All churches need a useful website but few have a large budget. What is a church to do? My favorite solution is one that I’ve seen thousands of churches switch to in the last couple years – WordPress. It’s a low-cost solution (often under $100 to build and $10/month to host) that is simple to use but flexible enough for most churches’ needs. A staff member or volunteer can build and manage the site without coding or design skill. You can even hire a professional and still save money because WordPress itself is free. There are many reasons I recommend WordPress to churches, have a look below!
Why Use WordPress For Your Church Site?
- WordPress is free thanks to many web developers who volunteer their time and skill
- There is a good selection of themes made for churches to give your site the look you want
- A staff member or volunteer can build it or you can hire somebody to do it for you
- WordPress makes it easy for multiple users to manage the website’s content
- No coding or design skill is required for building or updating a WordPress site
- There are thousands of plugins for adding extra features to your website
- Your church owns the website because it’s self-hosted (more on that later)
- Your church can do anything with the website because WordPress is open source
What’s What: Hosting, WordPress, Themes and Plugins
Here’s a quick glossary explaining what’s what to make things more clear as we move forward.
Hosting is where your church’s website lives on the Internet. yourname.com points to your hosting in order to serve your website to visitors. You can choose which hosting provider to use. A typical price for hosting is $10 per month. WPExplorer has some hosting recommendations. Also consider DreamHost’s free nonprofit hosting and Flock Hosting which is free for churches.
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). You install it on your hosting (similar to installing a program on your computer) then log into its admin area to build your site and manage your content. Be aware that themes cannot be installed on the WordPress.com service except with their pricey Business plan. I recommend installing WordPress on a more typical hosting account. Read WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org for details.
Themes control the design of WordPress sites. You may prefer a theme with a trendy appearance like Jubilee or one with a minimalist style such as Maranatha. Some themes will let you adjust things like colors and fonts to match your church. I recommend paid themes (ranging from about $30 to $130) because they usually have better design, more features and include support from the maker. You generally get what you pay for.
Plugins are optional and add features to WordPress. WordPress itself lets you do basic things like manage your pages and menu while leaving more specialized functionality to plugins. A plugin
This article was written by Steven Gliebe and originally published on WPExplorer.