When I first started to attend St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Fort Worth, the website was pretty basic. It had simple pages created in simple HTML, although it was responsive. It was good enough for us to embed our worship service videos every Sunday during the pandemic.

But obviously when I got the keys to the website, I wanted to do more with it. So I ended up using the Outreach Pro theme and Genesis from StudioPress to create a new website for the church. I skinned the theme to match our red and darker red branding as a church. I also customized the homepage so that the slider can pull from posts, pages and events.

I also worked with our pastor to create the content on the homepage and some inner pages. And I added in a basic page template for our online worship page so all I have to do to get a stream ready is add in the YouTube URL and update the link for the bulletin. I also added in The Events Calendar to display our various events and hooked the form in the footer to our newsletter sign up.

I also got the site set up with Google Search Console (we already had Google Analytics running). Since we’ve gone live with the new website, we have noticed an uptick in web traffic and had a few more people join us for service from the site.

The only slow down we had with this website was getting the content in. Otherwise it would have only taken a few weeks.

If you are a church or a small business looking to get online relatively quickly and for a limited budget, I would love to do something similar for you. As you can see, you don’t need something super fancy. You just need something that works.