Want to learn WordPress for church site development?

I’ve recycled my liberalchristian.net domain to a fresh (hours old!) WordPress install, to serve as a church website for an imaginary church.

I want to invite three or four people, particularly those with church responsibilities and few local resources, to walk through the process of (modestly) customizing and managing such a site.

My added goal is to learn what’s the most needed; I hope to do a training off-schedule in Providence during General Assembly.

If you’re interested, leave me a note in the comments below, with your time zone and any particular goals. Please reply by Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. It’s something I would be interested in, we are looking for a way at my fellowship (MVUUF.org) to make Webmaster be a less technical job and easier to use for our fellowship staff and volunteer leaders with a budget of $0. I am the communications rep for the fellowship, the webmaster reports to me and is under my domain. Thanks!

  2. Scott, I would be interested in being a part of such a group. I’m in Boston, DST zone, of course. I’d like to be able to help my church in such an effort, especially by learning what questions to ask of those who really know what they’re doing, with the goal of handing along something easily maintained by a non-expert. I’m of two minds as to going to GA, however, something like this off-site there could get me on the train from Stoughton for the day.

  3. Hi, Scott. What a great idea! Hope it goes well. FYI I’m in the final stages of releasing two accessible and responsive WordPress themes for congregations (one parent theme, one child theme). You can see the parent one in the link I’m using for this reply. The child one I can email you a screenshot of if you’d like — plus the code for it’s on github.

  4. Over the past three weeks I’ve moved our church website to a WordPress one, using the theme “Mantra” at the moment, although I’m not quite settled with it yet. It’s at http://www.libertyuu.org. I’m already integrating more volunteers than my old site would enable me, where people had to understand FTP and HTML to help out. After about three weeks of fiddling with it and moving pages of content over, I moved it into our main site last week. Now I’ve got my newsletter editors posting the newsletter directly, and other people doing likewise soon.

    So if I can be of use to you, let me know.

  5. It’s the ease of use that’s really helpful. (Note to self: I may just give interested persons access to the plain WordPress install and let them play with it.) I like the East Liberty site, with only one small bit of feedback. The images in the carousel make me a bit queasy when they resize. Also, a map to a link to a map would be handy.

  6. Are you familiar with the UU2014 theme? (http://www.faithandreason.dreamhosters.com/

    I’ve played around with it a bit, but switched off of it, although it had some features I really liked and solved some of the problems I was having with my current theme. I think I couldn’t find an option of a different format for the landing page (i.e. no sidebar), and that’s what I didn’t like so much.

    I have a map on the Directions page, but you’re probably right that one right up front might be wise. And, yeah, I can see what you mean with the sliders. I’m not sure if they would always do that, or if it’s a problem of sizing my images correctly. That’s where I’m just not so good at this. Something to play around with. I’m still messing with colors, too. Test-driving a background pattern cut out from the UUA’s tonight. :-)

    Thanks for the thoughts!

  7. Cynthia,
    I am the author of UU2014 and I welcome such feedback. The theme does have a page template to turn off the sidebar on any page. When you edit your page, you will see page templates on the right side of the editor. The two options are “Default Template” and “No Sidebar Template”. For UUCK we use that feature for our calendar page but you could use it on any page. That may solve your issue but based on your comment, I will add an additional feature in the WP Customizer to hide the sidebar on all pages for those who don’t want one.

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