Whether you’re building a new website from scratch or thinking about a refresh, you have some important decisions to make. How can you put together something that isn’t going to require a big investment of time and money, but also isn’t going to look like an out-of-the-box website?
WordPress has you covered. Creating a website on WordPress can be extremely simple, but, from picking a theme to choosing individual plugins, you can find hundreds of thousands of ways to make your WordPress site unique to you. Don’t just take my word for it. As of June 2016, 26% of all the websites in the world were built on WordPress!
To get you started, we’ve chosen 10 strong, church-friendly WordPress themes to get your creative juices flowing.
Free WordPress themes
If you’re looking for a theme that’s going to overlay your content across a full-width image, this is a strong option. The home page has optional sliders, and you can customize the text, layout settings, and social share information in whatever format works best for you.
What’s wonderful about this theme, which can be a struggle for a lot of free image-rich sites, is how beautifully it responds to mobile platforms.
SKT Full Width demo
2. Future Lite
Future Lite is another great option for a more image-heavy site. And it’s retina ready, so it’s really going to pop for people using really high-resolution displays. And like every other suggestion I’m going to offer, it plays well with mobile viewers.
One thing that’s nice is that there’s Future Pro option ($55) which is going to take the Future Lite theme and give you even more options like:
- Custom colors
- Unlimited sidebars
- Sticky menu
- Custom CSS
- And more
Created by Themely, this theme is brand new. If you’re looking for a one-page site, you can’t go wrong here. You might not be familiar with the concept of a one-page site, but you’ve definitely seen them. Instead of opening up a new page, navigation tabs propel users to the point in the scrolling page that they’re searching for.
The nice thing about single-page sites is that, as people just scroll through your page, you can prioritize the information they see in whatever order you want. One-page websites tend to keep people longer. They might not click through to a bunch of different pages, but they will tend to scroll for a while. If you’re careful about the way you lay out your content, you can keep them there for quite a while.
There is also an Integral Pro version ($67) that gives you all sorts of extra options:
- Image and video slider
- Drag-and-drop ordering
- Styling options for every section
- Team members section
- And more!
Sometimes you don’t need to look very far for what you need. This update of the default WordPress layout is simple and powerful. The layout is clean, versatile, and was created with mobile in mind. (Keep in mind that having a real mobile-responsive theme is of the utmost importance for both real people and the robots at Google).
If you’re looking for a theme that’s not going to require too much work and upkeep, Twenty Sixteen is polished and perfect. There’s a lot of open white space which helps people really focus in on your site’s content.
I know it’s easy to get sucked into all the bells and whistles of some church websites, but keep this in mind. Most of those websites look dated pretty quickly. A simple clean website is going to stay fresh longer, and considering that Twenty Sixteen is being used on over one million websites, others agree.
Like Twenty Sixteen, Business Leaders is a clean, responsive theme. It’s smart and simple, and you can use it to launch a really professional-looking site without too much fuss. Each page features a full-size cover image that will draw people in.
Paid WordPress Themes
If you’re looking for an extremely professional website that looks like you’ve spent thousands, you can’t go wrong with X. The attractiveness, features, and support that comes with this theme seems like it should come with a much higher price point than $64!
If you purchased the theme extensions that come bundled within X separately, they’d cost over $1,000. These include:
- ACF Pro
- Typekit integration
- Layer slider
- Content dock
- So much more
This theme is so versatile because it’s created as many different themes in one. Each theme is its own concept with its own look and layout. You can use X to create all sorts of radically different-looking and functioning websites.
Salvation is ideal for churches, parachurch organizations, ministries, and charities. It includes a “Services” section that really highlights what your church or organization offers outsiders. It has an audio post format (with an integrated player) so you can upload sermons, testimonies, and worship sets. There’s also a great event-management system built right in.
There are some wonderful aspects of the theme that really make surfing your site easier. Social integration allows visitors to easily share your content with their friends and followers. A floating header means that people will never have to scroll back to the top in order to access the navigation. And a unique status-post format lets you post important information immediately to the site.
The theme is $69, and there are currently 308 reviews giving it 4.8 out of 5 stars.
For $55, you can’t find many themes that are going to perform like Evangelist. It’s smart and attractive with a lot of options for customizing it for your church. It has an integrated calendar to keep your church up-to-date, and you can even set events to be recurring.
It’s set up to be a receptacle for discipleship resources. You can upload and feature resources in almost any type of media: audio, video, PDFs, and a lot more. This makes it easy to ensure that your church has access to the gospel resources they need for their ministries—and their own edification.
Evangelist even comes with built-in templates for different kinds of pages. Whether you need to make a page for services, donations, or FAQs, this theme has got what you need to get you started.
9. Outreach Pro
Created with the church in mind, Outreach Pro is set up to really make your church stand out. There are multiple templates and options for your layout and pages to really hone in on the ideal look and feel for your site.
The theme is built on StudioPress’s Genesis Framework which makes it highly customizable and incredibly easy to use. The huge community around the Genesis Framework will help you come up with further modifications. The cost is $99.95.
10. Church Suite
For a one-time purchase of $59, Church Suite will set you up with a gorgeous and user-friendly website. The whole event layout is amazing. It comes with an integrated events grid, which lists out upcoming events in an appealing way with a thumbnail image and background information, all in a format that makes each event easily sharable. There’s also a monthly event calendar and events cover that will help you highlight the most important upcoming event. Like events, causes can easily be set up and managed in a list or grid format.
The sermon manager helps people browse sermons by categories, tags, speakers, and dates. You can upload them as audio or video, and even set up an easily downloadable PDF format.
Find the theme that’s right for you
These are fantastic options to get you started, but if you’re curious about what else is out there, scroll through the WordPress themes section. You can filter your searches by the latest and most popular themes—or you can really drill in and search based on layouts, features, and subjects.