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Switching to a New Template

One of the best features of a site powered by Finalweb is the ability to quickly and easily switch between templates. Whether you have a lot of content or just a few pages, doing a design makeover is actually far simpler than you might imagine; here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, remember that any change you make to the template is live, so that visitors on the site will see it in the new design as soon as it is selected. That shouldn't dissuade you from trying one out, since you can easily switch back to the old design at any time without losing any content. Guaranteed. That said, you still may want to make the change during a time when you expect low traffic (such as nighttime), since there will be a few other things you may need to configure before it's all ready.

Second, you will want to be sure you have your default page correctly configured. Each template has a different set of features for the standard default page, and you might be missing out on them if you simply have a dynamic page set as the home page. Feel free to remove the default setting on the current page if you do have it set up that way, since you can always add it back as the default page if you'd like.

Third, there are a couple things you may want to address after switching.

1. Topbar images may need to be remade to fit new dimensions. Every template handles the sizing of topbar images differently, so you will need to either resize in the browser tools or on your machine and the re-upload.

2. Images added within the content sections of your site may also need to be changed, depending upon the sizing of the content area. Each template's width is different (for the most part), so you'll want to look through each page to make sure the images on them appear correctly.

3. If you've embedded code into the site for rendering content from a third-party provider (such as a Google Map or Google Calendar), you may also want to check the width settings on those embedded sections.

4. Your logo may not look great in the new template. Either change it up or perhaps remove it altogether since most new templates will simply write out your site's name in a themed font style if there is no image for the logo.

Once you're certain all the images and topbar items on the new template are in order, you may also want to change the color scheme and/or change the background image if it's supported on the new template. Those things may seem slight, but can have a significantly helpful impact on the look of your site. Overall, you will likely be surprised at how much your site can improve in its look and feel with just a few minutes of work.

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Google Analytics

Google provides a comprehensive web tracking solution called Google Analytics; one that is easy to integrate into any Finalweb website. Just go to and login or create a new account to get started.

After setting up your Google Account to use Google Analytics, you will be presented with a list of your current tracked sites. This image below shows a few existing accounts, but yours will most like have none. To create a new one, just click the New Account button.

Fill in all the fields, making sure you enter the correct domain name in the Web Site URL field. Give the account a unique name and then click the "Get Tracking ID" button when finished.

The next screen will display your tracking ID, the tracking status, as well as the tracking code you will need to use. The most important step here is to select all of the content in the tracking code textarea toward the bottom. Sometimes users just copy the actual tracking ID (i.e. UA-0000000-1) and not the entire script that is required. Once that is copied, you can then go to your website.

Log in and click to open the Site Manager. On the left menu, select Tools and then Google Analytics.

Your next screen will either let you enable Google Analytics or modify the tracking code; select whichever button or link you see.

The new page or window that opens will contain a large textarea into which the tracking code will need to be pasted. If there is any existig code be sure to just paste beneath what is there. After that, click save and wait until Google verifies that your tracking code has been installed successfully.

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Custom DNS Records

Oftentimes the need arises to add custom DNS records associated with a domain name - pointing to a new mail server, or to configure third-party services, or to verify a domain with Google in order to setup Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools. The Finalweb Church Website tools allow for users to easily manage such records without having to know much about DNS except for what they might be instructed to do by, say, Google's instructions. While simple to use, the DNS editor can wreck a website quickly if used improperly. Here is a quick walkthrough on using the helpful feature.

1. Login to your site and enter the Site Manager. The Advanced Domain Tools link is located underneath the Tools heading on the left side menu.

2. If you just need to configure Google Apps, simply select that option, or to verify a domain for Google, just click the Google Analytics icon. If there are other types of custom records needed, click the Advanced DNS Editor link (you will also need to click OK on the popup warning to follow).

3. Select your domain from the list. Usually there is only one anyway.

4. The next screen displays all DNS entries for the selected domain, and also contains a link to add new records. To remove a DNS record, click the "delete" link next to it.

5. When adding a new DNS record, you will first select the type, and then fill in the input fields for the different pieces of pertinent information. Once saved, the record is created right away, although it might take a few hours to propagate in order to be completely functional.

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Embedding a Google Calendar

Google provides many useful tools, one of which is their Calendar application. And one of the best features of the Google Calendar, much like Google Maps, is the ability to embed the calendar into any website. This quick tutorial will walk you through how to do this in your Finalweb church website.

1. Log in to your Google account to manage the calendar. I won't go into detail on how to setup the calendar and add/modify events (here is more information - Google Calendar Documentation) but rather to prepare the Calendar for embedding into your website.

2. Click the Configuration button in the top-right of the Calendar page and select "Settings" from the list of options.

3. A very important task is to set the sharing correctly so that public visitors can view the calendar. Click on the "Share this Calendar" link beside the correct calendar to open sharing settings.

