"I highly recommend..."
— Brad Vos What They Say

New Features for All Themes

New Features for All Themes

A series of new features and improvements to all of our church WordPress themes has been completed. We spent the last few weeks focusing on theme updates after finishing a set of map improvements to our plugin. The new features include sermon index and child page templates for Exodus and Resurrect (from Maranatha) and an event registration button for all themes. We also updated our sample content to give you a better starting point for your church website.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new with the themes.

Latest Versions

Multiple updates containing the changes were released during the last few weeks so you may already be running the latest version. If not, you can update by going to Dashboard > Updates. Be sure to update the Church Theme Content plugin to the latest version as well. Some of the newer theme features require a newer version of the plugin. We recommend aways using the latest version of your theme, plugins and WordPress.

Sermon Index Templates

Our newest theme, Maranatha, was released with several new features that our earlier themes did not have. One of these features is Sermon Indexes (see in demo). There are page templates for listing topics, series, books, speakers and months on their own pages. These are especially handy for large sermon archives. We were asked if the page templates that power these feature would be added to the Exodus and Resurrect themes. The answer is yes and they are ready to use.

Guide: How to Setup Sermon Indexes

Sermon Topics Index in Resurrect Theme

Sermon Topics template in Resurrect theme (see in demo)

Exodus Sermon Series Template

Sermon Series template in Exodus theme (see in demo)

Child Pages Template (Ministries)

Another feature from Maranatha that has been ported to Exodus and Maranatha is a Child Pages template. WordPress lets you create pages with a “Parent”. When this template is set on a page, it lists all of that page’s child pages (pages that have it as their parent). This is ideal for creating listing of Ministries on your church’s website (see example in Maranatha). It can be used similarly for other purposes.

Guide: How to Create Ministries Section

Resurrect Ministries

Child Pages template used for Ministries in Resurrect (see in demo)

Event Registration Button

If you read this blog regularly or subscribe to our Newsletter then you may have heard that we added a Registration URL field to the Church Theme Content plugin. This was contributed by fellow church theme developer Galen Gidman.

Event Registration URL

Our themes now take advantage of this field. When a URL to a third-party event registration form from your Church Management System, EventBrite, TypeForm, etc. is provided, the theme will show a “Register” button.

Event registration button in Maranatha theme

Event registration button in Maranatha theme (see in demo)

Guide: How to Handle Event Registration (also covers embedding a form)

New Sample Content

Our theme demos and sample content have been updated to include important pages like What to Expect (see example), What We Believe (see example), About Us (see example) and Giving (see example) in addition to demonstrating sermon indexes and child pages. The content is structured more like an actual church site rather than just a demo of our theme and plugin features.

We want not just to help you start using the features we provide but also give you a head start on publishing content that helps bring new visitors through your church’s doors.

New sample content in Maranatha theme demo

New sample content in Maranatha theme demo

Give our demos a browse and feel free to be inspired anything new that you see. Or, next time you install one of our themes, sit back and relax while this new sample content is imported for you.

Related Articles

Other Improvements

  • Make SoundFaith embeds responsive
  • Make second level menu dropdown open left if will go off screen
  • Add Swedish translation (Maranatha) by Robert Granat
  • Add Montserrat font option in Customizer
  • Improve support for Polylang multilingual plugin (CT Archives widget)
  • Improve admin notices (styling and plugin installation prompt)
  • Automatically set permalinks to “Post name” after sample content import
  • Various bug fixes (see changelogs for details)

Pricing Changes

Maranatha launched at an experimental price of $99. This is a price we have found to work well for churches and for our sustainable business model. We did not want to change Resurrect and Exodus’s prices until they had Sermon Indexes and Child Pages too. Now the price for all themes is $99. Renewal remains at 50% of the current theme price.

Please see our Pricing page for more on this and let us know if you have questions.

Related: Discussion of Possible “All Themes” Subscription on Facebook

What’s Next

Now that our current themes and plugin have been updated, we’re turning our attention to a new theme. That theme will borrow what has worked from Maranatha but have a totally different homepage, something with support for more widgets. We are also thinking of adding background video support both to Maranatha and this new theme.

Stay tuned for something that leverages everything great about Maranatha but with a different design, especially the homepage.

What would you like to see next? Post a comment.

12 Comments

  1. I’m a bit of a newbie at this whole website thing, so I apologize if this is a stupid question. I have the Exodus theme and it says everything is up to date (themes and plugins), but my sermon page doesn’t look like the new one that is pictured above. Is there something I am doing wrong? Thanks.

    • Hi Tiffany,

      Thank you for using Exodus. That’s a good question. The “Sermons” template hasn’t changed so your current sermon archive will show what it always has, even after updating the theme. If you want to show indexes for sermon topics, series, etc. then you will need to create new pages that uses the new “Sermon Topics” and “Sermon Series” templates. You can then link to those from your menu or elsewhere.

      Here is additional information on setting these pages up: https://churchthemes.com/guides/user/content/sermons/#index-pages

      If you need assistance, please submit a support request at https://churchthemes.com/contact and we’ll be happy to help!

  2. Hi Steven, thanks for your work.

    By any chance is it possible to list the books of the Bible in the order they appear, as opposed to alphabetical order?

  3. Steve, our current version of the Resurrect Theme expired in 3/2016. In order to update to the newer versions do we need to renew support? And if so, I am assuming that is at 50% of the cost?

  4. Steven,

    We are thinking about uploading media for our teaching sessions, besides the sermons we already publish.

    What would be the easiest / most natural way to divide these two types of media, so that they can be listed separately (sermons vs. teaching)?

    Thanks!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *