All churches need a useful website, but few have large budgets. What does the church do? My favorite solution is the one I have seen thousands of churches switch to using in the past few years-WordPress. This is a low-cost solution (usually less than $100 for construction costs and $10/month for hosting costs), simple to use but flexible enough to meet the needs of most churches. Staff or volunteers can build and manage sites without coding or design skills. You can even hire professionals and still save money because WordPress itself is free. I recommend WordPress to churches for many reasons, please see below!

Why use WordPress on your church website?

  • WordPress is free, thanks to many web developers volunteer Their time and skills
  • There are many themes made for the church to choose from, so that your website has the look you want
  • Staff or volunteers can build it, or you can hire someone to do it for you
  • WordPress allows multiple users to easily manage the content of the website
  • No coding or design skills are required to build or update a WordPress website
  • There are thousands of plugins to add extra features to your website
  • Your church owns the website because it is self-hosted (more on this later)
  • Your church can use the website to do anything because WordPress is open source

What is: hosting, WordPress, themes and plugins

Choose the best wordpress hosting

This is a quick glossary that explains how to make things clearer as we move forward.

Hosting

Hosting is the location of your church website on the Internet. Your name.com Point to your host to provide your website to visitors. You can choose the hosting provider you want to use. The typical price for hosting is $10 per month. WPExplorer has some hosting suggestions.Also consider DreamHost’s Free non-profit hosting Free Flock Hosting with the church.

WordPress

WordPress is a content management system (CMS). You install it on your host (similar to installing a program on your computer), and then log in to its management area to build your site and manage your content. Please note that you cannot install themes on the WordPress.com service unless you use an expensive business plan. I recommend installing WordPress on a more typical hosting account. For more information, please read WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

theme

The theme controls the design of the WordPress website.You might prefer a theme with a stylish look, such as Jubilee Or minimalist style, for example Maranata. Some themes allow you to adjust content such as colors and fonts to match your church. I recommend paid themes (ranging from about $30 to $130) because they usually have better designs, more features, and include support from manufacturers. You usually get what you pay for.

Plug-in

Plugins are optional and can add functionality to WordPress. WordPress itself allows you to do some basic things, such as managing your pages and menus, while leaving more professional functions to plugins. The plug-in can add functions such as sermons, events, newsletters, contact forms, etc. There are more than 50,000 plugins, some of which are dedicated to church websites.

Build it yourself or hire professionals?

Make money consulting

We see two types of customers on ChurchThemes.com: church use Our WordPress theme Build your own website, and professionals use our themes to build websites for their church clients.

I recommend setting up your own website because this is something most people can do and save money for your church. After you have experience in building a site, you will also more easily manage the site and teach others to do so. There are many themes made specifically for churches, although you are not limited to church-specific themes. A good theme provider will have complete documentation and provide support for its products.

You can hire professionals to build your church website instead of doing it yourself, thus saving time. This requires a larger budget, but is usually still affordable when using pre-made themes (as opposed to very expensive fully custom themes).

Let us understand these options in more detail.

Option 1: Build your own church-themed website (recommended)

I will guide you to give you a better understanding of what I recommend.

Step 1: Choose a church theme

When choosing a church WordPress theme, please consider these things.


design

You will want something that fits the personality of your church. Some themes have color, font, and background customization options. Try the demo of the theme on your phone to make sure it is mobile-friendly and loads fairly quickly. Mobile web browsing is extremely common today.


feature

WordPress allows you to create custom pages (ie ministries, declarations of faith, etc.), run blogs, and post photos. Choose a theme that integrates with the church content plugin, such as sermons, events, locations, and team profiles.


No lock-in effect

Avoid using topics that register your own post types for sermons and events (you must re-enter the content when switching topics).Some content features belong to plugins, that’s why I developed a free Church content Plugins (supported by themes of different developers).


Support and documentation

WordPress is a do-it-yourself solution, but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on yourself. Choose a theme provider that has complete documentation and supports the themes they sell.


Refund policy

If things don’t go well, some theme sellers will refund your money, so please check their refund policies.I think every theme seller should Offer refund No questions were asked.

The following themes and providers avoid the lock-in effect by using the Church Content plug-in. They meet most or all of my recommendations.

  • ChurchThemes.com It is my theme store. We started in 2012.
  • A church From UpThemes using Church Content plug-in.
  • Forgiveness theme by Justin Scheetz also uses the Church Content plug-in.
  • Wisdom Church It is a full-featured theme with live broadcast function.
  • relaxing It is a free, well-coded theme available on WordPress.org.

