Start You Own Christian Website
By David J. Stewart | August 2010 | Updated September 2016
18:1, “Through desire a man, having separated himself,
seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.”
What are you accomplishing with your life by watching thousands of hours of TV? Nothing! Wouldn't you rather be laying up treasure in Heaven as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:20-21, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” A lot of believers don't feel close to God, because their heart is in the wrong place. Matthew 6:21 says that one's heart will be where their treasure is at. Many people's heart are set upon the stock market, or a career, or a car, or some worldly possession; but if your treasures are laid up in Heaven, then that is where your heart will be also!
A website is a way to exponentially reach people with the truth for God. Freedom of speech on the web won't last. Now is the time to start a ministry for the Lord. If you don't feel called of God, volunteer! There may be a call to leadership in the Church as a pastor or such; but there is NO call of God to be a soulwinner (Proverb 11:30), a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:15). Every believer is commanded to preach the Gospel. I am saddened that out of all the billions of webpages in existence, less than .001% are published by born-again Christians who are teaching the truth. The internet is plagued with heresies, lies and false religions. Smut and filth abound. Money-hungry websites and malicious advertisers are everywhere. If there is a great need today, it is for God-fearing, Christian, Christ-honoring, non-smutty, non-advertising, non-greedy, non-compromising, soul-winning websites. And it's so easy and inexpensive to get started.
By God's grace, my Jesus-is-Savior.com website presently receives over 10,000,000 web visitors per year. I don't even look at the statistics for the other websites, because it's not important to me. I do my best to get the truth out, bathe my ministry in much prayer, and trust the Lord to do His part of blessing my labors and convicting people's souls of sin, righteousness and judgment. John 16:8, “And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” I have two separate VPS accounts at two different webhosting companies (Fatcow and KnownHost). There is safety in numbers. I don't like having all my apples in one basket, so to speak. If one account is suspended or the server goes down, half my websites are still up and running. I have 7 different websites (see upper left corner). See also: SteelC6th.com (my music website).
The Cost and Hassle of Having Your Own Website
I see hundreds of so-called Christian websites begging for money, claiming they need your money to stay afloat. They are tiny websites, having only a few webpages. They're wanting you to financially support them. Don't give those buzzards a penny!!! For all my 7 websites, I spend about $800 per year. That's for over a terabyte per month in bandwidth just for the Jesus-is-Savior.com website ministry. One terabyte is one trillion bytes! Wow! I could reduce my costs to about $500 per year for Shared Web Hosting, but I want the best performance for my web visitors. Shared Web Hosting means that you are sharing a server with thousands of other customers.
If you are new to all this, I recommend just starting a small website. You definitely want something that you pay for. I don't recommend anything free, because you won't be able to upload MP3's (such as sermons) and they'll put a bunch of advertisements on your website. I would NEVER let anyone advertise on my website, primarily because of all the sexual perverseness in our American culture today. I see so-called “Christian” websites that dishonor the Lord by allowing promiscuous, sensual and lewd advertisements. Also, they promote false religions. Believe it or not, I actually had the jerks at Girls Gone Wild ask me if they could advertise on my website, in exchange for increased web traffic. I boldly told them, “No,” and expressed my disbelief that they would even ask me such a wicked thing. Never sell your soul. There is a simple way to get much traffic, and that is to have lots of content on your website. Yes, good old fashioned hard work! Write lots of articles, and choose captivating topics that interest people. You can find out what these topics are by doing a simple web search for “popular web searches.” Don't sell your soul or betray the Lord. Taking shortcuts always leads to offensive advertisements and contempt from godly believers who recognize that you've sold yourself for popularity. I won't do it! I'd rather have 100 visitors than 10,000 from subjecting them to naked women and lewd images.
To get started you'll need to think of a domain name. For example: “Jesus-is-Savior.com” or “Soulwinning.info” (anything you'd like). I don't want to recommend any hosting companies, for there are many and they all share some similarities and yet are distinctly different in other ways. The biggest difference that I have found is in the attitude of their legal department when there are complaints of copyright infringement. Read their legal notice before you sign up. There is a spirit to all of them. You'll see what I mean. If the overall feeling you get while reading their legal notice is thuggish, threatening and intimidating, that is how they will treat you when a problem arises. I have read some really horrible legal disclaimers. And I have found some hosting companies that are pleasant and I felt welcomed as a new customer.
