Should you create separate websites for different areas of your church?

It’s very common for church websites to become extremely large, especially for larger churches. Churches have so many different areas of life that they interact with:

  • Children’s Ministries
  • Youth Group
  • Young Adults
  • New Parents
  • Celebrate Recovery
  • Seniors
  • Home Church/Small Groups
  • The list goes on!

Some of these areas don’t have a lot of new data that needs to be uploaded. But other areas have a lot of data, and may even have their own “brand” within your church.

For example, it’s common for the Youth Ministry to have a different look/feel than your Sunday Morning ministry. They meet on different nights, have their own events happening constantly, their own music times, and may even have their own sermons.

Cramming all of that onto your larger church organization’s website might start to make it feel cluttered, and make it more difficult for everyone to find what they are looking for.

Running a separate website for your Youth Group

A growing practice to deal with this is to buy another domain name and run a completely separate website, just for your youth group. This way, everything on the website can be geared to your youth. For example, you can feature:

  • Youth focused teaching/sermons
  • Youth focused music
  • Youth focused event calendar
  • Easy to find parental consent forms for trips

Moving all of this under a new domain puts it all under a single “umbrella”, making it easy to find, and without cluttering up your main organization’s website. This can also help your youth feel like they have a place of their own, even if that place is still part of your larger organization. It’s a way of recognizing their unique stage of life, while also letting them know you value them.

Of course, running a separate website also takes extra time and energy. If your church isn’t a large organization with the staff to handle an extra website, this might not be the right approach for you.

But if you have a dedicated staff person for youth, like a youth pastor, this could even help them get information to youth more quickly and with less friction. They can take control over that entire website without worrying about breaking the main church website.

Are there other areas that could benefit from a dedicated website?

Your youth group is only 1 example of where this could be a good solution. But you may have other areas with a lot of things going on that don’t quite fit on your main church’s website.

Many churches run sports, both for kids and adults, and each of these will have their own coordinators, sign-up forms, and event calendars as well.

It may be worth considering breaking other parts of your organization out to separate websites as well.

Typically no extra hosting is required

Many webhosts will allow you to add additional websites to your hosting plan at no extra cost. So the only additional cost is your extra domain name, which is about $10-$20/year.

When considering your domain, you have a few options. You can include your main church’s name in the domain. For example, you might do something like this:

  • Main website’s domain:
  • Youth group’s domain:

Or, if your youth group has a unique name and brand, like “Wild and Free” you can have completely unique domain names.

  • Main website’s domain:
  • Youth group’s domain:

Choose what is best for your situation

Ultimately, the best solution is going to be different for every church. Some churches will benefit from this type of approach, while others might be better keeping it all together on a single website.

Keeping it all on one site

If you are looking to keep everything on a single website, you might want to consider using our “Renew” Theme, which features 20 page templates, making it easy to have pages for each unique part of your church.

Even though it is still on your main website, making your Youth Group have a totally separate “brand”, or look/feel, than the other parts of your website is really easy to do with our page builder (which is included in all themes). It allows you to use totally different images, fonts, layout, and colors than the rest of your website, with no coding required.

Breaking it out to separate websites

If you want to have a separate brand and separate, we are developing some ministry-focused themes, like a Youth Group theme. Stay tuned here for updates on that!

Sermon Podcasting improvements to our themes

We just released an update to our SermonGrid add-on, which is used in our church themes to display sermons in a grid. There has always been an option there to “Subscribe to Podcast”, but we noticed it was causing some confusion for users, and so we have improved it.

Previously, it was coded to try and automatically open the podcast in iTunes. But that caused confusion for people who don’t have iTunes, because it simply opened the “feed”, which looks like a bunch of jumbled code. That’s not a great user experience if you don’t have iTunes. It also didn’t allow users to subscribe to your podcast using their podcasting app of choice very easily. Additionally, the Subscribe button only worked on Apple Laptops and Desktops. It did not work on mobile.

This update is intended to improve all of those rough spots when your users click the “Subscribe to Podcast” button for one of your sermons. Now, when clicked they will see a page which gives them 3 options for subscribing:

  1. Subscribe on iTunes
  2. Subscribe using another app
  3. If they don’t have a podcasting app they use yet, it sends them to a google search for podcasting apps, which is useful for deciding which app is best for them on their device.