4. Be sure that the checkbox next to "Make the Calendar Public" is checked and then click Save.

5. Click on the Calendar title to open the page which will contain the embed code.

6. Select all the embed code next to "Embed This Calendar" and copy to your clipboard, You might need to modify some custom settings (such as calendar height and width), and to so you'll just need to click the "Customize..." link right above the code area.

7. Create a new web page, or open an existing one on your website on which the calendar should be embedded. Click the Add New Section and choose a Text/Image section, utilizing the "No Image" layout type. When the text editor appears, switch to the HTML view by clicking the "Source" button in the top left and then paste your copied code into the text area. When it's pasted, just click Save Changes.

When all is done, your calendar should neatly appear on the page like this:

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Utilizing PayPal

PayPal provides a helpful solution for collecting donations, registration fees, product payments, etc. from the web. For more than one reason, the PayPal service is usually far better than working to incorporate a full-blown e-Commerce solution into your website. A couple of those reasons are the fact that there is not set up fee (for the account needed to connect with a Finalweb Church Website), and that the company is well-recognized as a secure way of making payments. Visitors will have the option to pay with their own PayPal account, or without logging in at all. The service is reliable and has recently been updated, so here are the current steps for setting up an account.

1. Visit and select the Business option at the top left.

2. Select "Get Started" under the Standard option.

3. Here there are presented two different options. You may either login with an existing personal account, so that it can be updated to become a Business Standard account, or create a new account. This demonstration will take the new account route; select this option.

4. Create the account. Provide the necessary information and agree to the terms. The last step will require you to verify your email address.

5. Verify your email and login.

6. Configure Seller Options by hovering over the "Profile" link (seen below) and clicking on "My Selling Tools."

7. Click on "Update" beside the Website preferences option.

8. Change the following options:

Auto Return - set to "ON"
Return URL - paste yours into the box. This is found in the E-Commerce Options of the Site Manager for your website. Click on "Configure E-Commerce Settings" and you will see the URL about half-way down the page.
PayPal Account Optional - ensure this is set to "ON"
Contact Telephone Number - ensure this is set to "OFF"

Save the options to finalize this configuration.

9. Copy the Identity Token for use in the E-Commerce settings of your website. This token is the long string that should appear in a box on the next screen.

10. Paste the Identity Token into the E-Commerce settings of your website. Navigate to the E-Commerce Setup.

Also, make certain the settings are set to:

Check this box to allow collection... - CHECKED
Enter your PayPal account ID... - this is the PayPal email address you entered
Enter your PayPal Identity Token... - paste Identity Token

The settings will take effect once "Save Changes" is clicked at the bottom of the screen.

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Submitting A Podcast to iTunes

An often overlooked feature of Finalweb Church Websites is that sermon audio entries are automatically added to a podcast RSS feed. Visitors can easily copy the link to this feed and then subscribe to it within any podcast application. You may, however, want to submit the podcast to iTunes so that it is searchable from with that application in particular. Here are a few steps to consider.

First, Apple has provided much information on how podcast XML should be formatted. As a Finalweb Church Website user, you don't have to worry about any of that since we have taken care of it already. The link that is generated via the "Subscribe to Podcast" button is already in the right format.

Before submitting your podcast, you may want to look through the current download library files to make sure all the information is correct. Be sure, as well, that a podcast image has been added so that it can be displayed in the iTunes application.

After copying the link to the feed RSS, just open iTunes and then navigate to the Store, or click this link to get there automatically:

iTunes: Submit a Podcast

The steps from here are simple, and you may need to wait for a few hours or days before it has been approved.

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Switching Templates

Template-based hosted websites offer many benefits to custom-developed solutions. Besides the (huge) time and cost savings in initial set setup, a good template hosting service will provide the opportunity to quickly and easily change designs at any time you might need. This is certainly true of Finalweb's Church Website builder. Here are some basic steps to help give your site a new look.

1. Determine Your Needs

Think though what kinds of content should be present on the site, and also what kinds of content should not. Evaluating the answers to those questions will provide the foundation for the site, upon which the next several steps are built.

2. Decide Upon a Functional Design

Will the site need an top menu only? Will it need a top, side and bottom menu? Will there need to be informational boxes on the homepage? Will the topbar section hold images or announcement slides? Building upon the information gathered in step one, these questions will narrow down the template selection. Different Finalweb templates provide different menu solutions, so be sure to make sure the one you want has what you need. If you have questions on it, just call our support team to find out.

3. Deploy By Making the Switch

Select the template you want and have a look. All your content remains, and if you ever need to go back to the former template you can do so by selecting that one again (you want want to  make note of which it is before switching to a new one). There may be some work to do after changing - adding some new images or changing the menus around a bit, but all the content on your pages will automatically fit into the new template.

