Support » Fixing WordPress » Setting up a large archive of sermons, articles etc.

  • I’m asking this ‘cos I’m wondering if anyone else has had any similar issues to deal with.

    I’ve been asked to set-up site for a church using WP (I’m using 1.5).

    The trouble I’m having is that they want to store (most of) their sermons on the site. They tend to have a 4-week series on one topic and then move onto the next. How can I possibly categorisethat?

    Here’s what I’m doing so far. Each series (4-week block) is a category (actually a sub-cat of “sermons”) and then the 4 sermons are posted in that cat. This means they can go to a page on, e.g. “sermons on prayer” and see them. But it means I’m am ending up with loads and loads of cats!

    I’m doing it this way because I want it to be possible for someone to see all of the different series, so they can go to “sermons and see them.

    Can anyone think of a better solution? I’m knackered and I can’t think straight with this any more. Should I use pages? Another install of WP?

    The URL where I’m testing this is: (but be aware that it’s not all working and I’m not keeping this template).


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  • You could put enough info in the title and have the people use the archive to browse the sermons.

    Sermon series one : Topic one of sermon series one
    Sermon series one : Topic two of sermon series one

    Maybe have a Sermons page. On it, tell how to browse the archives for each series and maybe have links to the first sermon of each series.

    I don’t have that many categories, but determining categories and then subcategories is a challenge.

    First, who will be using your site? If it is the members or the clergy who want this information for “reference”, and we’re talking about a close-knit group, then think small and chronologically and let, as Sleep mentioned, the titles speak for themselves and use a “related posts” plugin to list related topics in the sidebar to guide folks. Categorize the sermons by general theme. There aren’t “that” many themes. Prayer, worship, and personal communion with god and such are related. “Reaching Out” could include fellowship, recruitment, or whatever your church calls their outreach programs…well, you get the idea. That way, seriously related topics could be found together but the series would be chronological.

    Second, think bigger. If the sermons and information is open to a lot of people, what are the odds they are going to think “I want to find that lecture series done in May of last year”? And some of the users won’t even be familiar with the church. And, more importantly, they won’t care one way or another. They will just want the information.

    If we are only talking four sermons in a series, I would look at this as an alternative option.

    Set your main categories to match the general themes (like those mentioned) covered. Look at the past few years and find categories like Fellowship, Prayer, Outreach, Holidays, and so on. Vague groupings. It’s a wonderful challenge.

    Then, post the first sermon of the four week sermon in a post. On the next week, ADD the second part of the series as a “NEXT PAGE” using the Quicktags. Unless they seriously run off at the mouth, why not? On the third part, add that to the same post with the next page feature, and the fourth. This way, while the “series” will be across 4 “pages”, it is actually in one “post”. Bibliographies, references, and other related and associated materials could be gathered into a second post, dated the same day as the first post, but a few minutes later, so it would still stay close chronologically.

    Do you follow?

    It would also make linking a dream because you wouldn’t have to worry about making sure there were links in each post to connect to the ones to follow, since they would be page 1, page 2, page 3….

    This way, they stay together, but the categories are still served for the big picture.

    It doesn’t matter which way, but it’s an idea. I’m sure from here, others might have even better ideas.

    Thanks, guys. That’s the kind of thinking I just wasn’t managing to summon up. 🙂 They’re both improvements on what I was doing!

    Sleep, I think I’d put that much detail as an <h1></h1> subtitle in the actual post (rather than the title), to save have ridiculously long titles showing up in any “recent posts” etc. I like the idea of a sermons page with instructions for search, etc.

    Lorelle, it’s certainly a challenge. It was a challenge I enjoyed when I began! 🙂

    The idea is that the site will be partly used by those in the church to keep up to date, those who want to know about the church (e.g. if you’re moving to the village or worried about some weird cult your kids seem to hav joined!), those in the village and other Christians or church leaders who might want the information for reference.

    I had been thinking of related posts, but that is a great idea with the next page.

    Thanks, again guys. This has been really helpful. The biggest challenge is that I’m building the site for someone who’s something of a technophobe, but it needs to be possible for him to update etc. WordPress has been perfect for this, but why oh why did I upgrade to 1.5 half way thru and have to go learn a whole load of new stuff from the Codex?! 😀

    Thinking a bit more about the next page idea…

    What would be great if is the page could almost be like a contents page, listing and linking to the pages to come in that post. That sounds like it’s not possible, though.

    Here’s another idea I had, which combines some of the elements from the ideas above.

    I’m not sure it’ll work though.

    Moderator Michael Adams (mdawaffe)



    I would do this with meta data (a.k.a. Custom Fields). I’m not sure if there’s a plugin that does exactly what you want, but might work well enough. It’s not automated, though.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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