Here’s a screenshot of that page:

New podcast subscribe options

Once you do the update in your WordPress dashboard, this page will automatically exist. There’s nothing you need to do to make it happen.

The subscribe process on iPhone also works much better now, as it opens iTunes automatically. Here’s a screenshot of that in action on iPhone:

iPhone Podcast subscribe flow

If you have any feedback on this, or thoughts of how it could be improved, or you’re just excited for the better experience provided by this change, let us know! Our hope is to always be making it easier and better for your users to interact with your website, while also keeping the amount of configuration required by site owners to a minimum.

See this change in action on our theme demo for the Restore Church Theme Bundle’s sermongrid page here:

Step-up your featured image game

Attaching great featured images to your WordPress posts is key to grabbing the reader’s attention. The featured image is what typically shows up when someone shares your post on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Not only that, but the featured image helps to create a “feeling” to go along with your content. It can be the difference between your site feeling professional and trustworthy, and it falling flat.

But if you’re not a graphic designer or a photographer, it can be difficult to come up with a great featured image. Paying for apps like Photoshop can also be quite expensive, and so is hiring a graphic designer. While those are great options for larger companies with a budget for it, there are other great ways to get amazing images for your content. Here, I’ll share a super simple and effective way to create compelling featured images to go with your content. I’ll also share a way to optimize them for your website, all without expensive programs like Photoshop. Ready? Here we go!

The WordSwag App for iOS and Android

This is by far the biggest time saving app I’ve found when it comes to generating eye-catching images to go with my content. You simply type in the title of your post, choose an image, and the app lays the text out beautifully on the image. If you don’t have a huge budget to hire a graphic designer, and you don’t have time to do designs like this yourself, you’re going to love this app.

WordSwag has specific groups of word layout styles to choose from, so you can likely find one that fits your brand’s style, or at least one that comes close. You can also punch in your site’s colors (using hex codes) to make sure everything really fits your brand.

*To be clear, I am not getting any kickbacks from the WordSwag app for writing this article. It’s just truly a great app that I use myself and think you’ll find useful as well. In fact, I created the image for this post using the WordSwag app.

Check out some of their previews and grab the app for your phone here:

The full version of the app costs about $5, which is way less than hiring a single graphic designer.

Now, while WordSwag is awesome for creating the image itself, it exports images at around 2 megabytes, which is way too large to upload onto your website. It will kill your loading speed time to have images that large. Instead, your images should be well under 1 mb each. The lower the better. That brings us to the next step.

The TinyPNG website to optimize your images

Compressing and optimizing your images to reduce their filesize is a hugely important step in making sure your website loads quickly. Overcompress the image and it looks like garbage. Undercompress it, and it takes too long to load, resulting in people leaving your website.

The simple solution is a website called “TinyPNG” found at It compresses images so well you can hardly notice they’ve been compressed. That is, until you look at the filesize drop. It can greatly reduce the filesize of your image.

So take the image you created with WordSwag, email it to yourself, download it, and then drag it into TinyPNG’s website to compress it.

Download the photo that was compressed by TinyPNG and upload it to your WordPress post as the featured image.

I hope these little tips will help you create better featured images for your WordPress posts!  If you have other techniques, websites, or ways of creating great images for your blog posts that you’d like to share, leave a comment and let us know!


How to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site without needing a plugin

Learning about the people who come to your website can be a very useful thing. It can help you realize what type of content your audience is looking for, and in turn help you better serve their needs. And while not every website is the type that requires this kind of data, if you’re running a more complex site, or just want to know more about your users, you might be interested in adding Google Analytics to your website.

What is Google Analytics?

By adding a bit of code to your website, you can allow Google Analytics to track and log detailed information about every visitor. Adding the Google Analytics tracking code to your website is pretty straightforward to do. And while there are plugins out there to help with this like Monster Analytics, the simplest way is to add a small function to your child theme.

If you aren’t sure what a WordPress child theme is or why it’s so important, we wrote a quick article about it called “Why having a child theme is the best thing you’ll ever do for your WordPress website”. As a sidenote, every theme from Mint Themes automatically creates and installs a child theme for you.

