Wordpress is a fantastic tool. It has jumpstarted websites for millions, and the constant focus on updates and improvements has led to a great platform. For most churches it’s the perfect place to start with a website because it’s both simple and powerful (and free or inexpensive to operate). My church’s website runs on it, and no doubt you have realized its benefits as you’ve used it for your own.
While Wordpress is a great website content management tool, it is decidedly not a great place for your sermons to live.
Let me tell you why.
Wordpress excels at your blogs posts, static page content, and even smaller text and data-centric items like events. However, there are a few key areas in which Wordpress really falls short in its handling of media-centric data like sermons.
Wordpress doesn’t try to do anything special with the files you upload, and even the plugins that offer some functionality above the base Wordpress experience can’t do much to improve the clunky experience of trying to manage audio files you’ve uploaded to your Wordpress site. The UI for uploading is sub-optimal at best, user-hostile at worst.
Going beyond the basics of just trying to get your media online, Wordpress can do nothing for you in the way of media optimization. Pre-roll or Post-roll audio, normalization, compression/expansion, and even silence trimming are all features a true media management platform can offer you that Wordpress never will be able to. And features like this can make a very big difference. For example, we here at Sermons.io compress/normalize every audio file that is uploaded to us, which immediately fixes the problem of not being able to hear a sermon in the car while you’re driving without constantly adjusting the audio. That alone can be the difference between someone being able to listen to the sermon vs. getting frustrated and turning it off.
Wordpress is just not designed to organize data like sermons. It offers very limited browse functionality even with the best sermon-management plugins. Finding an old sermon (or even the most recent one) can be very difficult unless you know exactly when it was given and what the title was.
In contrast, Sermons.io offers extensive browse dimensions, and we’re hard at work on adding even more.
There are plugins that will make the sermon experience on Wordpress better. But even with the best plugin available, searching for content in a sermon hosted on Wordpress is a terrible experience. Plainly put, the searching in Wordpress just stinks.
On the other hand, the search engine in a platform like Sermons.io is stellar. All your content becomes searchable, even PDFs or Word docs that you upload as attachments on your sermons (study guides, etc). Suddenly your sermon is findable even by that great Spurgeon quote that you had in the middle of it.
Wordpress is great at the basic content management for a website, but what you really need for your sermons is a media management service.
While Wordpress is a generic content management platform with the goal of being the best general-purpose tool for that job, our entire platform is built around hosting sermon content for churches. Everything we do is optimized for this purpose, and every new feature we add is done in light of this.
We are constantly updating our platform to offer new functionality that meets the needs of churches and streamlines the process of managing their sermons.
This is why we can offer features like audio optimization, pre and post-roll audio additions, full text searching, an image template library, and a mobile app. Is Wordpress ever going to offer you a mobile app optimized for viewing your sermons? No.
Sermons.io does not exist in order to make money (though we hope that it does that so that it can continue to exist).
Sermons.io exists to help churches fulfill the Great Commission by leveraging technology to enable the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Our entire platform is built around making it as easy as possible for the truth of God’s word to be spread. That means making it as easy as possible to host your entire sermon library, forever, and making that library simple to discover.
It also means that we’re constantly working on new ideas to further the spread of the Gospel. Things like Transcription, Translation, and the leverage of new communications tools as they arrive are all central to our goals and drive the direction of our efforts.
It’s our job to provide you with tools you could never afford to develop on your own, to aid you in the spread of the Gospel through technology in your church, community, and to the ends of the earth.
You’ve invested a lot of time, money, and energy into Wordpress. Giving it up would be impossible for you, especially because it’s so good at things like your blog, your events listings, and contact pages. Here’s the thing: you don’t need to ditch wordpress entirely. While we’re hosting your sermons, we work right along side your existing website. You do not need to give up your Wordpress site in order to use Sermons.io.
If you want to get your sermons out of Wordpress, we can help. We’ll import all your sermons out of your Wordpress site and right into Sermons.io. In most cases we can even properly setup the series, speakers, scripture, files, and notes for each sermon.
Don’t hide your sermons under a technological bushel. Try Sermons.io now.