Most churches today have a website. But the majority of church websites are never updated with current church information and news.
WordPress is the most flexible content management system for keeping your church website useful and easy to update. WordPress is easy to learn and use, so you'll be more likely to use it to keep your church website current.
Anyone thinking of visiting your church will likely look for your website before their first visit. Even if it's only to check the service times. I heard of a church recently that had a family choose to visit their church over all the other churches in the community because their website was the only one with easy-to-find service times.
When I first started building websites in 2003 WordPress had been designed as a blogging platform. Now WordPress is a completely capable content management system that is perfect for building a church website. I haven't found any other content management system that I'd recommend over WordPress.
Here are ten reasons to use WordPress to host your church website
1. WordPress is powerful and free
WordPress is powerful, stable, free, and well respected. SearchEngineJournal.com estimates that 39.5% of all websites are powered by WordPress, and for good reason, as you will see below (see references below).
It's important to note here that there are two ways to use WordPress.
WordPress.org is where you'll find the software that is free to download and install on a website hosting account of your own. This is the WordPress we're focused on here.
There is also a free and fully hosted version at WordPress.com. It is a good way to tinker with WordPress if you aren't certain you want to use it. You could even host your church website there. If you do I'd suggest choosing a subscription plan to gain more control of the look and feel of the site and to have advertising removed. You will give up some flexibility if you choose that option, so I don't prefer it.
Keep reading and I'll explain why WordPress.org is the route to go.
2. Inexpensive Hosting
Smaller churches are often on a tight budget. BlueHost is the inexpensive hosting option we have used and recommend. You can host your church website there for under $36 a year for the first three years. Bluehost even offers a simple way to install WordPress quickly as do other hosting providers.
3. Free Plugins
Because of the popularity of WordPress, many plugins are available that will add powerful features to your website. With plugins, you can keep your website secure, offer a sermon podcast, make your own contact form, display a church calendar, display photo galleries of church life, and even automate posting to social media sites.
4. Free Themes
With the popularity of WordPress, there are hundreds of beautiful themes to choose. There are many very capable themes that are free. There are also premium themes that are inexpensive and come with support in case you need help setting things up. The best modern themes will also keep your website mobile-friendly. That's important since according to Statista.com over 50% of worldwide web traffic is on a mobile device.
5. Sermon Podcasting
With WordPress, every church can put its sermons online without too much work. It's also easy to set up sermon categories to keep things organized and easy to find. Sermon podcasting is no replacement for being in church, but it can be a real encouragement to folks who are shut-in, or sick, or searching for a church. There are even free ways to host your sermon audio.
6. Ease of setup
WordPress is very easy to set up. As noted above, most web hosts offer a simple way to install and set up WordPress on your own hosting service. You won't need to be concerned with uploading WordPress or running confusing commands to get started quickly.
7. Ease of use
Not only is WordPress easy to set up and flexible, but it's also easy to learn and use on a weekly basis. You don't need to neglect your website for years because you don't know how to update it. WordPress is so easy to learn that the threshold to using it has been removed. We also have a few recommended WordPress books to help you get started quickly. So no more excuses.
8. Help and tutorials
If you find yourself stuck trying to figure something out there's a lot of help to be found on the internet. If you find it difficult to do something in WordPress you are not the first person to have the problem. There's help. Just head to your favorite search engine and you'll quickly find tips to get you going.
The flexibility of WordPress amazing. You could simply keep your church in blog format. Just add news and announcements that appear at the top of your home page to keep the site fresh. Or you can choose to create a complex website that has many sections and pages to accomplish anything you desire to make your church website the most useful.
The security of WordPress is another benefit of its popularity. There have been security issues over the years, but vulnerabilities are always quickly secured. It's also easy to keep your WordPress installation and plugins updated, which helps with security.
Do you need help?
If you're still not convinced that you should be hosting your church website with WordPress reach out below with your questions. I'm happy to help.
And if you just want someone to do it for you, that's what we do, so please do reach out by email. I'm happy to show you how I can help.