When choosing an online photo directory program, several factors come into play. Top characteristics include security, cost, user-friendliness, the ability to add data and photos, and “extras” such as communication functions.
Keeping these features in mind, we reviewed some services marketed to churches and pastors. With the proliferation of online directories, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
A to Z Directories
- This directory app is very comprehensive, and members can verify their information online.
- The company also prints directories for customers.
- The complex app requires a lot of “clicking” and may confuse users.
- Third-party advertising appears throughout the app—unless you’re willing to pay more.
UPDATE: As of May 2021, Lifetouch has announced that they have permanently closed operations for Lifetouch Church Photography.
- Lifetouch takes the photographs of church members for you.
- The mobile directory is internet-based, not an app.
- The church’s physical address doesn’t appear in the online directory.
- A free mobile directory is available only for churches that purchase a paper directory, at significant cost.
Online Church Directory
- Church members can use the app to update their own information and profile pictures.
- The app includes a group notification feature at no extra charge.
- For larger churches, this app can cost more than $300 per year.
- They use mobile notifications, which can be turned off by members on their devices without the church ever knowing they have turned off notifications.
Instant Church Directory
- Church members can use the app or online website to update their own information and profile pictures.
- Has the highest app rating in the App Store with members often commenting how easy & convenient the app is to use.
- Variety of ways to share the directory via PDF for a traditional printed directory, mobile apps for phones and tablets and an online members’ website.
- With yearly billing, the app costs just $95 with no additional fees based on church size, and church members pay nothing.
- As a directory-only service, there’s limited use for exporting or manipulating data.
- Although there’s no church-size limit, directories with fewer than 1,000 families load faster.
We hope this brief overview assists your decision-making process. With all the options now available, one “size” may not fit “all.” But taking time to investigate directory features and consider your church’s particular needs will lead you to a picture-perfect choice.