"...a huge hit with our congregation."
— Dan Odle What They Say

Recommendations

Sometimes we’re asked for recommendations for hosting, plugins and WordPress-related services. These are services and products that we use or have good reason to trust. By good reason we mean that they are recommended by people we trust or have a generally good reputation. None of them are required.

Disclosure: Clicking a link below and making a purchase may result in us receiving a commission. We only recommend products that we would (or do) use ourselves Let us know how things go for you.

Web Hosting

SiteGround is the best choice for hosting a WordPress-powered church website. We conducted a survey of churches who use our themes and found that SiteGround scored the highest overall. Our company uses SiteGround so we were pleased to see that churches have been having the same positive experience. WordPress.org recommends SiteGround too.

Compared to other hosts in SiteGround’s price range, they are the only one we know of that will help with WordPress-related issues. Other “managed” WordPress hosts will provide this but typically cost two to three times as much and not include any type of email hosting. We’ve found SiteGround’s support to be quick and helpful.

SiteGround’s balance of features, support and cost is ideal for churches using WordPress. Their cheapest plan is a good choice for most churches. You can get started easily with their one-click WordPress installer or they can move your existing WordPress site from your current host for free. You’re covered by their 30 day money back guarantee.

Tips

  • Choose a host whose support covers WordPress issues. Typical hosts usually don’t.
  • Make sure your host includes a free SSL certificate to enable https://. Some hosts are still charging for this. It’s included with SiteGround.
  • Many hosts discount the first year’s price. This is nice, but be sure you know what the regular price is.
  • Be aware that hosting “review” sites in general are commission-driven and usually favor hosts who will pay them more. Read our Church Web Hosting Rated and Ranked article.
  • If you’re looking for hosting, you may also be about to pick a domain name. Read How to Pick a Domain Name for Your Church Website for our tips.

Plugins

You can search thousands of WordPress plugins in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. Commercial plugins are not found in the directory. For those, try Pro Plugin Directory or give Google a search. Here are some plugins that we use on a regular basis.

Also see our Add-ons for the Church Content plugin. We have several free plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory as well.

Backup Solutions

We very much recommend having a backup solution in place.

Recommended: If you’re hosted with SiteGround, your website is backed up automatically daily. You can also generate and download backups on demand (it’s a good idea to download a backup periodically just in case something ever happens to the host itself). Free website transfer is offered to new customers to make switching hosts easy.

  • VaultPress – A very good, automated backup service for $3.50/month as a part of Jetpack. Our favorite.
  • UpdraftPlus – A good free backup plugin. There are optional paid add-ons. This is our favorite free solution.
  • BackUpWordPress – Another highly-rated free backup plugin that we have not yet tested. Reputable maker.
  • BackupBuddy – Another paid backup plugin that we have not tested but have heard great things about.

You can do manual backups of WordPress as well. Read WordPress Backups on the WordPress Codex. Many web hosts provide general website backups as part of their service. See Best Backup WordPress Plugins According to 21 Pros for other options.

Stock Photos

Here are places you can obtain photos for your church website. We recommend using photos taken at your church whenever possible. In some cases, it may be appropriate to use professional stock photos.

Our theme demos use stock photography to show how a real site might look. These photos are not included with the theme. If you see a photo used in a demo that you want to use, you can find its source in Specific Themes.

Stock Videos

Some of our themes feature video backgrounds. It can be economical to buy a stock video shot and edited by a professional instead of using a video of your own.

  • Lightstock has church-centric stock video footage
  • VideoHive has a wide selection of lower priced videos
  • Dissolve has moderately prices videos of high quality
  • iStock has higher quality videos at a higher price
  • Shutterstock is another source worth considering

Important: Videos should not be used on the web without first converting and compressing them. Read our Video Backgrounds guide for how to prepare your video.

Online Giving

Read our How can we handle giving? article for several options for online giving.

Code Customizations

We recommend Codeable for professional code customizations. They have WordPress developers on hand. Be sure to ask them to use a child theme.