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Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive
Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419

623-334-8014; chemnitz@uswest.net





Some pastors have asked about building a website. It is much easier than anyone can imagine. Follow these steps and write me when you get stuck.


1.     Rev up Microsoft Publisher. On the left you will see a list of wizards. Pick the website wizard.

2.     Go through the steps of establishing the basic information in the website wizard. A wizard simply makes some steps easy. If you create a lot of websites, the same information will appear many times: email, phone, address.

3.     Pick a color scheme in the wizard. Pick a story page and a links page. Other pages are not too handy. Sometimes the calendar or event page is. If you pick them and hate them, you can delete them. Pick vertical page links only. You can run about 10 pages this way and have them automatically linked on the left. The page titles will pop into the links, too (most of the time).

4.     Once the wizard is finished you will have a multi-page template to work on. If you like it, save it with a name. Save every few minutes after that.

5.     The wizard will create a nifty graphics layout that should be left alone for the most part. First get some content on the pages.

6.     Think of a website as a bunch of headlines or brief notes. For additional content you need to add additional files. That is fairly easy but it can wait until later.

7.     On the first page of a church website, put in information about the address, phone, email, pastor’s name, and worship schedule.

8.     The second page can have a congregational history and doctrinal outline.

9.     The third page can be for links. I use the Publisher style and fill in the names of the links I want. Then I describe them. Finally I use the globe with the chain (links, get it) to create a link. Mark (highlight) the title. Then click the globe-chain-link. That opens up a mini-menu, good for email links, links to websites, and links to files on your computer (which I use for quotes). Then OK and it’s done. The words will change color when the link is finished.

10.  Once the basic words are in, replace the graphics with your own. You can go online for Microsoft graphics very easily. Make a picture box with the tool from the box on the left. When the box is made, the menu will pop up for going online. Then use the Microsoft online database to name something, “cross” or “steeple” or “peacock.” Cut out the unwanted graphic and pop in the new one.

11.  Once that is done. Use the “tools” menu to check the design. If your pages are too cluttered, they will be slow to load.


12.  OK. Now the whole file is done and looks perfect. (You wish. Your pals will jump on your mistakes like a hobo on a hotdog, but that is OK.)

13.  Preview the website from the menu tool, far left. Neat. Be sure to add web properties from the left-hand menu.  That guides the spiders which gather information from the website. DON’T FORGET!

14.  Create a folder for the files to go into. I do that first with Windows Explorer so I know where I put them.

15.  “Save as web page” will turn the Publisher file into HTML files. Now you will have about 15-20 files in one folder. If you linked documents from your own hard drive, they will also be in that folder as well as their original folder.

16.  Now you need to sign up for a free site. If you get a banner-free site that is also free to use, you have to update it every month. If you forget, zap, it’s gone. I don’t suggest it. Parish sites are fairly static. Below is a link of links to free sites. I won’t pick a favorite since shortcomings can develop later. I find the dencity (density?) site to be a bad loader. I have to refresh each page or I get a message. Cybercities was great but not does not allow updates. I didn’t mean to bury those sites forever! Here is the link for all free sites:


            If you can’t find a free site there, I give up.

17.  Most sites will do an “E-Z Upload,” so I will discuss that method. If you can FTP, I don’t need to advise you. E-Z Upload is simple. You get 5 to 10 window jobbies. Hit the browse button. That will open up your hard drive. Find your first file and mark that open. That will name the file in the upload window. Now do the next 4 to 9 files and remember where you stopped. Don’t worry. If you add the same one twice, it will overwrite itself.

18.  Once you have uploaded all your files, your site will work. Click on the address and marvel at your work. I love every site I do, not because it is so good, but because it is fun to communicate all over the world for free. Don’t forget: to do the last big mailing, I had to buy $1, 000.00 (one thousand dollars) in postage stamps for cash. I will take free any day.

19.  You are not done yet. Save your URL in a handy folder. It is easy to misplace those too. Also, the website will communicate via email with you. Save the details in a special folder. Perhaps also copy the information into a special Word folder. It is easy to lose information and the SECRET PASSWORD WHICH IS REALLY A SECRET WHEN YOU FORGET IT.

20.  Not done yet. Promote the website by sending the URL to various search engines for free. I use this site because it is free and relatively easy.


Most of the entries are automatic. I suggest using as many as possible, including the ones in Europe. No search engine covers the world. The engines will probably take 3 weeks to start spitting out your site. Many I times I do a search for other information and get my pages or links to my pages. It adds up in time.

21.  Send the link around to your friends. I include them at the end of my email and also on bulletin letterheads.

22.  Ask for comments. Redo the Publisher file. Empty the HTML file folder. Save as web page again to that folder. Then go back to the web hosting manager page. Delete all the old files and upload all the new files. I found that this worked better than overwriting. Saving time with overwriting can wreck a site. (Ask me how I know.)


Don’t be impressed by what I know. I was a complete idiot about all this at first. But I kept working on sites and redoing them. Eventually it got fairly simple. Not one step is really hard in itself. It just seems mysterious if you have not tried it before.


Considering how easy this is, I am surprised that so many congregations fail to use the Internet. Nothing else will proclaim your message 24 hours a day, all over the world, for free, and even solicit email responses.


There are plenty of Angry Fruit Salad congregational websites. Someone has just discovered all the things he can do with graphics, colors, and animation. One student page made me ill because it had all these globes moving around in the background. Get me the Dramamine! I could not read the text because of the effects.


All my sites are Publisher written right now. You will see in the Publisher menu that the attractive formats I have are all designed in advance. The less I mess with that, the better the site looks.