Friday Church Planting Resource: WordPress
Most people look at WordPress as simply a blogging platform. While it certainly was born as blogging platform, WordPress has evolved to become a legitimate content management system for websites. An entire developer community has evolved around WordPress. There are thousands of plug-ins that can be used to customize the WordPress experience. There’s even an app store for WordPress where you can browse and purchase plug-ins. Because of its familiar interface, most anyone can use it to update a website. Best of all, WordPress is free.
There are a couple of options for developing a WordPress site. The first is to purchase a pre-made template and customize it yourself. Many hosting providers are making it easy to install the WordPress software. Most anyone can do it. Where things get a little technical is uploading template files. You need a little tech sense to do this. Where it gets really difficult is in customizing the template. I would classify this as an advanced procedure. It’s the little things that will drive you crazy, like how do I replace that header image with one I like and make it look right. Before you purchase a template, be sure that the template designer has provided instructions for editing. Check out any forums or reviews to see if people have had any problems with the template. Also, see how available the designer is for troubleshooting. With one template I uploaded, the instructions provided the designers email address. When I hit a snag, I emailed and he responded with some help. Here are a few sites to browse for templates. You can expect to pay as little as $25 for a theme, and can pay up to several hundred.
A second route, and the route I recommend, is to pay a website designer to develop a WordPress Theme for you. Here are two design companies that I’ve used. What I like about both of these designers is that they are church planters. One designs sites bi-vocationally. The other is a designer but is a part of a new church plant. Both of these guys understand church planting and I find that helps in getting what you want out of the site.
- Solid Giant specializes in custom designed WordPress sites. They designed this blog.
- iWaghost specializes in customizing pre-existing WordPress templates.
Several of my church planters are utilizing WordPress for their websites. If you are looking for an affordable solution for your website, give WordPress a try.