A few days ago I rebuilt my church’s Chidlren’s Minsitry blog. Boy did it need it. It was uuuuuugly!

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Now it looks like the site I intended for it to be.

Check it out here.

I spent two to three days looking for a new template, I was looking for something very specific. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of free Worpress templates out there, but I couldn’t find a single one that worked. So I decided to look into a template to purchase. Within twenty minutes, I had my new template. The lesson I’ve learned: You get what you pay for.

So, what was I looking for and how did a “premium” template solve my problems? Well, let me tell you what my issues were.

  1. First of all, I felt the site was ugly. Now I could have found another free site to improve this part, but it was a factor.
  2. Second, I needed a page menu with drop down navigation. There were very few free templates that did this. I needed a place where I could keep multiple pages of related static information in an easy to navigate orientation. It was the 3-5 phone calls and emails about child dedication I was getting a week that was driving this issue.
  3. Last of all, I needed a way to effectively communicate to two audiences through one blog feed.

So, I purchased a template that solved all of these issues.

  1. First of all, I bought a theme that is much cleaner than what I had previously. It even comes with 8 or 9 other color/design options in case I get bored.
  2. This “premium” template allows for drop down navigation for both pages and categories. This helps me keep a cleaner menu but with the options to expand as much as I need.
  3. I didn’t realized I could address this until after I had already purchased the theme. I’m using a magazine format where every post is put into little blocks. However, I can create one category that is for “features.” Features are the big horizontal blocks that pop out on the page. So, all of my posts either relate to the North Campus, the South Campus or both. I decided to create a category called global and make it the feature category. So, posts that affect both the North and South Campus are in my “global” category and take prominence on the front page. So, regardless of your campus, you’ll see the information that applies to you specifically. Then every week I’ll send a targeted email to the parents of each campus with links to the posts that relate specifically to them.

So, I’m very glad I got the new template. Seriously, there’s nothing quite like a fresh new template!