If you get stuck on any of these, please feel free to contact our support team for assistance. If you're interested, ask about our service of going through these steps for you at a competitive hourly rate. We can save you time and be sure to get a professional-looking template configured for you with no hassles.

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Using Mail on Multiple Devices

Email must be easily accessible to promote productivity and connectivity. With so many devices running on different operating systems, using different mail clients, one can certainly find difficultly in making sure each application is configured correctly. Not only does our Church Website builder make professional websites, we also include an email solution that can be accessed from any device that you are already accustomed to using. Here is a link to some helpful information on email setup of certain devices.

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Adding Custom Scripts Site-Wide

One of the most beneficial qualities of Finalweb's Church Website builder is that the product is quite simple to use, yet also affords greatly detailed functionality if needed. A perfect illustration of this fact lies in Google Analytics code section.

This code area was designed to primarily allow for Google Analytics code to be inserted easily into every page of a website, since the block of script is inserted at the bottom of each page. Because of the site-wide nature of this information, it also affords an opportunity to add other scripts that would be beneficial on every page as well.

To modify the custom script area, just go into the Site Manager and then select "Google Analytics" from the Tools menu. If Google Analytics has not yet been enabled, press the button to enable it, or click to modify the current code. Now, be certain that the script added into this section is completely correct and not harmful to the site, or else there might be unpleasant affects to the site which could be hard to correct. If this does happen, feel free to contact our support team to figure it out.

Many widgets can be added through this means, copying and pasting code provided from other websites. Another possible function for advanced users is to interact with the current page DOM to modify layout slightly. An example of this would be to find the ID of, say, the side menu and then modify the style attribute to make the display hidden. Whatever you choose to use it for, remember to be careful and accurate.

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Use the Finalweb Menu Builder like a Pro

Finalweb's Church Website builder features an easy-to-use menu builder that also packs in more functionality than one might expect. So, here's a quick overview of some of the things that can be done to make functional and helpful menus for your church website.

Here is a starting point - just a single "Home" link on a top menu:

Adding, removing and modifying menu items is as easy as clicking and dragging. The bottom area displays a detailed list of all the available pages from which a user can chose menu items;  let's overview these categories briefly.

1. Add More Content

Many options appear within this area - so many that you'll need to scroll down to see them all. These are standard pages that are included within the Church/Ministry package to make content creation simple. Each of these pages can be clicked, dragged and then dropped to the correct location in the top area. After navigating to the link from the webpage, there will still be configuration needed to be sure the page looks correct.

2. Dynamic Pages

Here lie dynamic pages that have been created, and also a link to add a new one. Once added, just like other pages, the title can be changed to anything that you'd like. If a new dynamic page is added, once you navigate to it from the website menu there will be a default view to add text to the page. (All the other content types will still be available.)

3. Static Pages

Similar to dynamic pages, static pages are custom content pages that only provide a text area for the page. We would recommend using a dynamic page instead of a static page, in case there ever arises to need to add other functionality to the page.

4. Forums and Blogs

Any created forums or blogs will be available in these sections. The Finalweb CMS is capable of containing several different blogs and forums for dispersing information from different individuals or on different subjects.

5. Forms

In this tab are all the created forms and questionnaires that have been created. Often, a Contact Us form is useful for handling general inquires.

6. Sub-sites

If your site has sites for various ministries or if you've separated calendars using sub-sites, then all of them will appear in this list. By default, the link that is created to a sub-site is directed to the homepage of that particular sub-site. If you are wanting to have a link go directly to a sub-site's calendar, download library, blog, etc., then you will need to create a custom link by copying the address and pasting.

7. Headers / Other

This is the section where headers and custom links can be created. A header renders differently for different menus and for different templates. On a side menu, for example, a header may outline a category, whereas on a top menu it will be a link over which a visitor hovers in order to see sub-items. The External Link option provides a way to enter a custom link location from inside your website (as exemplified in the Sub-sites section) or outside your website (such as a link to In order to create an external link, you will need to either type the address correctly or paste from your clipboard.

Once an item has been dragged and released into the active menu area, you will have the option to modify information on the link, depending upon its type. Non-custom links will have a title and sub-title option, and the sub-title only appears on certain menus on certain templates so it can usually be blank. On custom links, a field for the URL will be visible. Save the link information to set the changes.

Hierarchical Menus

In order to give menus nested hierarchy, the first step is to double-click the menu item which will serve as the main item for the flyout list. The main link can still be a "live" link, pointing to another page, or can be simply a header that does not link anywhere. Once double-clicked, a new area will appear in which new items can be placed. Use existing active menu items or items from the arsenal below to fill up the submenu area until complete.

Once all menu changes are complete, click the Save Menu button to commit changes.


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