Step 2: Register for hosting

Cheap Linux-based shared hosting is sufficient to meet the needs of almost all church websites. This is the most common type of hosting and costs approximately $10 per month. See WPExplorer’s hosting recommendations (which include a one-click WordPress installation feature).Remember that DreamHost has Free hosting for non-profit organizationsIf your church is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, it may be eligible.

When registering for hosting, you will be asked to choose a domain name (ie. Your name.com) And provide billing information. They will help you use an existing domain or register a new domain for you (usually about $15/year). After completing the online registration process, you will be able to access your hosting control panel.

Start using the host registration process

Step 3: Install WordPress

Log in to your hosting control panel to use the one-click WordPress installation feature. If needed, your landlord will be happy to direct you to the location of this feature. Many hosts have the convenience of one-click installation, but if you don’t have one, you can still perform a standard WordPress installation.

If you already have a host, you may need to reinstall WordPress in a directory, for example yourname.com/new To build your new website while keeping your existing website online.Once you’re done, you can move it to Your name.com Use multiple methods.

Install WordPress on BlueHost

Step 4: Install your theme

The next step is to install your church theme on your new WordPress site. Your theme provider should have this description:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin area yourname.com/wp-admin
  2. go appearance > theme > Add new > Upload topic
  3. Select the theme zip file you downloaded and click Install now
  4. Click after installation Enable

Upload your WordPress theme Zip file

Then the theme or documentation may prompt you to install one or two plugins in a similar way (for example for sermons and events). Many topics also include introductory content, which you can import to use as a reliable starting point.

Step 5: Customize the appearance of your theme

WordPress has a great feature called customized Many themes are supported.you can go appearance > custom made Then choose options such as colors, fonts, background images, etc. (depending on what the theme provides). A real-time preview will be displayed during customization. The benefit of a theme that supports this is that you don’t need graphic design or coding skills to match your website with the brand of your church. And you don’t need to pay a large fee to the web designer.

This is the screenshot Saved The theme’s customizer lets you understand what is possible.

Saved theme real-time customizer

Take a look below and see how Jubilee You can customize the theme to look different. This explains why I recommend using themes that take advantage of the customizer feature of WordPress. The flexible and easy-to-customize WordPress theme makes it easier to build a church website.

Jubilee theme customization

Step 6: Publish your content

After logging in to the WordPress management area, you will notice a menu on the left to manage content and settings. WordPress provides out-of-the-box content management functions for pages and posts (blogs). If your theme uses plugins for other types of content, you may see menu items such as sermons, events, people, and places.

The screenshot below shows how to use support Church content insert. Please note that the menu has not only pages and posts, but also post types for church content. The “Contact” menu link comes from the contact form 7 plugin. These are all examples that should come from the plugin rather than the theme itself to avoid the lock-in effect mentioned earlier.

Church preachingedit

Step 7: Prepare to start

Before you consider completing your website, you need to make sure that you have taken care of a few things.read Nine things you should do after setting up a WordPress website Quick tips on security, backups, updates, settings, spam prevention, and search engines.

After that, you can announce the launch of a new WordPress-powered church website!

Option 2: Hire professionals to build your website with a church theme

Pastors, co-workers and volunteers are successfully establishing their own Church website With WordPress themes. We have a no-issue money-back guarantee on ChurchThemes.com that only a small number of people have used.Based on our low refund rate and my experience, I am convinced hearing WordPress and a solid customizer supporting themes and complete documentation and support are solutions that many churches can handle.

Having said that, hiring professionals to help you is an option. There are different types of WordPress solutions to meet different needs. You can choose which best suits your needs (save money and gain experience or save time and gain convenience). Hiring professionals to use pre-made WordPress themes for churches can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. It will cost more to develop a fully customized theme for your website and is not recommended because it is not cost-effective.

The following are professionals I trust who can help you build your website using church WordPress themes.

in conclusion

I hope this gives you an idea of ​​what is involved in building a church website with WordPress. All in all, I suggest you build your own website, but renting is also a good choice. No matter which option you choose, you will almost certainly save money than other solutions because WordPress is free and open source software. Consider choosing a theme made for the church to avoid lock-in effects, support customizers and include complete documentation with the support of developers.

Leave it to you and your thoughts. Have you built a church website using WordPress? Please share your experience and skills.