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Top 10 WordPress Widgets and Plugins

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Having written about how to choose a WordPress theme for your church website, I’d like to share with you the top 10 WordPRess widgets and plugins that will be most helpful in building your site.

Widgets and plugins allow you to customize your website without having to know any computer code. They are additions to your site that enhance the user experience or back-end usability. While most themes are widget compatible, it is important to double check this before you’ve chosen your theme. There are thousands of widgets and plugins, and there will be a selection offered to you when you install your theme. Here are few that I think should be at the top of your list:

1)      Akismet – Unfortunately, church websites are not immune to spammers. This plugin is your first line of defense.

2)      All-in-one SEO – We’ll delve into SEO in a future post, but for now, this All-in-One SEO plugin will automatically give your site a little more “Google juice.”

3)      Random Bible Verse – There are several widgets that will automatically select and display bible verses. You can find one to fit your churches style and denomination.

4)      Facebook Share Button – This is a button displayed at the bottom of your post or page that allows readers to share your site with all of their Facebook friends. This is indispensible in helping to spread your message to audiences you may not be currently connected with.

5)      WordPress Mobile Edition – This plugin will display your site in a mobile friendly version to viewers visiting on their mobile phones. Think about adding this plugin if you are using your site for events or pod-casted sermons (in which case you would also want to add the PodPress plug-in), because it will allow readers to connect with the information you are offering on the go.

6)      Google Calendar – This will allow you to display your church’s Google Calendar of events in the sidebar of your web page.

7)      Email updates – This widget puts a button in the sidebar that will let readers enter their email addresses to receive emailed updates whenever there is a new article or post on your site.

8)      Pictures – Pictures are essential to a successful website. They add personality and interest, and this plug-in will automatically rotate pictures from your church or ministry’s Flickr account and display them on the sidebar. Visitors can see volunteers at your last event and be encouraged to participate next time, or pictures of your church performance can be proudly displayed.

9)      Meta – This is a simple, back-end usability widget. It allows you to easily access your dashboard right from your home page.

10)   WordPress Stats – While you don’t want to get carried away with statistics, it is very helpful to know what your visitors are doing on your site. Are they mostly looking for the calendar? Are they watching last Sunday’s sermon on your podcast? Or are they reading your pastor’s blog post on the importance of volunteering this holiday season? Knowing the answer could give you direction for your next podcast, post, or event.

Carrie Busha
Carrie Busha
Carrie H. Busha has a lifelong passion for writing and sharing ideas. She sees in integral connection between one’s personal faith and the betterment of all of humanity, and through her posts here explores new ways of experiencing spirituality and charity through technology.

39 COMMENTS

  1. I have recently published a Bible reading plugin for WordPress. This plugin gives you the power to easily include a daily Bible reading passage, a morning and evening devotional, random verses, most-read verses, Christian life essential verses, and much more directly into your WordPress posts and pages. Easy to install and easy to use. I would appreciate it if you would review this plugin and could give it a recommendation. Thank you in advance. https://wordpress.org/plugins/amd-bible-reading/ I am A Master serving THE MASTER!

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  3. […] 10)   WordPress Stats – While you don’t want to get carried away with statistics, it is very helpful to know what your visitors are doing on your site. Are they mostly looking for the calendar? Are they watching last Sunday’s sermon on your podcast? Or are they reading your pastor’s blog post on the importance of volunteering this holiday season? Knowing the answer could give you direction for your next podcast, post, or event. […]

  4. […] know we adore WordPress, I’ve created about it before in posts about widgets and plugins, we use it for my church tech PR website as good as this site. So when Church Themer/Mint […]

  5. […] know we adore WordPress, I’ve created about it before in posts about widgets and plugins, we use it for my church tech PR website as good as this site. So when Church Themer/Mint […]

  6. […] know we adore WordPress, I’ve created about it before in posts about widgets and plugins, we use it for my church tech PR website as good as this site. So when Church Themer/Mint […]

