There’s a reason why so many churches build their websites on WordPress: It’s simple to install and easy to update.
Website administrators can tailor a site to meet their specific needs by installing plugins. Because the plugins are created by a community of developers, you can find one to do almost anything you can imagine.
They’re simple to install and uninstall—and easy to turn off and on. The only thing that administrators ought to remember is that too many installed plugins will eventually slow down a site. You want to make sure your site is able to do what you need, but you don’t want to bloat it with too many plugins that might be neat, but ultimately unhelpful.
Helpful Plugins for Churches
We’ve thought through some important functionality you’re going to want on your website. You want people to find your website, and once they do, you want them to get the most out of it. This means that you’re going to need some plugins to improve your SEO (search engine optimization) and you want to know how people are using your church website so that you can make it even better.
Plugins to help people find your website:
JetPack comes with tons of baked-in features. It does a lot from providing security against unauthorized logins to super-helpful contact forms, but my favorite thing is the quick, top-level insights it gives you into your daily traffic.
Google Analytics gives you much more insight into your website and how people are using it. You get really helpful, and in-depth information like:
- How long someone’s spending on your site
- What Google searches people are using to find it
- What links they’re clicking to get there
- And so much more!
The great thing about this plugin is the ability to have all this information right on your dashboard. You don’t need to jump out to the Google Analytic site to find it! This is just one of the helpful plugins that help churches stay ahead of the technology curve and remain relevant within their increasingly tech-savvy communities. To learn about the other church technology trends your ministry should be keeping abreast with, download the free resource, The Future of Church Technology, today! Click here to get your copy.
It’s important to have strong local SEO. You want to be found by people who are looking for a church in your neighborhood, right? Yoast Local SEO will definitely help. With this plugin, Google will have everything it needs to boost your visibility to the folks in your area.
Yoast Local also helps you identify important information like opening hours, contact information, and your location on Google Maps. If you choose not to use Yoast Local, at least try the Google Maps plugin.
4. WP Smush
You want an image-rich website, but after a while picture sizes and embedded information can start to weigh down on your site’s loading time—this is important to be aware of because Google actually penalizes websites with slow load times. WP Smush is a fantastic tool that removes all the unnecessary data for you
If your website features a blog or allows for comments anywhere, you need this tool. What Akismet does is simple and valuable. It checks all your comments and filters out the spam. If you don’t have your website up and running, you might not know how important this plugin is. It will literally save you hours in cleaning up the comments on your website.
Plugins to help you make disciples:
You put a lot of work into your sermons, and one a great way to extend their life cycle is by getting them online where people can listen to them again and again—or even discover them for the first time. With the Sermon Manager plugin, you can do that.
Sermon Manager allows you to upload your sermons to your website where they can be searched by passage, topic, date, and preacher. Uploaded mp3 sermons or podcasts can be played right in the browser. And the full biblical text for both video and audio can be displayed on the sermon page.
This Faithlife tool gives website visitors the ability to hover over biblical references and read the Bible text in a popup. If they’re interested in more context, you can click through to Biblia.com to read the entire passage.
This is a must-have tool if your website features a blog, is Scripture heavy, or has a robust “What we believe” page.
You want all of your events prominently displayed on your website. Not only will it help you keep everyone organized and on task, but it’s a great way to communicate your church’s culture and priorities to people checking out your site.
What makes the Events Calendar so brilliant is that it does one thing incredibly well. It lets you quickly create events and display your calendar in month, week, or day modes. It solid, basic, and beautifully done.
Don’t Forget Mobile!
While you should definitely have a solid website, you’re not going to get far without a good mobile solution. If your church has a native app experience, they’re well ahead of the curve. Having your discipleship-making tools and church information available in a simple-to-use app is the key to getting the most engagement out of a mobile-minded culture.
Technology is changing and improving every day, but there are certain trends that will affect the type of tech optional available to the church. To discover and stay ahead of the trends, download the free ebook, The Future of Church Technology. You’ll learn why it’s important for churches to stay up to date on trends to remain relevant and engaging within their communities. Click here to get your copy today!