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Getting Started with Faithlife Sites
Faithlife Sites makes creating and maintaining a church website nearly automatic. You don’t have to type a single line of code and your site automatically updates as you add new information.
Follow the steps below to create a church website with Faithlife Sites.
To get started, navigate to sites.faithlife.com.
Note: If you are signed into any Faithlife webpage, you do not need to sign in again when accessing Faithlife Sites.
Before you create your site, you’ll need to make a church group, a free online community on Faithlife.com. Your church group works with your site to make content creation quick and easy.
If you already have a church group, you can find it with a simple search.
If you’re new to Faithlife, click Get Started and a group will be created for you. Just provide a church name and location.
With your group now ready, you can create your site by choosing a professionally designed theme from the available options.
Working with your church group
The church group you created on Faithlife.com is connected to your new church website.
This connection allows live updates to your website any time you add or change information on your church group, and vice versa. To see this in action, navigate to your website’s settings and click the link to Change on Faithlife.com.
From the Faithlife.com group settings page, you can update your church logo and contact information. Note: Most changes affecting the church group will be made through your group on Faithlife.com, not directly on your site.
- Click the camera icon on the church logo to select a file to upload from your computer.
- Expanding the Contact Info section allows you to provide an email address, phone number, and links to social media pages.
- Click Save Settings when you are finished. Now, when you refresh your website, Faithlife updates your site with the changes.
The connection between your Faithlife.com church group and your site ensures that information is correctly distributed across the site.
Because Faithlife Sites is custom-made for churches, it auto-populates your site with features like a direction texting service and weekly service times.
You can edit content throughout your website by clicking the blue edit icons. To add a service time, provide a service title and start time(s). You can add times for additional services by clicking the Add service time link. When you’re finished, click Done and then Save.
Each page on your site contains widgets, which are blocks of space that hold content. You can edit any widget by clicking its blue edit icon.
By default, your homepage displays your most important content. Depending on your chosen theme, this may include widgets for events and sermons. If you want to add additional content, select a new widget by clicking the + icon that appears between content sections.
For instance, you may want to display your service times on your homepage. Since widgets auto-update across your site, changing a widget (such as the Service Times widget) in one section will update it on every page where it appears.
To edit your the contents of your homepage, click the edit icon for your header in the top right-hand corner of your website.
To add your own photo, click Upload Image and add a photo. You’ll be redirected to your Faithlife File Vault. Your church group on Faithlife.com shares this same space, so anything you upload can be used in either location.
Using a centered picture without text ensures that your header image looks great on any device. You can also upload separate header images for each page. After you’ve uploaded an image, you can add a customized message in your header text.
To make sure these changes will display correctly, toggle to Preview Mode and view your site in desktop, tablet, and mobile view. Each view is fully interactive so you can accurately test your site.
Setting Up Events
Once you’ve ensured your website looks great, return to Edit Mode, navigate to the Events page, and select Add Events to access your calendar.
Notice that your site redirects you to your church group on Faithlife.com, where you can add events. Remember, because the two are connected, any events you add in your church group will auto-populate on your website.
The calendar allows you to create repeating events, specify setup and tear-down time requirements, designate event types, and other features. Once you have some events in your calendar, return to your site, refresh the page, and select Events from the sidebar.
To add more events, click the edit icon and repeat the steps above.
Adding sermons to your site follows a similar set of steps. On your site’s homepage, scroll down to the Sermons section and click Upload Sermons.
Your sermon content is housed with Faithlife Sermons, which allows single sermon or batch sermon uploads.
You can include detailed metadata like speaker, sermon series, Bible passages, topics, tags, and more. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for visitors to find particular sermons. Once you have filled in the appropriate details, click Save.
Back on your website, your sermon is immediately available on the homepage.
Whenever you’re editing your website, a left-hand editing panel displays with three tabs: Pages, Design, and Settings.
The Pages tab displays the basic page layout of your website, including your main navigation, footer, unlinked pages (which are pages visitors can’t find in the visible menus), and even retired pages that are no longer published to your site.
You can rearrange pages by dragging and dropping, or you can add new pages by clicking Add page. To create a new menu that holds multiple pages (like the About Us and Connect menus), click the arrow next to Add page and select New menu.
To add a page to a menu, just drag and drop. For more information on the available options for Pages and Menus, see the linked article.
Visit the Design tab to change your site’s theme, choose a variant of your current theme, or alter your site’s font style. Any changes you make will be automatically applied to your website and will display to the public once you click Publish Changes.
The Settings tab lets you adjust your logo, domain name, and the Bible version you want to display when you hover over references on your site.
Editing A Page
Newly created pages contain a single Content widget by default.
To edit page contents, navigate to your desired page and click the edit button. This opens the content editor, which offers a full range of features. Every content section you edit on your site works similarly: input content, click save, and publish your work.
When you first create a site, it remains offline until you’re ready to go live. When you’re ready, click Go live.
Your site is now live! Whenever you make additional changes, simply publish those changes to update your website.
This is just the beginning of what you can do with Faithlife Sites. See our other documents for more information on automatic sermon uploading, private member pages, drag-and-drop newsletters, online giving, built-in SEO, and more.