Welcome to AIMSites!
AIMSites is a hosting service designed exclusively for AIM Missionaries to create and maintain their own website or blog.
This service to you is part of our ministry. We are AIM’s On-Field Media team… a small team with big dreams of sharing the stories of God at work in Africa and through the ministries of AIM.
We have two basic goals here. One is to get you quickly online and able to communicate your life and ministry to those who follow and support your work through the incredible medium of the internet, and more specifically, through blogging tools. Our second goal is simply to glorify God by encouraging more missionaries to share their lives and work and what God is doing.
So what’s a blog anyway?
You might already have one. Or you might think that blogging is for some young, hip missionary with a lip piercing. A Blog, however, is simply a journal or “log” on the web. A web log. A blog. The great thing about them is their ability to be so much more than just a journal. They are networkable, searchable, shareable, categorizable, subscribable, customizable, and just plain cool. No lip piercing required.
A blog is fairly easy to set up, easy to keep, and easy to share with others. And AIMSItes is a blog just for missionaries… so when it comes to the obstacles of communication from the continent of Africa, we understand the challenges.
How does it work?
You will need to have an aimint.org email address for us to send you your setup instructions. You can choose one of our templates designed by various AIM media heads, or if you are familiar with WordPress, you can modify your own. The templates are designed to reflect various areas of ministry, or are just plain generic.
Your website can be anything you want it to be. Simple and static informational pages about your family and ministry. Or an active, running blog. You can upload pictures and videos if you like. You can link to other websites or the pages of other missionaries. You can open your blog up to comments from the outside. You can even leave the whole site hidden and protected with a password if your work is sensitive.
Keeping your personal website maintained is your deal. We’ll help you get it set up of course. And we media guys are there if you have questions along the way. But the day to day (or month to month) updates are up to you. No worries though, even this is easy. The sites are built with a tool called WordPress. This allows you to have a backdoor entrance into your site via the internet. Here you will find familiar tools (like the text editor in Microsoft Word) to make changes and add content to your pages. And if you don’t have internet access, you can even make updates by sending an email that will automatically post the content to your blog.
Can you be a blogger?
The truth is, if you have the most basic of computer skills, and a interest in communicating your ministry beyond the scope of email newsletters, than you’re almost there. And if you have access to an occasional, albeit slow, internet connection, or are able to send an email in any way… then you can maintain an AIMSites website.
Who can sign up for this?
AIMsites is about networking and connecting AIM (Africa Inland Mission) missionaries. Whether you are in Kenya, Canada, Europe, or anywhere else on the planet, if you have an aimint.org email address, this site is for you!
Is it hard to do?
Not at all! We built AIMsites around the very popular WordPress engine, which hosts millions of blogs for people who aren’t necessarily web-savvy. We chose WordPress for its flexibility and simplicity!
Can I restrict who can see my site?
Yes. You can restrict any page or blog post with either a password, or requiring people to “sign in” to your site to see it. The same goes for allowing people to comment on your pages or posts, you can decide how you want that to work: not allowing any comments, letting you moderate the comments that come in, allowing open commenting.
What kind of internet connection do I need?
While setting up your site, you might need a better connection. After you site is set up the way you like it (you’ve chosen the template you like, entered some information about yourself and your ministry), you can post to your site using very little bandwidth, even doing something as simple as sending an email to your site!
Can I upload photos/videos?
Yes. Every site has plenty of storage space you can use for photos, PDF documents, whatever you want. For video files we recommend hosting on YouTube or Vimeo, which you can then easily embed in your site.
Can I move a site?
Yes. WordPress has built in Import and Export tools. You can begin a blog here, or elsewhere, and move the content fairly easily if you ever decide to do your blog on another host, or go self-hosted.
How can I get help?
AIMsites is a ministry of the On-Field Media team, and part of our mission is to help missionaries with media. We built this site for you, and we are here to support you as we are able.
For support, please contact the OFM team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to get started?
To get a blog started, we’ll need three pieces of information from you:
- Your aimint.org email address
- Your preferred Site Domain name – yoursite.aimsites.org (Note: this can’t be changed later.)
- Your Site Title (this can be changed by you after you log in)
Send an email to Mike at On Field Media with this info and we’ll get your site set up: email@example.com
By signing up for AIMsites, you agree:
- to give due regard to the sensitivities of the people and government among whom you serve
- to exercise care to avoid misunderstanding or offence
- to not disclose sensitive information or material that may endanger anyone working in a sensitive environment
- to not violate any copyright laws on your site
- to not make statements on behalf of Africa Inland Mission
- that AIM has the right to block or limit access or possibly remove content from your site that violates this agreement
- that should you leave the AIM organization, you have 90 days to relocate your website before it may be deleted
- that sites with no activity for 3 years or more may be automatically archived
Alternatives to AIMSites
A lot has happened in the blogging world since AIMsites was introduced in 2008. There are more ways to get yourself blogging and the cost keeps coming down. While AIMsites will get you the basics for free, a simple paid plan can give you more.
Our first recommendation for any AIM Missionary is to go with WordPress as their blogging tool. WordPress now offers an affordable Personal Plan for only $3 a month. This provides your own personal, ad-free blog inside the well supported WordPress.com network. There are hundreds of templates to chose from, and you even get a custom domain name (worth about $15 a year in itself).
Learn more about this great WordPress option here: https://wordpress.com/personal/