What is WordPress?
WordPress started out life as a simple blogging platform. It allowed users to go onto the WordPress site and create a hosted blog on the platform. It provided a really easy way for people to get their own space online where they could start a blog with little technical experience. However, over the years, WordPress has evolved dramatically. The platform has grown into a sophisticated Content Management System (CMS), that can be used to manage a wide variety of websites, not just simple blogs. In fact, 28% of all the websites on the web are powered by WordPress, and this number is growing every year. WordPress sits behind some of the world’s largest websites and allows the users to easily and quickly upload new content to the site. Some sites that currently use WordPress include TechCrunch, The New Yorker, BBC America, Bloomberg, Sony, Time and Microsoft News. As it is trusted on the websites of these well-known brands, it is easy to see why WordPress is a great choice for church websites also.
It is a combination of its ease of use and its customizability that makes WordPress such a popular option for organizations. It is really simple to customize the appearance of a WordPress site. This is due to the 1000’s of themes that are available for the platform. It is as simple as finding one you like and installing it on the platform. While WordPress does require a little learning curve, it is really simple to use, even for those with little or no technical experience. These are just some of the reasons why WordPress is a great choice for church websites. You can get a website up and running quickly and easily, and start attracting new followers into the arms of your church.
Why WordPress is a Great Choice for Church Websites
Ease of Use
As already mentioned, the ease of use is one of the reasons why WordPress is a great choice for church websites. Once WordPress is installed on your server, you can add posts and pages really easily through the WordPress dashboard. You don’t need any coding experience for this. The user interface is almost like a word processor, so if you can use Microsoft Word, you shouldn’t have any problems.
The WordPress platform also makes it really easy to attach images, videos, or embed media from other online sources. Any media you wish to attach simply gets uploaded to your Media Gallery, and then can be inserted wherever you want on the site.
The customization options available is another reason why WordPress is a great choice for church websites. You can pretty much customize every element of the website, to have it looking exactly the way that you want. There are over 2500 themes available, so you shouldn’t have any problems picking one that matches your vision. After you have picked a theme that you like, it can be customized even further to specific colors and layouts.
Plugins are what really sets WordPress apart from the rest. As WordPress is open source, thousands of developers are constantly creating plugins for the platform. At present, there are over 40,000 free plugins available for WordPress. A plugin is a piece of software that has been coded for a specific purpose, that you can install on your site. With a few clicks, you can add all sorts of functionality to your site.
Plugins are really simple to install, and most are also really easy to set up. So what kind of plugins are available? Well with 40,000 available, there is pretty much a plugin for anything you might want to add to your site! Here are some popular uses for plugins:
Contact Forms: To easily allow visitors to your site to message you.
Social Media: You can add social media buttons to your site to grow your followers and to allow easy sharing.
Newsletter Forms: Allow visitors to easily sign up for your newsletter.
Search Engine Friendly
One of the main reasons why WordPress is a great choice for church websites is down to the SEO benefits. SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of optimizing your website so that it performs better search engines and receives more traffic. Of all the platforms out there for building sites, WordPress sites undoubtedly outperform the rest when it comes to ranking in search engines. And at the end of the day, a website isn’t much use unless it is getting search engine traffic.
WordPress sites tend to be SEO friendly by nature, but they also allow for the greatest control over your SEO. Plugins such as Yoast make it much easier to take control of your SEO. It allows you to easily optimize Title and META Tags and makes recommendations on how you can improve each page. While it is always advisable to engage in some professional SEO consulting, if you want your church website to rank well, Yoast is a pretty good place to start on your own.
Safe and Secure
Security is another reason why WordPress rises above the rest. WordPress is developed with security in mind, so it is considered very safe and secure to run any website. However, just like the real world, the internet can be an uncertain place. For this reason, there are a number of additional security plugins available so you can be sure your site is safe and secure from any threats.
There is no doubt that there are a number of options available when it comes to selecting a platform for your church website. There are online website builders such as Wix and Squarespace. While these platforms are extremely easy to use, they are also extremely limited. The plugins available are seriously lacking, and they are terrible for SEO. If you do go with a Wix or Squarespace site, it will be a serious struggle for it to ever rank on page 1 of Google. You could also get a custom coded site built by a development agency with a custom CMS. However, this will be extremely expensive and will be far trickier to use day to day.
Overall, WordPress strikes the perfect balance between usability, functionality, and price. So this is why we always recommend that our clients build their church websites using the WordPress platform. If you would like to move to WordPress from your current CMS, check out our Church Website Migration Service.