Running a church website requires a lot of work.
You need a website that not only represents your church, but lets your host and display your sermons, manage your church media, and more.
By building your church website on WordPress, you’re already ahead of the curve. WordPress is a powerful and flexible CMS that can be customized to do everything you need.
With WordPress you add new features to your site via plugins. The vast WordPress plugin library has thousands of plugins, but all of these plugins won’t be right for your site.
When you’re in charge of a church website there will be a handful of plugins that’ll improve the functionality of your site and elevate the lives of your congregation.
Below you’ll learn about the benefits of using a church plugin, and which plugins are going to be the best for your church website.
How a WordPress Plugin Can Benefit Your Church Website
A lot of church websites have specific needs that won’t be fulfilled by the stock version of WordPress, or even your theme right out of the box.
Thankfully, there are a ton of different WordPress plugins that can help you add more features to your site and seamlessly manage your church website a whole lot better.
Without using a WordPress plugin you’ll be stuck uploading your sermons as posts, trying to get them formatted properly. Or, you’ll have to rely on flyers to get the word out about church events, instead of posting them on your website. Without the right WordPress church plugin, you’re making your life a whole lot harder than it needs to be.
Here are just some of the things you can accomplish with the WordPress church plugins we highlight below:
- Easily upload your sermons to your site and include media like images and videos
- Create a prayer wall where members can post prayers to the congregation
- Enable easy donations and fundraisers without leaving your website
- Create, manage, and increase the attendance of all your church events
- And that’s just the beginning
Below we’ll cover more general plugins that can benefit your website as a whole, and highlight a handful of church-specific WordPress plugins that will take your church website to new heights.
Church Themes vs Church Plugins for WordPress
WordPress is a very flexible platform. You can customize basically any theme to suit the needs of your website. However, some WordPress themes are built from the ground up to cater to your website and the unique features you require.
For example, you’ll find a handful of different WordPress church themes that are built to cater to churches.
A lot of these themes will have built-in features that’ll help you accomplish tasks related to church management. For example, you’ll be able to do things like:
- Easily upload and manage your sermons on your website
- Highlight local events your church is hosting
- Maintain a regular church blog
- Upload and manage all of your church media
But, no matter if you’re customizing a more general theme to suit the needs of your church, or you’re using a theme that’s built entirely for churches, you’ll probably want to add more features.
This is where using a church WordPress plugin can comes into play.
Keep reading for 11 of the best WordPress church plugins on the market today.
11 Best WordPress Plugins for Church Websites
WordPress is a highly flexible platform. Its plugin library is second to none.
Instead of having to sort through every plugin out there, here’s a list of the best WordPress plugins for churches:
1. Church Content
Church Content is a versatile WordPress plugin developed by the team behind Church Themes. Think of it as your all-in-one content manager for all of your church content needs.
You’ll be able to manage your sermons, events, church staff and various church locations all from one central dashboard on your WordPress website.
However, keep in mind that to make the most out of this plugin you’ll want to be using an official theme from Church Themes or a supported third-party theme. Otherwise, a lot of the features of this plugin won’t work properly.
This WordPress plugin gives you much more control over your blog’s organization and how you go about presenting content.
If you want a centralized dashboard that allows you to create events, manage sermons, and more, then this plugin is definitely worth checking out.
2. Sermon Manager
Sermon Manager is a feature-rich sermon management plugin. Some church WordPress themes might have the feature right out of the box, but a lot of them won’t.
One of the more useful features of your church website is going to be the online sermon function. This lets people who weren’t able to attend still feel like they were there, or allows people to re-read or listen to last week’s sermon throughout the week.
With this plugin you’ll have a lot of different sermon-related options like:
- Quickly publish written sermons
- Attach audio files
- Embed recorded videos, or even YouTube and Vimeo videos
- Sort your sermons via topics, speakers, books, and more
- Integrate bible references through Bib.ly
- Built-in podcasting support
Plus, you get access to this feature set entirely for free.
3. Faithlife Reftagger
The Faithlife Reftagger plugin will help to improve the reader experience across your site. When you include bible references throughout your content, you’ll want a way to highlight the passage you’re referring to, which is exactly what this plugin does.
Once you install and activate this WordPress plugin, it’ll display a pop-up when a reader hovers over a bible reference. If readers want to learn more about the passage, they can read the entire verse on Biblia.com.
If you have a scripture or reference-heavy website for your church, then this is a must-have plugin.
4. PayPal Donation
PayPal Donation is a WordPress plugin that allows you to enable donations across your site. This gives your church members a way to contribute to your congregation without having to actually be present.