  7. […] know we adore WordPress, I’ve created about it before in posts about widgets and plugins, we use it for my church tech PR website as good as this site. So when Church Themer/Mint […]

  8. […] plugins that will be most helpful in building your site. Widgets and plugins allow you to … church web tech – Google Blog Search Lion of Judah Movie- Sponsor: Lionofjudahthemovie.com- Lion of Judah the Movie- Check out "The […]

    • Hi Kelli! Some of the widgets can work on others platforms, but the theme of this post was WordPress, so I think most of the widgets are for WordPress, not other platforms. You’ll have to check with each one as some tech providers offer multiple interfaces for Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, etc.

    • Hi Kelli! Some of the widgets can work on others platforms, but the theme of this post was WordPress, so I think most of the widgets are for WordPress, not other platforms. You’ll have to check with each one as some tech providers offer multiple interfaces for Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, etc.

    • Hi Kelli! Some of the widgets can work on others platforms, but the theme of this post was WordPress, so I think most of the widgets are for WordPress, not other platforms. You’ll have to check with each one as some tech providers offer multiple interfaces for Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, etc.

  9. I’m just starting to create my blog and realized that there is still so much to learn!

    Great post. This doesn’t have to do with plugins, but a really easy fix in WP to make it more SEO friendly is to change the URL’s to permalinks.

    So instead of looking like – domain/?p=108 (which is wp’s default)
    It would look like – domain/year/month/title (or you can customize to use categories…)

  10. I’m just starting to create my blog and realized that there is still so much to learn!

    Great post. This doesn’t have to do with plugins, but a really easy fix in WP to make it more SEO friendly is to change the URL’s to permalinks.

    So instead of looking like – domain/?p=108 (which is wp’s default)
    It would look like – domain/year/month/title (or you can customize to use categories…)

  11. I’m just starting to create my blog and realized that there is still so much to learn!

    Great post. This doesn’t have to do with plugins, but a really easy fix in WP to make it more SEO friendly is to change the URL’s to permalinks.

    So instead of looking like – domain/?p=108 (which is wp’s default)
    It would look like – domain/year/month/title (or you can customize to use categories…)

  12. I apologize that the link for the email subscriptions plug-in went to an informational page only, with no option to download. You can download a newsletter subscription plug-in here. Also, here are more options that I found helpful. These plug-ins help you send out emailed newsletters, highlighting new articles on your site, upcoming events and inviting readers to return. There is also the option of a classic RSS feed, which you can read about and download here.

  13. I apologize that the link for the email subscriptions plug-in went to an informational page only, with no option to download. You can download a newsletter subscription plug-in here. Also, here are more options that I found helpful. These plug-ins help you send out emailed newsletters, highlighting new articles on your site, upcoming events and inviting readers to return. There is also the option of a classic RSS feed, which you can read about and download here.

  14. I apologize that the link for the email subscriptions plug-in went to an informational page only, with no option to download. You can download a newsletter subscription plug-in here. Also, here are more options that I found helpful. These plug-ins help you send out emailed newsletters, highlighting new articles on your site, upcoming events and inviting readers to return. There is also the option of a classic RSS feed, which you can read about and download here.

  15. Where do I find the Email updates widget you have listed. The link takes me to a generic page without any download information. I’ve tried searching within the Add Widgets page in WordPress and still haven’t found it. Do you have the location where I can download this?

    Thanks,

  16. Where do I find the Email updates widget you have listed. The link takes me to a generic page without any download information. I’ve tried searching within the Add Widgets page in WordPress and still haven’t found it. Do you have the location where I can download this?

    Thanks,

  17. Where do I find the Email updates widget you have listed. The link takes me to a generic page without any download information. I’ve tried searching within the Add Widgets page in WordPress and still haven’t found it. Do you have the location where I can download this?

    Thanks,

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