Everyone needs to have an adequate online presentation, churches no less than any other cause, venture, or business. Whatever you wish to speak of, you need to make sure that people can hear you. But even if their eyes and ears are open, it still doesn’t mean your message will reach them. There’s just too much clutter and noise, with millions of people out there trying to do the same as you. So, you need to make sure to build a spotless website that speaks out to your flock. A website that will act as an extension and support for your own voice.
And that is not an easy thing to do. There are plethora of considerations, any of which can make or break your cause. Thankfully, a perfect theme will take care of most of them. So, before we proceed with best WordPress themes that will help you through the process, let’s think of all the things you should be looking for in a theme.
What to Look for in a WordPress Theme for Your Church or Charity?
Check out top seven considerations you should factor in when choosing a perfect theme for your church or charity website. Maybe you won’t need all of those aspects and elements, but it doesn’t hurt to have an option of using them eventually. The beauty of premium WordPress themes is in the infinite amount of upgrades that you can do if or when needed.
And here’s a piece of advice to help you get started. Forget about creating a perfect website right away. Instead, go for the basics and keep building on them with time, as you grow.
- The design should be clean and inviting. That can be said for the majority of all the websites in the world, though. But that doesn’t mean it’s less important for your own. I can’t stress enough the importance of a simple, easy to read website. Don’t be afraid to put the white space to use whenever you have a chance. It’s better to have empty space that lets your visitors breathe than to clutter it up with information, images, animations. When there’s a hundred things to see, you’re bound to see none of them. And vice versa: when there are only a handful of information, all of them will get enough exposure.
- Your theme should be flexible. Does it offer a bunch of options that you currently don’t need? Great! As I said above, right now you only need the basics. But as your website grows, so will your readers’ needs. A perfect WordPress themes caters to their existing needs and has a potential to deal with the future ones as well.
- A blog would be more than useful. Many people think of blogging as an activity done in idle time, or as a highly commercial pursuit. But that’s far from being its only use. Think of it this way. Your website will be speaking to your audience in your absence. Therefore, it would be logical to have a blog section, with many articles that should serve as a spiritual guide.
- Audio/video embed. This consideration is in line with the former. Just like a blog will speak to your audience when you’re not around, embedded audio and video sermons will make it possible for them to hear and see your messages when they are not around.
- It would be useful to have some kind of an event managing system. The purpose is self-explanatory – it should serve to remind people of all upcoming holidays, events, activities. Every church lives in these communal activities.
- Contact forms. This one will be a must, sooner rather than later. Contact forms have a twofold purpose. For your website’s visitors, it means a way to keep in touch with your message. For you, it means a possibility to build mailing lists, opening up a neat way into your visitors’ inboxes. It’s all for the sake of improved communication and engagement
- An option to donate. Having an online shop may or may not suit your purposes, but it would be nice and convenient to make it easy for people to donate with a single click of a mouse.
Top 7 WordPress Church Themes
This flexible WordPress church theme offers dozens of layouts for your blog and portfolio, as well as a number of very convenient plugins that come integrated. Customize your content sections, backgrounds, icons and other visual elements. Adjust headers, colors, fonts. The theme’s specialty is the sermons post type that lets you embed audio and video into the post. As for donations, the theme comes with an integrated Donation plugin. It not only lets you collect funds, but also create multiple campaigns and track progress for each of them. There is also The Events plugin, which will help you display any important events ahead, as well as Timetable that does the same, but in a more detailed way. If you want to sell any merchandise as part of your fundraising, use the Shop plugin.
With over eight thousand sales on Envato ThemeForest, this has been the most popular WordPress theme for church and nonprofits. And that’s only one theme repository, out of hundreds. But let’s see how and why it gained such popularity. A bunch of integrated shortcodes include sermons, schedule, speakers, events, teasers, gallery, audio player, blog, contact form builder, testimonials. And there’s more. The WooCommerce integration allows you to turn the website into an online store, to either sell things or use it for cataloging purposes. Did you know that most people will give up on buying an item when they see a complicated cart page? You and me are just two of those people. Well, this theme offers an elegant and clear cart page that won’t discourage or annoy your potential buyers. The theme has almost unlimited customization options, including page layouts, site width, colors, Revolution Slider, and more.
Even though the title says “multipurpose,” this theme is best for churches, charities, nonprofits, and religious websites. It’s also known to perform well on portfolio and corporate websites. It contains fully responsive design, an events calendar that can be viewed in fullscreen, wide and boxed layouts, 10 predefined color schemes with a possibility to add your own colors. The list of third-party integrations includes Events Manager plugin (with options for events registration, recurring and paid events, user management), Sermons Manager that supports downloadable audio, video and pdf files, uploaded or embedded, Causes and Donations with online PayPal payment system that was specially built for this theme.
Choose your homepage layout from four pre-built options or build your own in a simple and intuitive way, with zero coding skills. The pre-built layouts include: Standard Home with single row header, transparent, and top bar, Clean Home with single row header and top bar, Standard Home with logo and left header, and Parallax Home with single row header and transparent. If you want, you can use the latter to build an elegant one-page site that doesn’t require juggling between multiple windows and tabs. Layout possibilities are literally endless, with many headers and footers that you can combine to make a spotless website. Even though the theme is packed with CSS animations, they don’t affect its exceptional loading speed. Other features include Sermons post type, WooCommerce integration, drag-and-drop builder, Gutenberg editor.
If you want to build a mailing list, allowing your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter while collecting their email addresses, this theme has an integrated Mail Subscriber plugin. It combines with and complements the Event Calendar. Choose from Revolution Slider and alternate Flex Slider to give your website a touch of elegance. Visual shortcodes include alerts, audio, buttons, charts, columns, contact form. As for post types, there are default, audio, video, quote, link, and gallery types that allow for versatility. SEO Tools module is pre-built into the theme, so there’s no need to purchase any plugins to help with search engine rankings. This theme will help you make a simple website, easy to browse and find one’s way through.
Nonprofits, charities and churches will find this theme very convenient, with nothing left to wish for. Use its integrated WP Email Capture plugin to connect with your readers and subscribers, and collect their email addresses. The Events Calendar plugin will always keep them in the loop. You can easily set up a Donate button in the header, adjust body styles, accent colors, background patterns, and use four custom widgets. Should you need to use videos, it’s easy to embed them from Youtube or Vimeo, whether on the homepage or in a post.
Responsiveness is a must for any WordPress church theme these days, and this one is both responsive and retina ready. That means it will look fabulous on any device, including your iPad. It includes Events Calendar slider, which combines the regular image slider with the calendar – a pretty convenient and stylish solution. Add your upcoming events to the calendar, including those that are recurring. The theme is very media-friendly thanks to its Resources module that lets you add any multimedia materials. You can also create contact forms with a specialized module, and add unlimited sidebars for further customization. Your SEO efforts will be backed up with a special module that takes care of almost everything. As for pages, there are a number of built-in page layouts including FAQ, Pricing Page, Donate Page, Services. Use those ready-made pages or build your own.