Is Your Church Web Site Mobile Friendly?

Do visitors have to squint or pinch and zoom to read your church’s web site when using their smartphone?

The Bad Old-days of Fixed Width Design

Until recently most web sites were designed using a fixed width (960 pixels was most common) and designed on a desktop computer with a nice big monitor. But not everyone has an iMac you know! In fact the statistics show that more and more people use tablets and mobiles to view web sites. The variety of devices used to view sites has become rather large and you really cannot assume that every browser has the same viewing area or capabilities.

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Going Responsive and Mobile friendly

Some lesser web publishing platforms continue to work this way, but over the last few years clever designers (like those at churchuna) have noticed this change in technology and so started designing web sites that scale and adapt to the user’s device size and capabilities. This is called Responsive Web Design (RWD) and produces sites that are much more mobile and tablet friendly.

The result is happy users and visitors who can actually read your content on their mobiles while listening to the preacher on a Sunday morning!

Even the page you are reading right now is using one of the themes built into the churchuna platform which is a responsive design. Don’t believe me? Try resizing your browser and see how content is displayed differently as the browser window gets smaller. You could even try it on your smartphone to see what a difference this makes to being able to interact with a web site on the go.

Choosing One of churchuna’s Responsive Themes

There are number of theme designs available on the churchuna platform that are responsive by design. Not all themes are, since sites that have been running a while may still be using some early themes. But all new themes have been responsive for the last 2 years at least.

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To make the leap into a responsively designed church web site, you just need to pick a theme that is responsive. To help you out, here is our list of the top responsive themes available on the churchuna platform right now:

  • Agency
  • Balance
  • Education
  • eleven40
  • Going Green pro
  • LivingOS Xi
  • LivingOS Pure
  • LivingOS Lush
  • LivingOS Mint
  • LivingOS Grow (coming soon to churchuna)
  • Magazine
  • Mindstream
  • Metro Pro
  • Minimum Pro
  • Outreach
  • Quattro
  • Streamline
  • Yoko

You can preview any of these theme on your chruchuna site by visiting Appearance->Themes in your site dashboard.

Get a Custom Responsive Design for Your Church Web Site

Of course to get the very best from your site, we recommend using one of our talented team to design a custom site for you. This will always be responsive and produce results that make you stand out from the crowd.

Get a Quote

Display Your Twitter Feed on Your Church Site

Using social networking sites like facebook and Twitter can greatly enhance your church’s visibility on-line and help build a stronger sense of community. Following our recent post about using a facebook page feed with your site, we thought we’d complete the picture with a post about using Twitter with your church web site.

Displaying Your Twitter Feed on Your Church Web Site

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteIf your church has a Twitter account, you can use the Twitter widget available in churchuna to display your latest tweets. If not, then why not create one? It can be a great tool for spreading the word about what’s going on in your community and starting conversations with others.

Adding a Twitter Feed to your site is done using the Twitter Widget you will find in Appearance->Widgets in your site’s dashboard.

Using the Twitter Feed Widget

1. Visit the Widgets page in Appearance->Widgets.

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2. Select and drag the Twitter Widget into one of the widget areas available with your chosen theme. (Each theme has different widget-ready areas, so your screen may look a little different).

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3. To use Twitter on your site, you will need to create a Twitter App and enter the relevant API keys in the fields in the widget options.

To create a Twitter App:

Go to https://dev.twitter.com/apps/new and log in, if necessary. Create a new app and just select “Read Only” access.

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Copy the keys from your Application’s details page and paste them into the widget in churchuna.

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4. With your API keys in place, you can now just add your twitter handle/username and the number of tweets to show.

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5. Visit your site and check all is working. The widget cache’s the feed so updates won’t always be instantaneous.

 

Adding Your Facebook Page Feed to your Church Web Site

A Church Facebook Page

Creating a Facebook Page for your church is  a great way to build community and share news. Many in your congregation are probably already using Facebook, so having a Facebook Page for your church is a good way to build community on-line. Anybody with a Facebook account can create a page.

Get started by Creating a Facebook Page

Get started by Creating a Facebook Page

Displaying Your Page Feed on Your churchuna Site

Facebook already lets you share links form your web site on your Page or personal status Wall, but displaying the latest posts from your Facebook page feed on your web site can be a great way to encourage others to be part of the facebook-life of your church.

We have recently changed the way you can use Facebook with churchuna, greatly simplifying the features available.

