Developing a Church Website Using WordPress


Quick content tips for first-time WP users

If you’re thinking of or currently using WordPress to build your church website, you’re in good company. As I write this, WordPress powers a whopping 61.1 percent of all CMS (content management system) based sites, and 23.1 percent of all websites in existence! (You can see the latest statistics here.) It far outranks the competition, which is one reason it’s such a great choice for faith groups to consider.

Here are five things to keep in mind about your content as you get started with WordPress.

1. Keep it simple to start, then build from there.

Your website is a reflection of your church. If it’s filled with pages that contain outdated, missing, or inaccurate information, visitors to your site will not be impressed. Get the basics in place – your contact information, a page describing your worship services and main activities a newcomer would want to know about, a map, a contact page, an up-to-date calendar of events, an “about us” page, and whatever else you think is most critical.

Make those pages shine before making them live for all the world to see, and then gradually add other sub-pages, blog posts, media and other content or features. The more you focus on and become comfortable with the basics, the easier the site will be to manage.

2. Find a friendly tone of voice.

Writing for the web is a skill you’ll learn over time. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and search for fresh and inviting ways to say things. Remember your audience for any page or post you create. For example, newcomers won’t know that in your congregation, ABC stands for Amazing Bible Cook-off unless you spell it out for them.

One little-known trick you might try is to always smile while you write; your brain will be more likely to bring to mind cheery, friendly words. You also might try recording yourself talking about a ministry first, just like you would to a visitor. Then, play back the audio and transcribe it.

3. Always use keywords in your writing.

Keywords are the words or short phrases that people might search for in order to find your website or to search within it. They help search engines to know what your content is about, and they entice readers to click on items of interest to them.

Your keywords are important to put in titles and sub-headings, first and foremost. For example, if you’re creating a blog post about that Amazing Bible Cook-off, your keywords and phrases might be “cooking,” “competition,” “bake sale,” “church potluck,” and “food in the Bible.” So, your article’s heading could be, “Discover Food in the Bible at First Church’s Cooking Competition.” Your other keywords can then be sprinkled throughout the content of the article.

4. Think metaphorically when choosing images.

Every page or post should contain an image whenever possible…and it’s just about always possible. However, the best images are generally evocative and metaphorical, not literal or illustrative.

To use food again as an example, which of the following is more emotional and meaning-filled?

bowl of chili

Photo by tirimisustudio, courtesy of


Photo by Danielle Evans,

Most people would likely choose the second image as being more interesting and evocative; it’s not just another bowl of chili, yet it clearly communicates something essential about chili, cooking, and creativity.

5. Page or Post?

A common question first-time users have about WordPress is whether they should create a page or a post for their content. There aren’t hard and fast rules about it, but in general pages are better for more static, longer-term content that might need occasional editing and that are worthy of being in a menu. Posts are better for event announcements, reflections from a pastor, or other content that might have a shorter lifespan. Posts are more like news item, and they can come up in lists of recent blog articles. Stick to that general framework and you’ll likely end up with a website that is easier to navigate.

What tips would you share?

Got a favorite tip for new WordPress users? Share it in the comments below.

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