Also, don't be afraid to ask upfront before signing up as a new customer, about the hosting companies policy on offensive content (if you are a preacher taking a stand for God against sin and wickedness). Most hosting companies don't filter content, and just want to make money, but they will complain and/or suspend your website when that happens. This is when you will need to file a counter DMCA complaint. You can learn online about this topic. If your accuser doesn't sue you in 10 days, the hosting company has to reactivate your website account. I was threatened with a lawsuit in 2013. The accuser wanted Godlovespeople.com taken down permanently. They claimed I had stolen their ministry's name for my domain name. There was no remedy I could make. I wasn't about to abandon my decade long ministry. I found out that the alleged ministry did not exist. I filed a counter DMCA complaint and was willing to spend all I had and fight to the finish (and I stated that in the counter complaint). Thankfully, by the hand of God I believe, they backed off. Praise the Lord!
I am only sharing this with you, because you need to understand that preaching on the internet isn't all fun and games. You can be sued! If you keep everything original content and avoid copying from other websites, you shouldn't have any problems like this. In particular, people are really sensitive about using their pictures and music. There are two ways to play it safe with images: 1) Search for “Creative Commons” content online, which is designated as copyright free. And 2) Use magazine covers, newspaper clippings and other materials which are all public domain. I always tell my web visitors they are very welcomed to copy and paste anything and everything from all my websites to your own. I have have, nor ever will, complain about people using my stuff. I love sharing. Help yourself my friend. You can build a website very quickly by copying things from my websites. You are also welcomed to use my articles, and even put your name on it if you'd like. I don't care. I just want the truth to get out! No credit needs to be given. God knows all of my labors and He is keeping track. That is my joy, knowing that God is watching over all I do and will reward me accordingly (1st Corinthians 3:8).
VPS (or Virtual Private Server) means that you are guaranteed a specified amount of bandwidth and server space, and are only sharing a server with a limited number of customers. VPS is the only way to go if you have a large website, or desire complete control over your website. If you are just starting out, I recommend that you go with Shared Web Hosting, you can always upgrade at any time when you're ready or decide to do so.
I hate Shared Web Hosting, because the hosting companies always advertise “unlimited” server space and bandwidth, but they don't really mean it. Netfirms complained several dozen times over the 12 years that I was with them, whining that I was using too much server space and bandwidth. In the early days I was only using 5 GB of the 100 GB they advertised, but they still got upset with me for using too much resources. They harassed me, deleting my MP3 sermons (25% of my website) without warning. They didn't send me an e-mail to tell me what they had done. Oftentimes my Jesus-is-Savior.com website was suspended for using too much bandwidth. They suspended my website on dozens of occasions, without even sending me an e-mail to notify me of what they had done. Their legal department was abusive toward me, often totally ignored me, and I would never recommend Netfirms to anyone. I'll tell you what, type in “Netfirms sucks” (excuse the term) on Google and read the dissatisfaction of their customers for yourself. I am a firm believer in word of mouth.
So far I love KnownHost (bite my tongue), but as far as I know they only offer VPS hosting. KnownHost has been good to me. FatCow has been very good (a sister company of Netfirms as I understand). I also hated I-Power (another sister company of Netfirms, VPS hosting, who terminated my Jesus-is-Savior.com website, even when I corrected the copyright issue. They didn't like my content, that I was exposing a false prophet who taught “Jesus is not God the Father.” The guy in the legal department made it personal for some reason and hurt me. I think He was an enemy of the Lord and persecuted me (2nd Timothy 3:12). I don't recommend I-power at all. It took me 125 hours to re-upload my website at a new hosting company. They did me wrong. I even offered to delete the webpage, but the legal rep said it was too late (it hadn't even been a few days). So be aware, there are some major jerks out there! I told him I forgave him, even though he was arrogant and refused to admit what he had done wrong. There was no reason to terminate my website service, since I was willing to do whatever it took to remedy the issue. He just wanted to hurt me and my ministry. What he doesn't understand is that he hurt the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Despite the hassles and infrequent attacks against my ministry, I would do it all again for Christ. I've had some weird things happen along the way. Once my website was attacked from a foreign country, and there was no remedy. There are a variety of types of server attacks on the hosting company. It was really weird. It was called a Denial Of Service Attack. This stuff is way over my head, and thankfully not a common occurrence, but scary when it happens. Don't worry about this stuff. Web hosting companies do a really great job with security. The IMPORTANT THING FOR YOU TO DO is always make regular backups of your website(s). That way, no matter what happens, you can always re-upload your website if something happens. Never trust the webhosting company to keep backups of your web. I don't even expect my hosting company to keep backups. I do it at home, and I keep multiple copies at all times in multiple locations for safety. Keep a copy at work in your locker. Give a copy to a trusted family member to keep for you. This way if there is a fire or thieves break in and steal everything, you are protected.
