Easy Websites with WordPress.com

I am actually writing this to help some other people I am working with learn WordPress.com and I don’t want to spend time make my own video tutorials right now. So let me give the “why” and share some video tutorials I think are helpful and include some of the things I do that some others may not have thought of.

WHY? I Prefer WordPress.com for inexpensive and effective websites. I have been making websites since 1996 and tried many programs over the years. I found WordPress.com to be a safe and reliable way to consistently publish content without interruption. The other version is “self hosted” WordPress.org where you have to pay for your own hosting and take care of security updates and patches adding additional features and services on your own. I’ve used Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Google sites and tried many others but WordPress.com works great for what I need, keeps improving their features and when I pay for personal or premium hosting then help is just a chat button away. Yes I am limited by their themes and I can’t use javascript but I get a reliable website for less than $100 a year. It’s easy to see what changes have been made, easy to share website work with others, easy to maintain and easy to share images across all devices. I can update my page in minutes and I can schedule posts in to the future.

If I was looking for a church webservice I would probably go with “The Church Co – Affordable Church Website Builder” https://thechurchco.com which is actually a specialized version of WordPress. But that costs $240-$600 a year

Below is a Youtube Playlist with some short how-to videos to help you figure out wordpress.com The best thing you can do is create a wordpress.com free site to play around with. Click the dropdown menu on the top right of the video box to see all the different topics coved by these how to use WordPress videos.

I use CATEGORIES to easily sort posts and TAGS to make certain features work like the “blog post block.” I use one tag just for indicating which posts go on the front page. I use categories tied to the menu so they show up as a page of all the posts for that category (that probably makes no sense to you). Watch the videos or contact me.

If possible I try to only use free themes created by AUTOMATTIC because they always work great. I host my domain names with Google so I can see their set of analytics.

More Tips:

GRAPHICS: I create all my images in Powerpoint 16×9 letterbox size and save as JPG files. I’ve tried Canva but it takes me longer. I get most of my images from Adobe Stock Photos. If you can’t afford a graphic designer the easiest church or company logo to work with is finding or buying a font that you can use in Powerpoint. The River Rock Church logo has a “praying letter i” and we purchased the Alianza Italic 700 font. The christeien.com logo is the free Google font “Rancho” which has a large “t” that looks like a cross. If you can’t find a perfect font a good graphic designer might be able to make you a custom font.

Free Google “Rancho” Font
“Alianza Italic 700” Font
Screenshot of finished video (Pastor Chris lower third is in motion). The Background is an Adobe stock image + TV is sermon title pic with black border assembled in Powerpoint and exported as PNG file then used as background for chromakey green screen video editing. I walk in front of it in video.

What appears to be a TV screen in my videos are actually just a PowerPoint slide with a black border and sometimes I add a thick black line to make it look like a metal TV stand. SermonCentral.com and Skitguys.com are good about providing video resources that come with licenses to show their material on the internet. If you produce videos with music or additional video content it may take hours to get it approved by Facebook. I had one video from SermonCentral that wasn’t approved for two days.

Website images created in Powerpoint
Podcast and Instagram images created in Powerpoint

AUDIO PODCAST: I have been using https://buzzsprout.com for Podcast hosting because it is fast and reliable and syndicates in so many places. And I’m currently trying out free Anchor podcast hosting from Spotify. WordPress.com doesn’t let you edit the publish date and it’s not easy for podcasting. Buzzsprout is great!

Some sites I’ve been involved in:

The websites I help with are never perfect but they do communicate the message and do show we are moving forward. I will update this post when I find more time and as the people I am training have questions.