Season 1 Episode 13: Starting to build out your free church website

Standard

Shownotes

Quick settings

There are some important settings to change early on:

  • Set the Language to English (UK)
  • Set the time zone appropriately (in my case London)
  • If you like, choose Sunday as the first day of the week
  • Set the date format
  • Set “Permalinks” (the usual way that web addresses are chosen) to Post Name

Then, to make sure that our free WordPress website takes advantage of secure connections, a capability we set up in the free web hosting, we’ll find, install and activate the Really Simple SSL plugin, and ask it to force every web page to use security automatically, so visitors don’t keep seeing warning messages.

This video takes you through each step.

Adding Posts

Posts are individual entries such as news, events etc that build up over time.

Posts need a title. You edit a post, choose their link text (or use the default, which is usually based on the title), and usually, you’ll want to set a Featured Image for a post. They’ll usually be real photos from your church and community. For now, I like to use the image search at Bing.com, finding images labelled as being in the public domain. Then your chosen theme will use that image to create an attractive view of your post that incorporates the image.

You can preview a post, save a draft to protect your work and then publish it to the web. By default, your home page will gradually fill out with posts, the most recent first. We’ll change the home page, but come back to this very useful feature.

Adding Pages

Working with pages is very similar to working with posts. One important difference is that, generally, you update pages by editing them, whereas old posts tend to be left unchanged. A good example of a page is “About,” which most websites have and visitors expect. Usually the About page has key information gathered together, and there may be links to go deeper. If the information changes, it would be confusing to keep lots of versions, so you’ll edit the page.

Pages can also have a Featured Image, and your chosen Theme will use this in a consistent way, so that the website always feels well-designed.

Pages are usually accessed via a menu or by direct links, for instance from another page. Menus are created and edited via the Customizer, which allows you to see the effect of changes as you make them. So we’ll start by making a menu with Home and About, so people can find our new page easily.

While we’re in the customizer, we’ll remove the “widgets” our theme gave us by default, and that are helpful for a blog but don’t fit our need at the moment. Widgets are really useful, and we’ll come back to them soon!

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