Why ChurchBuzz is switching to WordPress

churchbuzz Church Website Design, Church Websites

Why we didn’t choose WordPress in 2010

When Tyra and I started ChurchBuzz back in 2010, we looked at WordPress, Drupal, Joomla – the popular open source website management systems and we just didn’t like what we found.  It did not seem like a very “professional” system back then.

Instead we chose Adobe Business Catalyst as our web platform.  This platform has served us well and but now that we have learned what Churches need and what we want to do with our “church website platform”, it no longer works.  We just need more access to the underlying software.  Adobe’s product is a closed system that ONLY they can update, manage and enhance.  So what have used it for it worked well.

Why we NEED WordPress in 2014!

But a lot has changed in the past 4 years.  We have grown as a company and better understand what churches need, what has been successful and what we want to do moving forward for our churches.
WordPress is an OPEN source system – meaning we have access to EVERY bit of the programming and can literally make any change we want.  In addition it has a robust plugin system that allows us to install new software into the WordPress system to make it do things it wasn’t originally designed to do.  This is AWESOME!
It also treats “Themes” the same way – you can purchase and plugin themes into a WordPress site very easily.  All of this are just some of the reasons why WordPress has become the #1 MOST used website platform in the World (according to multiple sources).
So anyway, here for the past few months we have been working feverishly behind the scenes to prepare our new WordPress platform.  What we have completed so far:
  1. Created a super easy form you can fill out to put your church name, address, contact info, service times etc in all the right places on the site.  This will help make the setup much easier.
  2. Completed implementing our Galilee Theme along with its 10 color schemes and in the process migrated this to be a “responsive” (meaning plays nice with tablets and phones) theme.
  3. We have also implemented a brand new “Love” theme that we had designed a ways back.  (Will be announcing this in a blog post in the next few weeks).
  4. We have used a set of plugins to extend and enhance the way WordPress will work for churches to make adding new content easier than ever.
  5. We have implemented the beginnings of a “database” system that will allow you to add in data for homepage slideshows, featured items on the homepage, fan’s, member stories, classes, small groups and the staff of your church.  This will make it super easy to keep this information up to date and lays the groundwork for more database capability in the future.
  6. We are evaluating a few different plugins that provide training for admin users within WordPress to make it super easy to learn how to use WordPress – even though it is very easy to use in the first place.

Here are some things we plan to add next:

  1. Another Church Website Theme.  We already have most of the work done and we have also been working on a way to speed up the process for creating new WordPress Themes to make it as easy as possible for us to rollout new themes each year.
  2. We have the design about complete on a fourth theme and will be producing that one in due time as well.

What this means for launching new Church Websites

We will be taking these Church WordPress themes and collections of plugins and creating template “sites” that are pre-packaged ready to go websites complete with good content on some of the generic pages.  All you do is fill out a form with your name, email and select the site to use as a template and “boom” you have a new website almost immediately!
Because we have designed our themes to be compatible with each you will be able to switch to any of our current or FUTURE themes to change up the design (look and feel) of your website at any time!

Here are the main reasons why all churches should be using WordPress!

  1. There is a good selection of WordPress church website themes available.  And ChurchBuzz plans to contribute to this as well!
  2. WordPress is easy to use and even easier to EXTEND and add great amounts of functionality!
  3. There are many WordPress savvy people out there from designers, programmers and administrators.
  4. It just makes it easier to have a top-notch, “with the times” church website!
We are getting close to rolling out our new WordPress Church Website Platform. Have questions? Hit me up on Twitter @churchbuzz, or submit our contact form, thanks!