A great church website arouses citizen’s interest to your church, which has plays an important role in promoting the image of a church. If you are upset about how to build a professional site with eye-catching web design, we invite you to go with the following steps that help you achieve the goal with ease. Since most churches have limited budgets, we select WordPress to launch the site because it is an open-source platform free for all users.
In addition to low cost, WordPress also provides you with a large number of church themes with unparalleled design and numerous plugins to enable more functions for your website. Fortunately, the themes and plugins are free for all users. Since you have thought out a great domain for your church website, you should set about installing WordPress on the site.
Here, we would like to show you a sample site as below, which is created by following this detailed guide.
Know About Church Website Essentials
By the way, we would like to show you the essentials of a church site as below. If you have known much about which content should be included in your church website, then you can leave this part and move directly to the WordPress installation.
Church service is a communal worship often occurring on Saturday or Sunday. On these days, there would a gathering in the church for sermon. You need to leave enough room for the update of your church service and let visitors make clear the time to join a church service. Besides, the details of some special services should also be published in this section.
A Brief Introduction for Your Church
For some new comers visiting your website at the first time, they are in need of a general understanding of your church. Frankly, a brief church introduction placed prominently on the homepage is necessary, which should include a statement of beliefs. And also, you can add a link to a page that shows a more detailed statement of faith.
Contact information is an essential part of your website, for which helps others find your church with ease. In most cases, the contact information should be in terms of the church address, phone number and email address. And also, you can enable a live chat for instant help. As a matter of convenience, we suggest you to display a map on the web page to show the location of the church in a vivid way.
Social Media Integration
Since social media has become a new trend to promote a website, you’d better take a good use of it to publicize your church. You can create new accounts on some popular social networking, like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Keep publishing the latest information of the church on those social platforms. And then, add social media sharing buttons to the church websites so as to let visitors access to your profile with ease.
In addition the elements mentioned above, you can also adopt more creative ideas to enrich your church site, like podcast, sermon video, visitor’s page, and so on.
Install WordPress on Your Church Website
As the most user-friendly control panel, cPanel is selected in this step-by-step guide to make WordPress perfect for your website. If you have not decided which hosting company should go, we suggest you to pitch on a reliable WordPress web host integrating with cPanel. Since everything is ready, log into cPanel and access to Softaculous that is included in Software and Services section.
Seek WordPress out from the Softaculous interface and then click the “Install” button to bring it into effect. Note that, WordPress is ranked first at the Top Scripts, which can be recognized at the first glance.
And then, you come to a WordPress setting page. Select the correct domain name where to install WordPress and name your church site properly. Besides, you’d better change the default admin username “admin” and set the password as strong as possible via “Admin Account” mode.
You can select a theme from the “Select Theme” mode or to do so via your WordPress admin. Click “Install” to confirm all settings and log into your church site admin right now.
Install a Premium Church Theme
In general, church leaves a solemn impression; therefore a church site should be plain and professional. To this end, it is imperative to select an elegant church theme with customizable options, which can help you create a unique web design with no difficulty. Here, we would like to present our church site with Church, a responsive HTML5 Omega child theme with rich functions.
Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New and search & install this theme. Once successfully activating this theme, you can get started to customize it by clicking the “Customize” button.
There is a list of options available for you to customize the Church theme. First of all, you can change the name of your website and add a logo & favicon to the header if needed. Besides, the header image can be replaced to any other images according to personal needs only if you make it perfect for your web design. The left options including Layout, Colors, Background Image, Widgets, Static Front Page, Posts, Comments and CSS enable more possibilities for you.
The Church theme encourages you to create a unique looking for your website by means of its customizable features. Since everything has been done, you should click “Save/Publish” button to confirm all changes and then get started to publish content on the website.
Set Up Your Church Website
Since you have had an overall arrangement done, you should get started to plan out several pages to display your church website content . In most cases, the Home, About, Statement of Faith, Sermons and Contact should be included in the menu bar. Perhaps, you can showcase more highlights on the web page if needed. Firstly, we are going to create 5 pages as mentioned above.
Create New Pages
Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Pages > Add New. Name the page properly and set the permalink as required. Finally, “Publish” this page to make it public on the Internet. In the same way, we would like to create the left 4 pages as planned.
Create a Menu
And then, create a main menu to include those newly created pages and display them on the website signally. Go to Appearance > Menus and name your first menu properly. Check the pages that will be included in the menu and move the selected options to Menu Structure mode by clicking “Add to Menu” button.
Set the Front Page
By the way, if you wish to highlight certain content on the front page, you can do it via Settings > Reading. For example, we plan to show our visitors the Statement of Faith on the homepage. To do so, we should go to Settings > Reading and set the Front page as Statement of Faith via “Front page displays” mode. Finally, “Save Changes” to confirm this setting.
Add a Bulletin Board to Display Recent News
As we have mentioned in the “Know About Church Website Essentials” part, church service is a great concern of all visitors. We suggest you to publish the time for all church services and update the recent news on your homepage. As thus, you are required to add a notification widget to the church site by means of a WordPress plugin. Note that, Notification Bar plugin is selected in the following guide.
