I’m often coaching churches with their websites. Most churches these days have a website. But the majority of churches have a website that is out of date and nearly unused.
That’s a shame.
Almost everyone these days will likely look for your website before they plan their first visit to your church. Even if it’s only to check the service times.
A church told me recently that they had a visitor who came to their church over all the other churches in their community because when they looked at church websites in their community theirs was the only one with easy-to-find service times.
I’ve been building websites with WordPress from its earliest days. I think I built my first WordPress site in 2003. WordPress was originally designed as a blogging platform but over the years has developed into a capable content management system.
I still check out other systems for building websites, but I’ve yet to come across anything as easy to build and maintain church websites with as WordPress.
So when I’m asked how I recommend building, maintaining and hosting a church website I’ll usually answer with many of the following reasons.
Here are ten reasons to use WordPress to host your church website
1. WordPress is popular and free
It’s estimated that nearly 60% of all websites on the internet are built and maintained with WordPress. It’s extremely popular and for good reason, as you will see below.
I should note here that there are two ways to use WordPress. The first is the way I’m recommending in this article and that is using the free software that can be downloaded from WordPress.org.
There is also a fully hosted and free version of WordPress at WordPress.com. It is one way to tinker with WordPress if you aren’t certain you want to use it. It’s also possible to fully host your personal or church website at WordPress.com. But you give up some flexibility if you choose that option. For one, you will need to pay to have advertising removed if you use WordPress.com.
I recommend using the free WordPress.org software. I’ll explain why with the following reasons.
2. Inexpensive Hosting
There are many capable website hosting services that can host your church or personal website for well under $100 a year.
3. Free Plugins
Because of the popularity of WordPress for whatever you want to accomplish with your website, I’m often heard saying, “there’s a plugin for that”. Three are plugins that will help secure your website, sermon podcasting plugins, contact form plugins, calendar plugins, photo gallery plugins, and much, much more.
4. Free Themes
Again, because WordPress is so popular there are hundreds of beautiful themes to choose from to make your church website stand out. Another thing to think about is keeping your website mobile-friendly. You will likely have more visitors to your website on mobile devices than on desktop computers. A modern theme can make your website mobile capable.
5. Sermon Podcasting
I think every church should work to get their sermons online. 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 setup. Much easier to install at your web host than it was back in 2003. In fact, most web hosts have a way to automatically install WordPress. So it’s easy to get the software install, up and running on your web host, and easy to get started with.
I also find the flexibility of WordPress refreshing. You can simply keep your church in blog format. Adding news and announcements that appear at the top of your home page, keeping things fresh. You can also achieve a very complex website that has many sections and pages to accomplish anything you can dream up.
8. Ease of use
Not only is WordPress easy to setup and flexible, but it’s also easy to learn and use on a weekly basis. One of my pet when it comes to church websites is when you find a site that hasn’t seen any current news or announcements in several years. WordPress is so easy to learn that the threshold to using it to keep the website fresh has been removed. No more excuses.
9. Help and tutorials
If you find yourself stuck trying to figure something there’s a lot of help to be had on the internet. It’s one of the reasons I lean toward a product that’s so popular. If you finding it difficult to do something in WordPress you are not the first. There’s help. Just head to your favorite search engine and you’ll quickly find the help you need.
The security of WordPress is another benefit of its popularity. Yes, there have been security issues over the years, but vulnerabilities are always quickly secured. It’s one reason for keeping your version of WordPress updated to the latest version which is very easy to do. The other recommendation I often make is to be sure to you use well known and frequently updated plugins.
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 please do reach out by email. I would love to show you how I can help.