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.
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 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 Some of the newer theme features require a newer version of the plugin.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.
- Maranatha 1.3.1 – Changelog
- Exodus 2.1.1 – Changelog
- Resurrect 2.1.2 – Changelog
- Church Content 1.7.1 – Changelog
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
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.
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 Content plugin. This was contributed by fellow church theme developer Galen Gidman.
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.
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.
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.
- 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)
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.
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.