Go to Plugins > Add New and search for Notification Bar. Install & activate this plugin to bring it into effect on your website. Since a new item called Notification Bar appearing on the sidebar, you have successfully completed the installation. In addition to service item, you are able to update any news on this notification bar as well.
Insert a Map to Contact Page
To invite more believers to your church, you should let them know the church location exactly. In this case, adding a Google map to the contact page is a great option for you. Here, we are going to add a map to our contact page by using Google Maps plugin, which is recognized as one of the most user-friendly map plugins.
Like the way to install Notification Bar plugin, you just need to go to Plugins > Add New and seek Google Maps out. And then, a new item called Google Maps is shown on the sidebar. Access to the Google Maps setting page and modify the given options according to personal needs. After confirming all settings, you need to copy & paste the generated shortcode to any page or post as planned.
As a matter of convenience, you should attach some essential contact information to the Contact page, including phone number and email address. Honestly, a live chat button is also a great method to let you be contacted.
Add Social Media Buttons
If you have integrated your church website with some popular social media, then you’d better add social media sharing buttons to the web page conspicuously. Fortunately, WordPress developers have released various plugins to this end, among which the Sociable plugin is highlighted here to help you reach the target.
After installing and activating the Sociable plugin, you can take a good use of all options via Dashboard > Select Sociable Plugin > Sociable Options. Customize the given options if needed and then “Save Changes” to bring the settings into effect.
Maybe now, you have had a rough idea of what a church site should be and how to create a church site with professional looking. And now, it’s your turn to start a church website and promote the church in a stylish way.
Engage Readers with Online Sermons
The online sermon is a critical part of any church site. With it, people can hear the talks and lectures if they are absent to the real-world sermons. To publish the online sermons, we think the Sermon Manager plugin is a worth-trying tool.
After installing it, you firstly should click the Settings button from the drop-down list of Sermons in your WordPress admin. After that, you need to finish some general configurations of this plugin.
There are a few general settings to finish, such as deciding the title and the slug of the archive page, determining whether to display the audio and video on sermon archive pages and deciding whether to disable the default sermon styles.
Next, you should decide two verse settings. One is to determine whether to disable the verse popups for Bible and the other is to choose the Bible versions.
If you display the online sermons using the podcast format, you need to set up this part by offering the information of website title, description, link, owner name and many others. There will be some tips next to each field to tell you how to finish these settings.
Now, you can add and display your online sermons by clicking the Add New button. Here, you need to decide the sermon title, choose the date, enter the Bible passage and upload the sermon file with PDF, mp3, PPT or Doc format.
If you want to add multiple sermons, we recommend you to enter the preachers, sermon series, sermon topics, service types and the books of the Bible in advance for the better categorization and grouping of your online sermons.
Display the Activities using the Events Plugin
The church site needs to have a clear display for all the services and activities, such as the Sunday Service, Bible Study, Choir Rehearsals and Group Meetings. In this case, you have to tell people when they can join which activity.
For this part, we recommend the WordPress Event Calendar plugin, with which you can share and manage your church events easily. In addition, if you upgrade to the pro version of this plugin, you can even decide the template for the calendar display.
Now, once you have installed it, you can click the Calendars button to add a new event calendar. Here, you should give it a name, choose the default year and month, set up the timezone and decide the 12-hour time format. After that, you can save the settings and publish this calendar.
Next, you should edit your calendar by clicking the Manage Events button. Here, you can edit and publish the upcoming or the regular events by clicking the Add an Event button. After that, you need to enter the event title, choose the valid date and time and decide the repetition frequency.
If needed, you can also optionally add some media and notes into the event for the introduction.
You can add as many events as you want. After that, you need to display this event calendar. If you want to show it on your sidebar, you can utilize the automatically generated Spider Calendar widget. Or, if you want to showcase it on a special post or page, you can click the Spider Calendar button in the Visual Editor.
After choosing the right calendar and the theme, you can click the Insert button. Check what your event calendar will be displayed in the following.
Handle Prayer Requests
In addition to offering the necessary information for your church site, you also need to provide a special service that allows people to send some requests or pray for someone. To achieve this, we recommend the PrayBox plugin.
In the settings page of this plugin, you need to decide the text for the request form introduction and request list introduction, determine the exact page for displaying the Prayer Request Form, offer the email address that can receive the requests and decide the email template.
Now, you can publish the webpage used to showcase the Prayer Request Form. Here, you need to make sure that whether the shortcode of [pb-forms] is included. Now, people can send their praying requests via the following form and you can be informed via the email messages. Note that you can remove, close, ban and flag each request from the WordPress dashboard.
In addition, you can help your website visitors pray for other people. Here, you can utilize the [pb-requests] shortcode. After that, all your pray requests will be showcased. People can click the View Details button to learn what happened.
In the next screen, people can hit the Pray For You button.
That’s it. Now, you have created the standard church site successfully.
Choose a Reliable WordPress Hosting Company
A premium church theme makes your website professional and eye-catching while the well-organized content layout enables great user experience for your visitors. In fact, a reliable WordPress web hosting provider with cost-effective service, high level of reliability and professional customer support can also be a critical part of your success. The following table shows you the best WordPress hosting companies in the industry.