We have officially launched a new mobile app for Cornerstone. With the rising use of smartphones and mobile devices, we felt this was a great way to keep people connected with the ministry of our church. The app has current news, sermon audio and video, facebook and twitter integration, a map of the church, our service times, online giving, sermon notes for the current week’s message, an online church directory (coming soon), and more. To download the app, visit our app page, scan the QR code attached, or search on iTunes or Google Play for Cornerstone Galax.
Now for the interesting part, I did the app myself. Instead of using a company to create the app for us, I used an online app creator to build the app using the information we already had available online. By cutting out the middle man, I was able to save significant money and create an app that really stays true to the vision and mission of our church.
The best part, the standard cost is only $29 per month. If you want to find out more about the creation process, continue reading after the break.
After doing some research, I decided to use Conduit Mobile to create the app. Because our website is built on WordPress, I had easy access to our RSS feeds for news, events, and sermons. We use Vimeo to host our video sermons, and Conduit has a built in module for displaying videos from Vimeo. It really was a simple process of choosing what content to include, choosing a style for the app, and doing some minor graphic work in Photoshop to make everything pretty. This would not be an easy project for someone with no graphic design skills, but for the average web designer this is an easy process. I was even able to link our online giving website and our sermon notes from YouVersion using a simple redirect from our website.
As you build the app, each change is reflected in your virtual device on the screen. Here is a screenshot of the process.
You can create a free account on Conduit to play around and see how it works. To have more than 25 app users or to have your app included on the app store, you will need to move up to the Gold plan for $29 per month. I was signed up for less than a week at the free level and I received an email with an offer of a significant discount on the monthly fee, but I’m not sure what they will offer in the future.
The app submission requires a little more work and cost. To be able to submit apps to the Apple store, you will need to pay a $99 yearly fee. For the Google app store, the cost is only $25 per year. I picked up both of these fees in case another church would like me to build an app for them. Conduit handles the submission process for you, but you will still need to be careful to enter all the information correctly. Overall, I’m pleased with the result. We have a fully functional app, that is easy to update, and that can grow with our church. If you are interested in a website or mobile app for your church, let me know over at my other website, FEDesign.net