Having made quite a few church websites, I wanted to take a minute and list out my most used wordpress plugins for church websites. I use quite a few for different websites, since everyone wants some sort of different functionality, but these five are my “go to” choice for church websites.
Sermon Manager is one of the easiest ways to publish your sermons online. When you’re adding sermons you can categorize them by speakers, sermon series, Bible references, etc. The plugin allows for several different types of media, from mp3’s to word doc’s to pdf’s. You can embed videos easily, but I do find the podcast function to be more cumbersome to work through. That being said they have great documentation and support for the plugin, so I can always find answers to any issues I’ve come across. They also have a plugin that allows you to import your MP3 files of your older sermons.
- Full podcasting to publish your sermons to iTunes
- Add audio, video, pdf, and more to each sermon
- Organize sermons by speaker, series, and topic
- HTML5 audio player works on mobile devices (Android, iOS, etc)
Sermon Manager is free but they do have a support option for a one-time $30 fee. You can sign up for the support here.
The All-in-one-Events-Calendar is one of the best calendar plugins out there, hands down. I’ve used it on every one of the websites I’ve built that has required a calendar. There is a stripped down free version, but prepare to pay the $75 per year it takes to buy the plugin. The paid version is easier to use and comes with great support., has a
- Recurring events.
- Filtering by event category or tag.
- Easy sharing with Google Calendar, Apple iCal, MS Outlook and any other system that accepts iCalendar (.ics) feeds.
- Embedded Google Maps.
- Color-coded events based on category.
- Featured event images and category images.
- Month, week, day, agenda, and posterboard **views.
- Upcoming Events widget.
- Direct links to filtered calendar views.
- Facebook integration.
- Inline Calendar Theme editor.
3. Praybox Plus
I love how many lives this plugin has changed. People can visit your website and enter prayer requests and get notified by email when they have been prayed for. As a church administrator, you get to reach everyone in your church who needs prayer. It’s really a win-win.
- Display User Praise Reports
- Administrator Moderation of Prayer Requests
- Turing Question for SPAM Mitigation
- Easily Manage Active, Flagged, Closed, and Archived Prayer Requests
- Daily Email Updates for Requestors
- New Prayer Request Notifications for Administrators
- Customizable Prayer Request Management
- Simple and Effective Shortcodes
- Administrators Can Easily Ban Unwanted IPs
This plugin is really only for the churches that use Vimeo, but I’ve found that to be pretty common. Vimeography itself is a free plugin, but you have to pay $15 or so for their themes. It comes with one built in theme called “Bugsauce”, which isn’t too shabby, but I’ve found that most of my clients want something with a little bit different look.
- Automatically add videos uploaded to a Vimeo user account, channel, album or group
- Easily insert galleries on a page, post or template with the gallery helper or shortcode
- Set a featured video to appear as the first video in your gallery
- Change your gallery’s appearance with custom themes
- Tweak your theme’s look with the appearance editor
- Control the gallery width using pixels or percentages
- Built-in caching for quick page loads
- Create unlimited galleries
If you are looking for a custom church website, you need to have this in your tool belt. You can create a completely custom website without having to know how to write any PHP code. You will have to have some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, but just the basics.
Types is a free plugin, and most times this is enough if you just need to create your own custom post types for sermons, videos, audio or whatever you need. You can buy the whole toolset for $149, and if you really need some detailed functionality, you’ll need it. It’s been worth every penny for me.
You won’t need to know any code to use Types, but you will for the Views plugin. Their website states, “Views lets you design unique layouts and functionality for the homepage, create custom content lists and build page templates. You will build entire sites, with your own look and functionality, right from within the WordPress admin.”
While I’ve found the Types plugin to be pretty straight forward, the views plugin has a bit of a learning curve, so be prepared to spend a little bit of time with it. It takes a bit of training to get the layouts to function properly. They do have an excellent documentation section and I’ve been albe to get all my questions answered easily from that.
What are your favorite church website plugins? I’d love to hear from you. Just post it in the comments below! Also, if you’re a church administrator (or a web developer) that needs help with your church website, please contact me directly at 541-419-3206.