Building a new website for your ministry can be a daunting task, even if it isn’t your first attempt. What platform do you use? Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, WordPress, some other platform another ministry uses? The list of options is endless and enough to give you serious decision fatigue. Once you decide on a platform, most of them have some kind of free version, so do you roll with that or do you go with one of their paid plans? Here at Ministry Launchpad, we teach WordPress because we believe that WordPress is the best solution for your ministry website.
I mentioned other platforms have free options. Free sounds great, and let’s be honest, WordPress is free too, but usually free means there is a catch. Something might be restricted or you don’t get much ability to customise things. In some cases, it might mean advertising shown on your website which might not fit the look you are going for!
Why we like WordPress
We focus on WordPress at Ministry Launchpad. It’s free for the system itself, but it’s also full of features, so there is no catch there. It can be customised however you like and you don’t have to worry about unwanted advertising on your website. Just buy your domain and choose a web host that fits your needs and price requirements and away you go.
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) built around a blog platform which means anything on the site is pretty easy for anyone to update themselves. To be fair, it isn’t always quite as simple as some of the other paid platforms, but it improves with every major update.
WordPress is not only a blogging platform though, there are thousands of themes and plugins available to make a beautiful ministry website that fits your niche. There are also some free ones that are pretty good, however, many of them (like the one we use – GeneratePress – don’t have quite as many visual customisation settings as their paid versions.
To be completely clear from the outset though, while you can do anything with WordPress, it might not always be easy. If it can be coded, it can be done, and that is what sets WordPress apart and allows you to build a website for your ministry that stands out and is truly unique. Many of these other platforms rely on basic template systems that can end up looking pretty similar.
Your ministry needs to stand out and WordPress can help you do that. It’s worth taking the time to learn the basics, and WordPress is a great tool to learn with that will help you to build a website that can support the needs and growth of your ministry.
Why a blog matters for your ministry website
Now, I mentioned earlier about WordPress being built around a blog platform. Why do you need a blog? Maybe you don’t think you need one, or maybe you don’t even know what a blog is.
“A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.” – Wikipedia.
That might not sound like something you want or need on your ministry, but a blog serves 3 valuable purposes for a ministry:
- A blog provides structure to release regular news and updates relevant to your ministry in a form that is easily readable and searchable.
- Blogs are fantastic tools for SEO (search engine optimisation) and can be a major source of free traffic that can feed into generating donations or contributing to your mission goals – such as introducing people to Christ.
- Builds trust and a connection with your audience.
All of these things help to spread awareness of your ministry and contribute to your mission.
Summing it up
WordPress, in my opinion, provides the most flexibility and features to build a truly unique and special web presence that helps your ministry to achieve its goals online. And it does all this at no cost – apart from hosting, domain registration and the time it takes to get set up!
This is a really high level, simplified overview, but hopefully, you can see why WordPress is the best solution for your ministry website.
In our next article, we look at setting up hosting and registering a domain name.