    A: All you need to use SiteOrganic's powerful features is an Internet-connected computer. We recommend using version 8+ of Internet Explorer (PC), version 6+ of Firefox (PC or Mac), Version 4+ of Safari (PC or Mac) or Chrome (PC or Mac). We've even seen people edit their SiteOrganic sites with an iPhone. Honest.

  • Q: What software will my visitors need in order to see my website?

    A: Your visitors may browse your website using a wide range of browsers and platforms, depending on what decisions have been made for your design. Generally, we recommend Internet Explorer 7 or later, with the latest Macromedia Flash player and Adobe Acrobat reader. Visitors should also be able to use Firefox 2 or later, or other standards-based browsers with minimal problems. Visitors will need to have cookies enabled in order to experience certain portions of your website, and if they are using pop-up blockers, they may miss certain extended content.

  • Q: If I already use tools like Microsoft Frontpage, Macromedia Dreamweaver, or Adobe GoLive, can I still use them with SiteOrganic?

    A: Yes! Although you may find that SiteOrganic provides all of the power and features you'll need, you are also welcome to use outside tools to edit the body of your pages. SiteOrganic supports HTML round-tripping, allowing you to work either with our tools, or by taking your code into the tool of your choice... make changes... then bring it back to SiteOrganic with no alterations. We also provide several syndicated XML data feeds, making it possible for you to create your own rich, data-driven interfaces with Flash.

    Note that certain WYSIWYG editors may not provide an accurate representation of your pages until they are saved in SiteOrganic, since style sheets and page layouts may affect the appearance of your code.

    SiteOrganic also provides a toggle between WYSIWYG and code view, so you can edit straight HTML from within the tool. We do not support any server-side scripting technologies on your pages (e.g. ASP, PHP, ColdFusion, etc.). Any features that require server-side processing will need to be developed, tested, and deployed by our team. Please contact us for details or ideas on new features you need to add to your site.

  • Q: How can I accept credit cards on my website?

    A: All SiteOrganic Websites include the ability to accept online donations and payments, at no additional monthly fee. The SiteOrganic Giving platform even has the capability to let you create event registration forms, and a fully-functioning online store.

    Before you ring up your first transaction online, we'll work with you to set up the merchant account and payment processing service that handles the physical task of verifying credit cards. We handle it all, so there is just one place to call for help. Donations and payments on your Website are assessed a very small processing fee. You can see full details about this on our SiteOrganic Giving page.

  • Q: My organization has several large departments/ministries who want their own "look" on the website. Is this possible? Do I have to subscribe to multiple SiteOrganic accounts?

    A: This is a common request, and many solutions are possible with SiteOrganic. In fact, we have a special feature specifically for this purpose; it's called "skinning." Unique to SiteOrganic, this tool is designed for large organizations, or even smaller sites with a variety of different audience segments.

    As you create different sections of your Website, your pages can sport very different looks--different colors, different photos, unique CSS, Flash movies, etc. The only limitation is that your sections must all show the same uniform navigation menu, which is consistent throughout your whole site. Not only is this a technical restriction within SiteOrganic, it's also good practice from a usability perspective. Your users should always know where they are, and how to navigate to their intended destination.

    If you have large departments that want to avoid showing the shared navigation bar with other areas of your organization, then it's time to look at setting up a separate SiteOrganic account. We can do this for you quickly and easily, normally at very little up-front cost.

  • Q: Am I required to sign a 1- or 2-year contract?

    A: No! You are free to cancel your SiteOrganic account at any time, with just 30 days' notice. Of course we hope you agree that SiteOrganic is the best way to put your organization online, and that you stay with us for a long time!

  • Q: Can I use more than one domain name on the same account?

    A: Yes. Many organizations reserve multiple domain names (sometimes referred to as "dot-com names" or "website names") for their website. For example, you might reserve the following:

    • mychurch.org
    • mychurch.com
    • mychurch.net
    • mychurchyouth.org

    What if you want to have all of these names pointing to the same website? Just submit a request to our network team, and we will consolidate all of your domain names into the same account.

    Your SiteOrganic plan includes room for 1 domain name automatically; we can point an unlimited number of additional domains to your account as well. There is a one-time setup charge of $25 per domain name.

  • Q: What payment methods do you accept?

    A: Your setup fee may be paid up-front with either check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.

    Monthly fees must be paid by credit card.

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