I’ve previously mentioned that Thrive Church records Sunday messages and posts them online. Our website was previously using a CMS that a buddy and I wrote for churches a long time ago. When we started posting our messages online, I had to adapt a third-party audio-casting solution into that CMS, and it worked OK, but required a lot of administrative overhead, as well as giving FTP access to our sound techs. While that worked for our group, it can’t work long-term.
Recently we moved our site over to WordPress and we love it. One of the great benefits of a widely used solution like WordPress is the community around it, especially the plug-in developer community – WordPress has a rich plug-in ecosystem. One of the issues we faced with porting to WordPress was the issue of the online audio-casting. Luckily we found a really nice solution that I’d like to tell you about today.
We are using a plug-in called “Sermon Browser” that I really like. It doesn’t cost anything, and boy is it full-featured. With Sermon Browser, you can setup sermon serials and service times. You can also specify speakers, scripture passages used, embed video and sermon notes, and you can even link Sermon Browser to off-site file hosting services.
You can even use short-codes to create pages for your sermons that call the sermon list right into your page. When users visit your site, they can filter the results, search by Bible passage, and even author.
Sermon Browser includes a mechanism for tweaking the look and feel of the output, using a templating feature. I have to admit that we haven’t really done much with customizing the output – yet. Sermon Browser also includes an optional side-bar widget for bringing attention to your sermons.
For those of you who have a built-in need to suffer the details, they’ve also including metrics.