Once you install and activate this plugin, you can place a PayPal donation button anywhere on your church website. You’ll have a variety of different button options to choose from as well.
Even if you’re not tech savvy, this plugin is very easy to set up and start accepting donations right away.
Plus, it works with every WordPress plugin out there, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues either.
It includes a ton of advanced features, even with the free version of the plugin. You’ll get access to donation forms, reporting, and donor management features. Basically, every feature you require to receive and manage donations for your church is included here.
The cool thing about this plugin is it integrates 100% with your WordPress website. So, you won’t have to send your members to another site just to make donations. It all takes place on the donation forms embedded into your website.
The backend is very easy to use too. If you’re familiar with the WordPress dashboard, then you’ll be able to easily use this plugin.
There are free and premium versions of this plugin available. The free version is great to start with, but the premium versions of the plugin will give you access to more payment options, recurring donations, pro-level support, and a lot more.
6. The Events Calendar
You probably have church events going on all the time. The Events Calendar plugin gives you an easy way to manage all of these events and showcase them in an easy-to-read calendar.
This can help you keep tabs on everything that’s going on and give your visitors a way to view all your upcoming events in one place.
This plugin is used across a wide range of niches and is one of the most popular WordPress calendar plugins available today. One big reason its use is so widespread is because of how simple it is to use.
As soon as you install and activate the WordPress plugin, you can have your first event live in less than 5 minutes.
It’s packed with features like:
- The ability to create recurring events
- Super fast event creation
- Integration with Google Maps
- Fast loading on mobile browsers
- And much more
For users who want to add even more features to their events calendar, there’s an entire library of extensions for you to explore.
7. Prayer Engine
Prayer Engine is a unique WordPress plugin for church websites. It allows you to create prayer walls on your website and even host online prayer sessions. This can help to bring your entire congregation together, even when you’re not all physically present.
There are also a number of different customization features so you can customize the look of your prayer wall and calendar to match the design of your church website.
Members of your congregation can submit their own prayer requests and allow other members to pray for them.
This WordPress plugin is truly unique and brings your ministry on the go. Adding this functionality to your church website can really set your church website apart.
8. Series Engine
Series Engine is a sermon archive and podcasting plugin. If you have a myriad of different media types, this plugin will help bring everything together and makes it easy to manage.
It integrates seamlessly with your church website, plus it has the ability to transform your existing media into a podcast.
Here’s a quick look at the unique features this plugin offers:
- Integrates with virtually every video host out there, including YouTube and Vimeo
- Adds social media sharing elements to your content
- Ability to customize your content to match your site
- Includes a search feature to help visitors sort through content
- Attach bible passages to your to your content
- Morph existing audio content into podcast episodes
If you want a way to easily manage all of your church content and media, then this plugin is worth checking out.
9. Yoast Local SEO
Yoast Local SEO is a plugin that’ll help your church website rank better in the search engines. It offers feedback and guidance for optimizing your posts and website content for certain keywords.
That way when members of your community are searching for keywords related to your church, your website is the one that will come up.
This is a great way to let people find your church and become a member of your community. Learn more about SEO in our ebook, The ABCs of SEO: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
10. WP Smush
Most church websites will have all kinds of media. This can help to draw visitors into your website and keep them reading your sermons and content, but uploading all of these images to your website can make it load very slow.
You want to offer your visitors the best experience possible, which includes a fast loading website. However, you don’t want to have to remove all the pictures from your site, or reduce their quality so they’re barely recognizable.
Luckily, there’s a WordPress plugin that can help you out. It’s called WP Smush.
This plugin will automatically reduce the overall filesize of any images across your WordPress site. This will help to speed up your loading speeds as a whole. Plus, it will reduce the filesize without compromising the quality.
The free version should be enough for most church websites, but there’s also a premium version of the plugin available.
11. Akismet Anti-Spam
No one likes spam. If you have an active and open comments section, then you’re leaving your website open to spam comments. Having to go through all of these and filter out what’s real and what’s spam can be very time consuming.
Luckily, Akismet Anti-Spam will do all the filtering for you.
Just install and activate this plugin and it’ll act as the protector of your comments section. It will automatically filter out spam comments and requests from real requests. So, you can spend your time responding to comments that matter.
Which WordPress Plugin Is Best for Your Church Website?
WordPress is one of the most flexible CMS for running a church website. Hopefully, you’ll find at least one of the plugins above valuable and it’ll help you manage your church website more effectively.
A lot of the plugins above have overlapping qualities, so make sure you choose the plugin that fits your needs the most. Some themes will already have a few features offered by the plugins above, while others will offer you a clean slate.
Since a lot of the plugins above are free, you can test them on your site without any investment.