Adding a Page Feed to your site can now be done using a new A Facebook Feed Widget you will find in Appearance->Widgets in your site’s dashboard.

Using the Page Feed Widget

widgets

1. Visit the Widgets page in Appearance->Widgets.

2. Select and drag the Facebook Page Feed Widget into one of the widget areas available with your chosen theme. (Each theme has different widget-ready areas, so your screen may look a little different).

Drag the widget into a Widget Area

Drag the widget into a Widget Area

3. Enter your Facebook App ID and Secret Key.

Now this sounds a bit scary, but in order to use the Facebook feed on your web site you need to create an App on Facebook. You can do this here.

Click Create New App, to create your own App.

Click Create New App, to create your own App.

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Give the App a name, perhaps the name of your church and a category. Leave the other fields blank.

Then on the next page, you need to enter your email address and make sure you DISABLE sandbox mode.

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On this page you also need to grab the App ID and Secret Key values. Copy and paste them into the relevant fields in the widget options panel on churchuna.

4. Now enter your Facebook Page ID in the widget options. This can be found in your page url when you are editing it on Facebook or by using findmyfacebookid. IMPORTANT: The ID is not the same as the name of your page. It should contain only numbers.

A sample Page Feed displayed with the widget.

A sample Page Feed displayed with the widget.

5. Save the widget and visit your site. If all goes well you should see the latest posts from your page displayed on your churchuna site.

Further Help…

Don’t forget if you get stuck, you can raise a Support Ticket in your site dashboard and we will be pleased to help.

Using Google Calendar with your Church web site

Adding a New Calendar

Adding a New Calendar

One of the best ways to manage calendars and events is Google Calendar. It allows everybody connected with your church to access and view your calendar from anywhere and on any device.

If members of your congregation have a Smart Phone, for example, they can add a public calendar you have created on Google Calendar to their phone, keeping them informed about what is going on in the life of your church.

On churchuna, the incredible Google Calendar Plugin lets you integrate multiple calendar feeds into your site, so that they appear automatically on your site. But you manage the calendar from Google.

Getting Started

To start using Google, you will of course need a Google account.

Once logged in to Google, head over to Google Calendar and create a new calendar. You can do this by clicking the small arrow in the My Calendars section.

You can of course use Google for your own personal events, which you may already be doing. But with Google you can create and manage multiple calendars. You can make any of these public and can also allow other people to share the management of a calendar.

So it is best to create a calendar just for the church events and make it public. You could also add other members of the church to manage the calendar (add and remove events) if required. Some churches will create more than one calendar, perhaps having one for managing the preaching calendar and another for general events.

Adding the Calendar to Your Site

  1. In your site’s dashboard visit Settings->Google Calendar Events.
  2. Click Add Feed.
  3. Enter the url for your Google Calendar in the Feed URL box. This feed is the xml feed found in the Calendar Settings page for your Google Calendar.
  4. Save this feed. You can come back later and adjust the options found here to change the way the feed displays on your site.

Now that you have added your Calendar feed, you can use the Google Calendar events feed to insert a display of your latest events in a sidebar or any widget enable part of your theme.

You may want to go back to the page where you added the feed and change the display options for the feed at this point.

Customizing your Calendar Display

The plugin includes some powerful features to customize the display of your calendar feed(s). Check out the page in our User Guide for more information: Displaying Events from Google Calendar

For more advanced users, the plugin’s homepage contains many more details.

Getting to know churchuna

churchuna has been up and running for a short while now and has welcomed many new users over the past few months.

We want to use this blog to share ideas, tips and help users discover more about some of the different features available in churchuna. We also hope to highlight some of the great sites that have started to appear on our network and will later in the year be giving out some prizes to worthy site owners.

Make you church come alive on churchuna

Some of the first sites to catch our eye in recent weeks include these three church web sites.

Hebron Church, Stockton

Brownley Green Baptist

St James' and St Basil's Church

What we like about these examples is that they illustrate that an attractive church web site is one that is living and telling a story. This is the beauty of a WordPress-powered platform, in that it encourages you to share the ongoing story of the church, which provides a living window into your church life. It isn’t just about picking a nice theme design, though that can help.

We are Live!

After months of hard work, we are proud to announce the launch of the churchuna network.

We are still in beta mode, which basically means that while everything is still new, users may encounter the odd glitch. Nothing major hopefully, but we will value your feedback throughout this period as we begin churchuna life together.

We are also restricting new accounts while in these early days but if you would like to be part of it all then its free to sign up.

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