Friends of Ministry provided awesome support for the First Unity Church of St. Louis’ website during the past year. Their rapid and comprehensive response and advice helped us with numerous projects, including forms creation, and solving technical issues. We highly recommend Friends of Ministry’s yearly technical support. — Carol Ellerman, First Unity Church of St. Louis
Church staff members and volunteers who are responsible for updating the content on their ministries’ websites usually love this service, which provides answers and help as often as it’s needed, whenever it’s needed, for the whole calendar year (2021).
Friends of Ministry has been offering this option for several years now, and it’s proven to be much appreciated. Churches who opt for Extra Expert Support typically ask for help an average of five times during the year, making the cost of assistance less than $20 per request for those who opt-in early (this year, by November 30, 2020).
I feel confident in knowing Cheryl is just an email away if I have a website question or need support. I can always count on her to follow-up in a timely manner to correct the problem and/or provide clear instructions to me on how to resolve the issue. She is kind, patient, helpful and reliable. — Judy Howes, Unity of Tallahassee
Through November 30, 2020, the cost of Extra Expert Support is just $99 for the whole year, January 1-December 31, 2021.
After November 30, 2020, the cost of 2021 Extra Expert Support is $199.
Why might we want this support?
While the websites we build and host are remarkably trouble-free, those sites and the people responsible for updating them are affected by countless variables beyond our control.
Just for example, these are just a few of the requests for support we have received this year:
- Why can’t I get our Facebook video to show up on our home page?
- Do you know why our YouTube video is not showing up on our home page?
- My computer crashed and I’ve lost my log-in information for our website’s Dashboard. Do you have it?
- Outlook has crashed on our office PC. Is there a way to get to our email on the web, rather than through Outlook?
- We want to use our website to register people for an upcoming workshop. How do we do that?
- We have signed up with another bank for processing online donations. How do we add a new link or button to our website?
- Help! Our “donate” button has disappeared.
- Should we publish Zoom links on our website?
- Do you know why the slide show on our home page suddenly stopped working?
- Our new minister wants to change our sign-up form for email. Can you help with that?
- We are getting some type of security certificate error on our website. Can you fix it?
- We now have an Instagram account and want to promote it on our website. What is the best way to do that?
- Why does our home page hang every time I try to update it?
- We want to replace some of the slides on our home page, and I can’t remember how to do that.
- We got this strange notice through the contact form on our website. Is it legit?
Is this going to save us money?
Clients who do not opt for Extra Expert Support are billed per request at the rate of $25-$50 per request, depending on the amount of time required to resolve each issue. Clients who opt for Extra Expert Support may need help only once or multiple times; most clients make five requests, on average, per year for extra help. So yes; this service saves most of our clients money.
Why is this service no longer called “unlimited support”?
This support package was designed to help church staff and volunteers who have accepted responsibility for maintaining their ministries’ websites. We intended to offer expert information, instruction and guidance, but not to do their work for them. We never intended to provide ongoing website development or expansion, website training for new staff members and volunteers, or work that belongs to the client, by agreement with Friends of Ministry. However, we found that one or two clients thought that “unlimited” meant we would do their work for them. We’ve changed the name of this service and provided this FAQ to prevent misunderstanding.
What does Extra Expert Support NOT include?
- Recovery of a client’s domain name, should it be lost because a client mistakenly signed it away or forgot to renew it.
- Fixes required because the client gave admin access to a staff member, intern or volunteer who has not been trained by us.
- Upgrades or updates needed for reasons beyond our control. For example, a required update to WordPress or a plugin may break your website, and a fix may be needed. In that case, because the cause of the break was beyond our control, we will offer to fix the website, but the fix may be so time-consuming or costly that we ask the client to share the cost.
- Support for a client’s office or personal computer, modem, or software installed on any of that equipment.
- Support for a client’s internet connection.
- Support for group email unless the client is one of our managed accounts at Constant Contact.
- Support for social media accounts not managed by Friends of Ministry.
- Website redesign.
- Website expansion.
I wanted to thank you for the high level of support that you provided to Unity of Roanoke Valley this year. You were quick to come to my rescue when there were changes to be made. And we had a lot of changes this year — not only the pandemic, but also having a new minister arrive mid-year! I personally appreciate your willingness to instruct me in improving the way we do things. In particular, making the shift from podcasts to video services required I learn new things and you made it so easy. The support you provide when WordPress makes updates and changes is impressive. You alerted me well ahead of time and gave clear instructions for anything that I needed to do to accommodate these adjustments. I look forward to your continued support in the coming year.
Jan Wylie, Unity of Roanoke Valley
Ready to sign up for Extra Expert Support?