Here are some useful plugins I’ve used to help out churches that I think you might find helpful.
Many churches and organizations like to have an online directory of their staff. While you can create this with the visual editor in WordPress, it generally doesn’t turn out as well as you’d like. A great alternative is to use the Staff Directory plugin to create everything for you. You can add staff descriptions, pictures and contact information. Each member gets their own post as well as the listing in the directory. It’s an easy to use solution for this common need.
This plugin is molded after the All in One SEO Pack, but is much simpler for those of us who don’t need such extensive features. It allows you to easily add title and descriptions to your site as well as any page/post. Plus, since it is so simple it doesn’t notify you of updates every other week like some other SEO plugins have a tendency to.
If there is one area that WordPress is deficient in it is event management. I’ve tried virtually every one I’ve come across in the last two and a half years, but none has worked like I hoped. That said, The Events Calendar is the plugin I’m using on my church’s site as well as a few client sites of late. One of the best features is an easy integration with Event Brite so you can have online registrations, even paid ones, with minimal work. It allows you to have recurring events, locations and so on. I also really appreciate that this plugin uses WordPress’ posts function for events as that makes them easier to incorporate into themes.
No one wants to have a server crash and take their data with them, but it does happen to virtually everyone at some point in time. My favorite way to combat this is with the Automatic WordPress Backup plugin. It makes scheduled backups of your database (content) theme (styles) as well as any uploads you’ve made. As a measure of added security it backs everything up to Amazon’s S3 service for just pennies a month. I use S3 to back-up and serve images from 3 sites all for around $1.50 to $2.00 a month. There are other backup plugins, but most of them only back up your database, but believe me, you need to back up everything.
Many churches have asked me about creating member only sections and while you can do that with WordPress, the best solution is to use WishList Member. This is a paid plugin and not a cheap one at $
97 197 per site (it isn’t GPL licensed), but it is effective. I use it myself on Organized Themes. You can create an unlimited number of user roles and have each role access content exclusive to that role. Or you can create blogs just for certain groups at your church. That way people can share personal information in a secure environment. If you need a way to limit access to parts of your site, this is an easy way to go.
Social networking in a box. Build a social network for your company, school, sports team or niche community all based on the power and flexibility of WordPress.
Does your church need an online community, but you find Facebook’s offerings too limited, or perhaps you were displaced by Ning downsizing. BuddyPress allows you to create your very own social network on your website. This places you in charge of your content–something that is often lacking on other networks. Plus BuddyPress now works on regular WordPress installations making it even easier to use.
Whether your church is multi-cultural, or you have a ministry across the globe, Global Translator can help your site communicate by automatically translating your content into 48 different languages. While anyone could use Google Translate to read your site in their language (that’s how I handle support requests in languages that I can’t speak), this makes it even easier by having the content ready in their language for them. To be fair, this is one plugin I haven’t tried, though I will be testing it for this site soon.
So that wraps up 7 More WordPress Plugins for Your Church. If you have a favorite WordPress plugin that your church uses, share it with us in the comments.