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Church Website

Posted on 2016-08-18
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Last Modified: 2016-09-24
Hi there,
I'm trying to come up with what would be the best platform to built a website for a church. I know this question isn't easy but let me give you a few details on the church so a better suggestion can be provide it.
1. the church uses a live-stream component and over 20,000 concurrent viewer watch its live sermons.
2. the church has a shopping cart where some sermons are made available for people to download.
3. The church uses a online-donating option.
They would like to keep this functionality.
Currently they are using:
Webserver: Apache 2.2.22
Framework: Drupal 7
Language: PHP 5.3.10-1ubuntu3.24

Suggestions?
Thanks!
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Question by:COHFL
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Steve Bink earned 250 total points
ID: 41761907
I like Apache, though I would update it to the latest version.  Although I have not used nginx much, it seems to be a good, light web server.  Note that there are some technical differences you should be aware of before deciding to switch.

Likewise, PHP is fine, especially if you're deciding on one of the "big three" CMS platforms - Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla.  Again, update to the latest version if you can, at least 5.6 if you're a bit iffy about it.

For CMS, I'm partial to Joomla, and I can make it dance.  Seeing as how you're already on Drupal, I recommend staying there.  You've likely already bitten into the learning curve a fair bit, and there is no shortage of Drupal gurus to help you out as you move forward.  The community for designers and developers is pretty large, and has a good, existing ecosystem of modules to extend the core.  The one point leaning towards migration would be ease of use for the admin.  If your admin is not the technically savvy sort, Drupal can be a beast to work with.  It is not designed to be easy - it is designed to be flexible and robust.  That's one of things I love about Joomla - the learning curve is a fraction of what Drupal offers, and even the most computer illiterate can become functionally proficient at publishing content quickly once the design is complete.

I have not used any shopping carts with Drupal yet, but I'm quite positive a large number of cart offerings are available to you.  How well they work and with what kinds of products is a question for someone more experienced than me... you can always experiment a bit to see which will suit your needs best.  Any shopping cart which can offer and secure digital products will likely work for you.  Donations are simply purchases in which no goods are offered.

My current employer uses UStream and YouTube for pre-recorded and live stream video hosting.  Both integrate easily into our Drupal 7 site, though UStream just broke everything by changing their API.  Even so, we've already got it back up and running, which is a testament to the strength of the Drupal developers community.  The ease of integration with a third-party service very much depends on that third party.  An API is critically important... a good API even more so.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 250 total points
ID: 41761952
I agree with Steve for the reasons to stay with Drupal.  Although if you are changing, WP may be easier and switching to a self hosted solution like wix,  weebely or squarespace will prove easier. Then you don't have to worry about hosting.

Functions like streaming and shopping are best left to 3rd party plug ins.  Especially streaming.  dcast.com is one.  

For donating you can use a paypal donate button https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/get-started/donate-button and I believe there may not be any charges with that compared to your payment processor (which can also be paypal) for your shopping cart.

For security, make sure you are using the latest version of everything you can.  PHP should at least be 5.6 http://php.net/supported-versions.php
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