Add Google Analytics tracking code to your child theme

Back to the topic at hand, by adding the Google Analytics code to your child theme you won’t require any additional plugins. This can save you money, especially if you don’t require the additional complexity covered by the plugin mentioned above. If you’re just getting started, or you’re not a data-mining expert, the following code is the surest way to get going with Google Analytics quickly:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account at
  2. After logging in, if you haven’t already created an “account” for your website in Google Analytics, click on the “Admin” tab from the left side menu and click “Create Account”
  3. Once your account is created, go to “Admin” > “Tracking Info” > “Tracking Code”. Keep this window/tab open so you can copy the tracking code later. 
  4. In your WordPress dashboard, with your child theme activated, go to “Appearance” > “Editor”, and make sure you are editing the “functions.php” file.
  5. Add this code to it:
  6. Replace line 10 with the code you will copy from Step 3 above.
  7. Save the functions.php file.
  8. That’s it! You’ve now added the Google Analytics Tracking Code to every page of your website.


Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

Why (Properly) Plugin-Powered Themes are the Future of WordPress

Having a (Properly) “Plugin Powered” WordPress Theme is a major advantage to you as a website owner. We say “Properly” because, unfortunately, not all Plugin-Powered themes are created equally. At the end of this article, we’ll go over some of the things to watch our for with Plugin Powered Themes. But first, lets get to what makes them great!

More secure.

Plugin Powered themes (vs Themes that have all functionality “baked-in”) are more secure because each plugin can focus on its own task without worrying about a lot of other things. The development process is much more streamlined. This makes applying a security update much quicker for us as the developer. Also, updates are all available right in your WordPress, which is good because you won’t need to hunt for updates and manually install them. Your website can always be totally secure because new threats are immediately dealt with by new updates being applied. To apply new updates you just need to log into your WordPress dashboard and go to “Dashboard” > “Updates”. This is a good thing to check every time to you log in to your WordPress.

Avoid “Theme Lock”.

Having a theme that is “Plugin Powered” also makes it easier to move to a new theme in the future. This is because plugins can be used alongside themes – but you can only ever have one theme active at a time. If a theme’s functionality is “Baked In”, you lose that functionality when you change to a new theme. This is known as “Theme Lock” and plugins completely solve this issue.

Things to Watch Out For.

As we mentioned at the start of this post, there are some things to watch out for when buying a WordPress Theme that is Plugin-Powered – especially from places like Theme Forest. When purchasing a “Plugin Powered” theme, you want to make sure that you are getting updates for all of the plugins that power the theme – otherwise you may be at risk for a hack when your plugins aren’t properly updated. If the theme seller isn’t offering updates for the plugins as well as the theme, it isn’t worth buying. Our Plugin Powered Themes all come with updates for the plugins because we actually make our own plugins. This is a very important thing to remember so that you don’t get hacked in the future.

Also, before you buy a Plugin Powered Theme, make sure that the plugins actually come with the theme and are automatically installed for you. If they are not included, come with updates, and don’t automatically install, don’t buy the theme unless you are willing to purchase each plugin separately, install them all yourself (which can take hours and be frustrating), and renew licenses for them all manually as well. This can all be a huge headache.

Fortunately, our Plugin Powered themes come with the plugins included, updates are included, and auto-installation is included. This makes the entire setup process very quick and simple and is the future of WordPress theme-ing in the future.

If you’d like to check out our Plugin Powered Themes, head over to our Plugin website where they are available:


Product Launch WordPress Themes

Launching a new product online is both fun, exciting, and also a lot of work. If you are launching a new product, you know just how hard it is to get people to pay attention to your new product – and to have a great looking/working website to capture their excitement about your new product.

Videos are a great way to showcase a new product and how it works. But it’s also important to feature that video properly on your website – along with well-thought-out feature sentences that are small enough for the reader to digest – while being long enough for the reader to learn valuable things about your product.

