It was 2011.
I had just gotten married to my beautiful bride and was looking for a full time, salaried position to begin our new life together. We had graduated from college a few months before and were starry eyed in love and with hope about the future. As luck would have it, I found a position at the church we attended as their only web person-guy. I’m pretty sure that was my title to begin with.
When I started, they had around a dozen WordPress sites running several free themes and one highly custom child theme (but not running as a child theme) of Twenty Eleven.
Fast forward 3 years.
I had grown in both knowledge and skill by leaps and bounds thanks to a situation that forced me to and a boss who nurtured growth and innovation. We had hundreds of sites running on several WordPress networks (long story, shudder) and were even using WordPress as the content base for a native iOS and Android app (before AppPresser came along).
But those sites all had one thing in common.
My poor design skills.
While I have an eye for good design, I do not have the matching skills to be able to create it. I get lucky sometimes, but I am not a designer by any definition other than necessity. But until right before I left, there wasn’t a designer on staff. So I did what I had to do.
I think, for the most part, that those sites were okay. They followed basic UI principles, had decent color schemes, and communicated the information that needed communicating. Were they going to win awards? No.
Fast forward to today.
Now I work with several brilliant designers who have worked on award winning projects and brands like Chick-fil-a and Home Depot. I only do development and product management. I don’t have to wear every hat in the process like I did in the nonprofit world. But guess what?
Even if I did, there is so much more help out there now in the WordPress community than there was just 3 years ago. Epicly more than there was 6 years ago.
Which brings me to my new favorite resource for church websites.
In case you haven’t heard, the guys at LiftUX and UpThemes acquired churchthemes.net and have been doing some renovations. Just recently, they released their first theme in the new churchthemes.net, Uplifted. It’s beautiful. It’s got great church website written all over. Don’t believe me? Go check it out. You’ll be glad you did.
How about you? Got other church themes that are impressive both in design and functionality? I’m not talking themeforest.net. I’m talking high quality, thought out, WordPress standards type themes that are geared towards churches and nonprofits. I’d love to hear about it!