What is one media tool we use at CityHill, that more than 50 of the largest 100 churches in the US also use? Subsplash, and we love it! Here is why:
As a church, when we were looking to increase our midweek engagement with the congregation, ease our media team processes, provide an online giving platform, and have a remarkable website and app to reach more people in our community, we came upon Subsplash. And we are extremely happy.
Certainly, it wasn’t hard to miss Subsplash, because well over 50 of the largest 100 churches in the US already use it for either their app, giving platform or website, as well as 6,000+ other churches. Churches & organizations like The Village (Matt Chandler), Saddleback (Rick Warren), Bayside (Sacramento, CA), Fresh Life (Levi Lusko), Central Christian Church, Grace to You (John MacArthur), Bethel (Bill Johnson), Passion (Louie Giglio), Tony Evans, James MacDonald, Brooklyn Tabernacle, Church of the City, Beth Moore, Harvest (Greg Laurie), Redeemer (Timothy Keller) and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association use Subsplash for their apps.
We at CityHill Church Northshore have been with Subsplash for several years now. Our app can be downloaded here: https://subsplash.com/cityhillnorthshore/app, and our website (www.cityhillnorthshore.com) is built using SnapPages, which is the website platform through Subsplash.
Here are the things we LOVE about our app & website:
- A beautiful media player. And with just ONE upload, the media goes to our website, to our app, and to our iTunes Podcast automatically. The “media player” is embeddable on any site, and there are many great embeds to create, including the “last sermon preached” embed that we have on our front page of the website, and the whole media library on the media page.
When utilizing a team of volunteers, their time is precision, and their availability isn’t always guaranteed. In the past, some of the messages would be posted on the website, but not on iTunes, or vice-versa. Now, that is not an issue. Just one upload, and its done!
The content is beautifully presented. Its easy to share. There are no ads. (Ive noticed some churches using YouTube or other similar platforms, but sometimes the ads and “suggested videos” were less than recommendable for a church website). There are no pop-ups. Just how it should be for church websites.
- Push Notifications and Geo-Notifications. This is new feature for us, but we are so excited to roll geo-notifications for our church. The moment people pull into the parking lot of our church, they get a notification on their phone (if they have the app), with a welcome message and a direct link to the weekly bulletin. This way, we save cost on printing. Also, 10 minutes into our service, everyone who is NOT located inside the church building will get a notification on their app with a link to view the service LIVE!
In addition, we send Push Notifications with news, updates and links to anything on our app or website. This is replacing our Text Messaging service that we were paying for.
- Forms and Event sign ups. Prior to engaging our community with an app, we heavily emphasized stopping by the “connect center” after service and singing up for everything there. And if everyone obeyed, we would have lines of people there to sign up for different events. But, as soon as service ends, people get in a hurry to pick up their kids, go to lunch, or connect with a friend who is on the way out. And most often, with the intention to sign up at the connect center, people forget or don’t get to it and wait for another Sunday. Now, during all our announcements, we just refer people to sign up on the app or website, and if they choose, they can also stop by the connect center (where they will be signed up using the app, otherwise the cards get lost and misplaced). On our app today, people can sign up or fill out:
- A connect card
- Sign up for water baptism
- Sign up to serve in a ministry
- Sign up for “Growth Track” class
- RSVP for a Christmas Party
- Sign up to serve at “Night to Shine”
- Sign up to dedicate their babies
In addition to sing up forms, we also have several “files” uploaded and accessible through the app, including the weekly bulletin, and our “Growth Track Book.” Printing the Growth Track book would cost us $8 per book, and many times people would misplace the books and not bring them back for week 2 through 4. Now, they just access it on their phone or tablet.
- A “blog” that is synced on our website and app, that we use as “NEWS.” By posting the NEWS on our website, it also goes directly on our app, and is beautifully presented. Again, one upload, multiple locations.
- A giving Platform. As a church, we were looking for an online giving solution that was clean, easy to use, secure, customizable and affordable. Nothing could beat Subsplash for us. Prior to using Subsplash, we used PayPal, but people didn’t use it as much, because PayPal is usually associated with purchases, which seemed weird when it was on a “church/nonprofit website.” We are now with Subsplash. There is NO monthly fee to use the Subsplash Giving Platform, and their rates start at 2.3% for all credit cards (+.30 per transaction), and 1% for ACH. They also provide a Grow Curve; the more people give, the less the rate. It can go down to 1.9% for all credit cards. For more info on the Subsplash Giving Platform, go to: http://www.subsplash.com/giving
I’ve seen statements from other “ONLINE GIVING” providers, and it pains my heart. First off all, though these companies promise “lower processing rates” on some cards, most of the cards are processed at a much higher rate. Plus, there are many hidden monthly fees that a church pays, which takes away from funds that could be available for ministry. I suggest churches do deeper research and find out the true effective processing rate, before going with any online giving provider. We have done a lot of research, and we love Subsplash Giving.
- WebsitePlatform: prior to moving to SnapPages (the website platform through Subsplash), we were with WordPress. We were promised that it was going to be easy and affordable. But, as years went by, we noticed that everything we wanted to implement would cost additional money, and we would need to hire WordPress experts to try to make it happen.
It took us less than 8 hours total to build our current website through SnapPages, and it was so easy to do! Check it out at cityhillnorthshore.com. Here are two other websites built through Snap Pages: wearecanvas.church & interbaycc.com
The benefits of the Website platform through Subsplash is that:
- It is built to look great on phones FIRST, as well as great on desktops. This is important, because Google now will rank such websites higher in their search results, than those websites not built to look great on mobile phones.
- Search Engine Optimization is vital for a church. People look for a church near their neighborhood constantly; the churches who have partnered with great platforms are ranked higher. Sadly, many churches with bad theology or those who teach heresy appear higher in ranking, because great churches haven’t prioritized their online presence. The Subsplash website platform is fantastic for Search Engine Optimization.
- They offer 6 different types of templates, all prebuilt for churches. There are many website platforms out there, yet, it takes a lot of work to make it look like a church website. Through Subsplash, all templates and pages are prebuilt for churches, which means it will take you a very short time to have a great website up and running!
- SAVINGS: We SAVE from $300 to $500 every month by using the Subsplash Platform, while getting an amazing product in return.
Because we are with Subsplash, we were able to get rid or lower these costs:
- We no longer pay for Vimeo Pro for our media player
- WordPress costs are gone
- Monthly Online Giving platform with no monthly cost or fees (we pay a lower processing rate than before, saving hundreds of dollars)
- Free push notifications and geo-notifications, replacing a need for a text-messaging service
- We no longer pay a Podcast Host provider; itunes podcast are directly managed through Subsplash; with one upload of our content, an audio file is immediately sent to our podcast, with no cost or extra fees
- Printing costs: less bulletins printed and less booklets printed
- No cost for online cloud storage for all our sermons/files
Our current package costs us about $150 a month, which includes a website, app, an online media player, cloud storage for content, and an online giving platform. And, the platform gives us so many other ways to increase engagement with our church community!
There are other tools the Subplash Platform allows us to utilize, like “fill in” sermon notes, bible reading plans within the app, events that sink to the website and app right away, and much more!
Want to know more? Want to see a demo? If this got you interested, please CLICK HERE, and we would love to follow up with you with more details, pricing, and full package information! By contacting us through this link, you let Subsplash know that you heard about them through this blog, which will be a blessing to me.