If it’s time for you to get your website built for your new product launch (whether you’re doing a Kickstart campaign or an Indie Gogo – or any other crowd-funding campaign), or if you’re ready to launch and sell, we’ve built WordPress Themes specifically for launching new products. They are complete with all of those well-thought out sections designed to capture and keep your user’s attention while helping them learn new things about your new product.

Here is a (growing) list of our best Product Launch WordPress Themes:


#1. The Launchstack Theme Bundle:


Video Backgrounds WordPress Plugin

A new trend on the web has been to show really nice-looking videos as backgrounds instead of images. We’ve just built a plugin that does exactly that and it’s extremely easy to use. It gives you the ability to use any public video on YouTube or Vimeo, or even upload your own video file to your WordPress media library and use it!

To get the plugin head over to our plugin website and check it out:
Video Backgrounds WordPress Plugin

Responsive version of Soundstage Theme Released

We just released the first responsive version of the Soundstage Theme. The version number is and will change it’s shape (responsively) for mobile devices. This will help to keep your rankings on Google as Google is now giving extra “rank” points to sites that are responsive.

This release is only the first of a few where we will be tightening up the look and feel on mobile devices. There might be a few design elements out of place here or there – but it will help you to keep your rank on Google so feel free to do the upgrades as we release them – or get the latest version now by logging into your account here at

If you need other responsive options, we have released a totally free WordPress theme called “Knapstack” – which we are actually really proud of (and should probably charge for it). The reason we aren’t charging for the Knapstack theme is because it is a great companion to “MP Stacks” – our free Page Builder Plugin for WordPress – which we are really excited for you to try.

The way we plan to make money from Knapstack and MP Stacks is by selling Add-On plugins – so that you only need to pay if you love the plugin already and want to add some extra features. However, to help with growing the plugin and to get people using it, many of the add-ons are free as well! We’d love to hear what you have to say about it – and if you need a responsive website fast, MP Stacks and the Knapstack Theme are a great (and totally free) way to do that!

A super easy way to Backup your WordPress Customizer

Have you ever wanted to play with your WordPress Customizer settings and not worry about losing that perfect colour combination? Maybe you want to develop on a “staging” website and then move to your live site?

Our latest free WordPress Plugin allows you to do just that! It’s called “MP Customizer Backups” and it allows you to feel free to play with your Theme Mods under “Appearance” > “Customizer” without worrying about losing your settings! When you are happy with your settings, just click the “Create Backup” button and you’ll always be able to revert to those exact settings in the future. You can even download the backups to make sure you save multiple copies in a safe place.

Check it out here:

Isotopes for WordPress

I just finished up some neat little plugins which utilize the Isotope JS script developed by David DeSandro and Metafizzy. We’re actually using it on our own website! Check it out in action here:
(Notice the area that says “Filter”. Try clicking on a few of those and watch the themes fly around perfectly into place!)

Get The Plugin

The general premise behind these Isotope integration plugins is showing a “grid” of posts. A grid being X number of posts-per-row and Y number of posts-per-page. You can choose how many posts you wish to show and at which size.

By having the plugin create the “grid” of posts, we are easily able to integrate Isotope JS to filter those posts by category, tag, or any other taxonomy. It also makes it so that our “grid” can transition from theme to theme without ever breaking.

All of this can be done without any coding on your part. You simply install the plugin, tweak a couple of settings, and you’re done! I wanted to make integration of Isotope with WordPress completely seamless and require no extra coding.

There is a plugin for each type of post you might have. So for regular WordPress “Posts” (think blog), you can use the forever-free “PostGrid” plugin. For Easy Digital Downloads “downloads”, you can use the “DownloadGrid” plugin. For WooCommerce, you can use the “WooGrid”. And I also developed a special grid for showing your Social Media posts from Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube right on your website! (Im super excited about this one because it really amps up people’s websites and ties it together with their social media accounts.) You can find all of these grid plugins on our Plugin website here:

PostGrid WordPress Plugin Demo (showing Isotope Filtering)


SocialGrid WordPress Plugin Demo (showing Isotope Filtering)

Update: I noticed a lot of people are asking for support here in the comments. I am more than happy to help you out but the best way to contact is by emailing

New Website Launch!