Always Keep Regular Backups of Your Websites
Can you imagine losing 14 years worth of hard work? That's how many years I've been working on my website ministry. My data is very important to me! All my websites add up to approximately 60 GB of data. I bought a 128 GB Corsair thumb flashdrive. It is waterproof and shockproof. The model is called “SURVIVOR” and I purchased it from Amazon.com recently. I always keep a copy of all my websites in the flashdrive, carrying it everywhere I go. I am amazed that several thousand MP3 sermons and all my hard work for 14 years, can all fit on a device the size of my thumb. Truly God is incredibly amazing!!!
I really like a freeware software program called “Cobian.” It is freeware, meaning that there is no trial period that expiries. I am using version 9, but version 11 is now available. It's a great program, which allows to you backup any files and/or folders you select, from a specified origin to a specified destination. You can schedule backups daily, select certain days, weekly, or monthly. Once set, the program automatically backups up whatever files and folders you told it to, so that your work is safely saved each day. If you've ever forgot to save your hard work, and lost days worth of it (or God forbid, all of it), then you know that sickening feeling. I've lost important data, which can never be retrieved. I am a bit paranoid as a consequence, when it comes to making backups. I'd rather have two dozen backups of my important data, then to lose it all because I got lackadaisical concerning backing up my work. Make daily backups. Cobian will do it for you! And it's completely free. I really like the program.
I have also made another webpage titled, Create Your Own Website. I didn't make two webpages for any particular reason. I just felt like making two of them. You'll find different information on each page, and some shared content (not intentionally). To make some great images for your website, check out http://www.flamingtext.com/. I made the image below with this website...
Starting a website is not for everyone, but if you think it's for you, then I assure you that you can do it if you're determined. Nothing worthwhile ever came easy. I learned as I went on my own, through trial and error, with no experience whatsoever, and I'm glad I stuck with it. Proverb 18:1, “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.” In Hebrew that means turn off the TV and you'd be surprised what you can accomplish.
There are thousands of videos on YouTube that will teach you every aspect of building a website, and even computer programming if you have the interest. I still use Microsoft FrontPage software, but the newer program is called Microsoft Expressions Web. I like Microsoft's programs, which don't require any programming skills to use. I am familiar with HTML code quite a bit, from working with webpages for 14 years since 2002. There are awesome YouTube videos that will teach you from scratch. Anyone can make website if they want to do it. It just takes determination. My first webpages were made with Microsoft Word. You just save your work as a webpage. Pretty cool, huh?
I upload everything with FileZilla, a free program. I use Microsoft FrontPage 2003 to create my webpages, but you can use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher or many other programs available (which you probably already have). Microsoft FrontPage was discontinued in 2003. Amazon.com still sells some used copies. Get one if you can! There are many different ways to go about creating and publishing a website. Microsoft Word even allows you to publish webpages to the web. But I recommend FileZilla.
But first you need a web address, called a “DOMAIN” (such as www.mydomainchoice.com). Then you need a hosting company to store your data which your domain will link to. Netfirms offers you the domain and hosting plan all at once when you sign up, which is convenient. The important thing is to recognize that your web DOMAIN is something different than your HOSTING PLAN. A website name, i.e., your domain is only about $5 per year. The hosting package varies, but for about $60 you'll get more than you'll probably ever need as far as bandwidth and disk space on the server.
If nothing else, you can use existing webpages to make your own. This is the difficult way, but works if you don't have any programs to make webpages. FileZilla is the program you'll use to upload your webpages. If you right-mouse-click on ANY webpage, go down to “view source” and then click it. That is all the code that makes the webpage that you see.
I want people to copy things from my website to make their own website. But please don't exploit my labors if you're greedy to make money, that is wrong in every way.
I do not know how much longer this ministry will be here. I have renewed it through 2014. You are freely welcome to copy/paste/distribute anything from this website, no credits need be given. I encourage others to start their own websites. The secret to getting many visitors is content, content, content. More webpages equals more web visitors. It's that simple. I've already done the work for you, just copy it all to your own web and just change the logo at the bottom, which you can get for free here.
Put your own name at the top of my articles if you want. I want no credit, for God knows what labors are mine. I want the truth to get out. But please don't exploit my work to sell things to make money, that is wrong in every way. You may use any of my writings on your own web, or portions thereof. All I ask is that you don't mirror, that is, make an exact replica of my website because it confuses people. Here's how to get started.
I plan by God's grace to continue my work for the Lord, as the Lord allows. This is God's ministry, I'm just His humble servant.
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
Unchristlike Christians hate conflict more than they hate evil.
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