Using WordPress to run your church web site
Welcome to our new step-by-step guide to running your church web site with WordPress. We hope to publish a number of tutorials to help beginners learn the secret to beautiful and functional church web sites with WordPress.
Follow along or skip to the session that interests you. If you already know that WordPress is for you, you can skip to session 2.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a software package that you install on your own web server or use ready-to-go through wordpress.com or other hosted solution. It makes publishing on-line really very easy, is totally FREE and is backed by one of the largest open source communities on the planet. Because it is Open Source it continues to grow and expand.
WordPress users sleep well at night because WordPress users are not locked into some second-rate company’s proprietary content management system (something many churches have fallen fowl of).
What can WordPress do for Your Church?
WordPress is a publishing tool that was developed for creating blogs. It can do much more, but the blogging legacy helps you focus on creating a site for your church that shows your church is a living community with a story to tell. Far too many church web sites are filled with information that rarely changes. What WordPress encourages you to do is to share the ongoing story of your church. This is infinitely more interesting and attractive to visitors than having lots of static, information heavy pages.
There is a great book by Brian Bailey, Blogging Your Church, which shows through examples, some of the benefits of this approach to your church’s life online. Well worth a read before you start.
Some examples of WordPress-Driven Churches
Be sure to check out our WordPress-Driven Church directory, which is a growing list of churches using WordPress. Here are just a few from that list to show you what can be achieved:
Many of the churches using WordPress are smaller churches who without the resources of the mega churches are enabled to share their story online.
Why use WordPress?
Of course WordPress isn’t the only solution, nor even the only Open Source content management system; but is by far the most popular, largely due to to its ease of use. Its popularity also means there is a huge community backing for the tool and with that comes literally thousands of plugins, themes and other resources that will help to tailor WordPress to your application.
In this series we will guide you through the steps to creating a church web site with WordPress, highlighting some of the plugins and themes that are of particular interest to church users.