The best WordPress Plugins for Churches

  |   By  |  0 Comments

WordPress is the most popular platform powering websites and church websites. One of the beauties of WordPress is that it can be extended by plugins that add to the functionality. There are literally hundred of thousands of plugins available for free or paid versions.

Here’s our roundup of some of the most useful WordPress plugins for churches.

Backup

UpdraftPlus

Updraft plus is a database backup plugin that is free (with some paid premium features). I have set it to do an automatically weekly backup to my Dropbox account which was super simple.

With Updraft plus you can backup to your preferred storage location and restore in just three clicks. Backup to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift or email. The paid version also allows you to backup to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, pCloud, WebDAV or UpdraftVault, their integrated storage option for UpdraftPlus.

You can do backups manually or schedule them to automatically run every 2, 4, 8 or 12 hours, daily, weekly, monthly or fortnightly.

It’s not an exciting plugin, but one that you would be grateful for if things go wrong, or your site gets hacked!

Download here

Security and Spam Protection

Sucuri

Sucuri is a popular security plugin with 800,000+ installs on website. We use the free version on all of our websites.

Firstly it will tell you if any core WordPress files have been modified (a.k.a. hacked) and if there are any suspicious files lurking in your install.

The dashboard allows you to add some hardening settings, including turning off the plugin and themes file editor.

Sucuri gives you an access log showing what users have done what and emails notifications of changes to your install like plugin and them activations.

A super helpful free plugin with some premium paid features.

CleanTalk

I’ve never like Akismet for Spam protection as it is so expensive. I’ve found Clean Talk to be the most effective protection against spam registrations and comments. They have managed to do this with No CAPTCHA, no questions, no animal counting, no puzzles, no math and no spam bots.

You can opt to remove the website field from the comments form

CleanTalk is pretty cheap at USD $12 per year. They have 200,000+ installations.

Here is the WordPress CleanTalk link*.

Analytics and Search Engine Plugins

If you want your church website to appear in the search engines, it is good practice to install a sitemap plugin which is regularly pinged to the major search engines, so they know that you exist.

XML Sitemap Generator

We have found this plugin to be the best sitemap generator, which creates a styled (so pleasing to human eyes too) sitemap and pings the major search engines. You can set which custom post types are added to the sitemap too.

It has a user-friendly interface, you can easily configure the plugin to suit your needs and generate sitemaps in just a few clicks.

The best news is, this plugin is free for everyone! Since it's released under the GPL, you can use it free of charge on your personal or commercial site.

Download the XML Sitemap Generator free.

Google SiteKit

The Google Site Kit banner adds analytics and other features to your website. I must admit most of Google Analytics is beyond us, but it does show how many hits each page has had, how long people have stayed on your pages for and how they got there.

I find what people searched for to get to the site helpful, although still bemused why “Solving the portable baptism pool issue” is consistently the top page on this site!

When you install the plugin, the site kit will guide you through the steps to getting analytics and other features up and running and will require you to have a Google account.

You can download the plugin here

Specifically Christian Plugins

Pray for the nations

Pray for thenations is a free plugin to help your church pray for the nations. It keeps it self up to date with country specific demographics from the CIA World Factbook and links to the Operation World prayer points for each country.

Here’s an example for Ukraine…

Ukraine

Ukraine

Population:

Life Expectancy: 70.5 years (2024 est.)

People groups: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 est.)

Religions: Orthodox (includes the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), and the Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP)), Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish (2013 est.)

Prayer points for Ukraine

Operation World is the definitive global prayer handbook, which has been used by more than a million Christians to pray for the nations.All the countries of the world featured with maps of each country,geographic information, people groups within each country, economic information, political information, religious make-up of each country, a daily prayer calendar, answers to prayer, and challenges for prayer.
Whether you are an intercessor praying behind the scenes for world change, a missionary abroad or simply curious about the world, Operation World will give you the information necessary to play a vital role in fulfilling the Great Commission. Buy from Amazon (earns a small commission for plugin author)

The Pray for the Nations plugin is available here

Church Admin Plugin

The Church Admin Plugin is the one stop shop for a church management software solution for your website.

It all starts with the people module, where you can keep track of everybody involved with your church from first time visitor to members. There are tools to organise and schedule service rotas, the church calendar, sermon audio and video (including getting onto Podcasting sites). There are modules for organising small groups, classes and events including ticketing. Communication tools are included for SMS, email and push notifications.

The free version includes the people module.

The basic version adds on the sermon module and calendars.

The standard version is a game changer, allowing you to Manage your address list, calendar, rotas (schedules), communication tools, sermon podcasting, free events and much more. When you first install the Church Admin Plugin you get a 28 day free trial of the standard version, to try out all the features.

You can sign up to our weekly email to receive the Free Manual

The premium version adds on online giving forms for PayPal and Stripe, the app, pastoral visitation module and a child protection incident reporting module.

Why not get the upgrade to the premium version now with 25% coupon code CRM25

name

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - ANDY MOYLE

Andy Moyle is an experienced church planter based in the United Kingdom. He helps to serve and shape church planting in the mainland of Europe for the Relational Mission family of churches. The Church Admin plugin has been a labour of love for nearly 20 years serving the worldwide church and is used by churches of 50 and churches of thousands!