We are very excited to have finally launched our new website design after almost a full year in development! You’ll see things are looking pretty spiffy around here and it’s all been completely re-coded from the ground up. Additionally, we also just launched our plugin site over at Mint Plugins – which is built entirely by using MP Stacks.

Psst! Check out the best WordPress Themes for Launching a new Product!

Admittedly, I was a little but shy to the idea of re-doing our entire website at first because I knew what a large undertaking it would be.  To completely re-design, re-create, and move everything and everyone over to a new design and code base was a huge learning experience, for sure. And it has helped us grow as not only as a business, but also as WordPresser’s in general by leaps and bounds.

A few of our goals with the new website were to make it faster, easier to navigate for users, and easier for us to manage/update. Most of all, we wanted to help our clients get to know us better. If you take a gander around the site I think you’ll get a pretty good idea of who we are and what we do as a company.

The bulk of what makes this version so great is its foundation – which consists of two main parts. The first is the cart system – which is running on the Easy Digital Downloads plugin by Pippin Williamson. It handles everything from the cart, to the checkout, to the delivery of files, to the new Members Lounge – which we think you will appreciate very much! Easy Digital Downloads is the most solid plugin I have ever had the privilege of using and I highly recommend trying it if you are creating a digital download related website. That and Pippin is one of the most helpful dudes around! I’ll be doing a full blog about Easy Digital Downloads soon.

The second part would be WordPress – which truly is the most amazing content management system out there today. We are really thankful to be a part of such an awesome community. And if you aren’t using WordPress for your website – I definitely recommend you put it in your plans because it gets better with every release.

I also want to highlight some of the harder parts about doing this re-launch. Probably the hardest was trying to keep consistently releasing content and themes that were useful to our customers while simultaneously working on our own website – and all the while answering support tickets as well. It can also feel like it is taking a very long time to complete – almost like it may never happen. If you’re in the middle of a project like that, I would say keep going even when you feel like you’ll never finish, cause if you stop – well that’s the only way you won’t finish. Haha. Eventually if you keep working hard when you can find the time, it does come to a point where you feel like you’re ready to launch. And it’s a pretty good feeling that gets better knowing we’ll be able to help more people get their own projects off the ground.

We are excited to get back to making themes and plugins full-steam – because that’s really what we’re here to do. And we feel good about the fact that our website has the ability to facilitate that much better as well.

As always, if you have any questions or need help you can contact us at – or leave us some thoughts in the comments below.




Are you looking to launch your own website? Great! It’s easier than you think. The first thing you’ll need is a place for your website to “live”. This is called “web hosting” and there are a lot of companies that offer it at differing prices and values – but there are 2 main groups:

  • “Shared Hosting” – Inexpensive web hosting for small/new websites.
  • “Dedicated Hosting” – More expensive hosting for larger websites.

Shared, inexpensive web hosts will work for most new websites. However, there is something that they do that is a little bit sneaky: they often claim to give you “unlimited” space for your files to sit – and “unlimited” bandwidth (which is how many people can visit your site per month). Nothing in life is TRULY unlimited though – and this is really a clever marketing ploy they will tell you to get you to sign up – while in the fine print (which none of us actually read), they put a lot of limitations on you.

So are inexpensive web hosts evil? No. They are usually the best option for brand new websites and I definitely recommend them to many people getting started. You just need to be aware that there is no such thing as “unlimited” and if you see your website starting to grow a lot, you’ll eventually want to transition to a more expensive, “dedicated” host before they shut your hosting account down (I have seen this happen to friends and it isn’t very fun – so be sure to keep an eye on your growth using Google Analytics).

Dedicated hosts are able to handle high amounts of traffic – and vary a lot. I won’t get into dedicated hosting too much here because this post is targeted at “new website” launches. If your website has grown to the point of needing to move to “dedicated” or you’re just not sure, feel free to send us an email to with your questions.

Now you’ll want to install WordPress – which is the best website managment system on the internet by far – and powers over 20% of ENTIRE internet! It’s totally free to set up – and most web hosts will install WordPress on your hosting for you free-of-charge.

Finally, I recommend installing our free page building plugin for WordPress called “MP Stacks”. It will allow you to really get your website’s pages EXACTLY how you want them to look. To learn more about MP Stacks, click here.