In The Beginning!
For the last several months, we’ve been talking with churches, focusing on how they are structured, how they’re users interact with them online and how we could best help. We even spent several months doing charity work for one of those churches so that we could experience the front lines.
With those experiences, we felt like we could offer something awesome that helps churches, staff members, and the people they serve. Something that would enhance the church experience for users, increase engagement and retention, decrease confusion, and that focused on the details of how this could work for that majority of non-profit institutions out there.
So, with that in mind, we build Passage – a premium grade WP theme that utilizes the power that WordPress as a CMS has to offer. Check out the list of features below.
BIBLE | STORYLINE
From The Beginning
Everything You Need, Built Right In!
We’ve built a few Church sites before… and we’ve learned what the most common things you’ll need are. We’ve built in everything that you’ll need, including premium plugin integrations, custom widgets, WooCommerce products (great for books and merch!) and a handful of the highest quality plugins available for sliders, drag and drop content editing, and lots more!
Stop wasting time trying to chase down a wild zoo of different plugins and themes – everything you need is right here!
“No Headaches” Developer’s Note: We’re using plugins for all of this stuff – so should you choose to want to change themes later on, you won’t lose your content for any of the built in features!
13.8 Billion Years Ago
WHITE LABEL LOGIN
Customize your login for users with our built in Custom Login Maker. This Custom Login Maker will give you the ability to provide the best perception of your church or non-profit. This is great for non-profit institutions that want to give the best experience possible to their users.
NEW STAFF USER/ROLE
Passage comes fully integrated with a new “Staff” role specifically built for church & non-profit institutions. This new Staff role provides users with the ability to add, edit, and update their profile page, along with their pages, sermons and posts. This role is similar to the “Author” role native to WordPress, with added tools and abilities to provide your users with a simple and excellent experience.
STAFF PANEL & PERMISSIONS
Notice the simplicity of the dedicated panel for Staff users. We tried to make this as easy as updating your Facebook status. This dashboard only includes the necessary information for this user role (ie. their own posts, pages & profile). Under Posts/Sermons/Pages, users will only see these that they’ve created and/or are currently assigned to them. They can open any one of these to begin updating/editing the information and content (ie. additional materials, study guides, etc.) to meet their leading style.
EXTENDED PROFILE FIELDS
This theme extends the basic profile fields provided by WordPress including: a custom profile photo uploader and staff specific fields (such as department, title, specialty, and additional contact information). All of these fields are then used on the Advanced User Page & Custom Sidebars.
ADVANCED USER PAGE & SERMON SIDEBARS
We’ve extended the basic profile fields and custom built user profile pages to have more relevant and usable content. User pages now include information that visitors can actually use, such as office hours, contact info, and a list of their sermons. And for each Sermon, the Staff member assigned will display in the sidebar with their image, name, department, contact, and a link to more of their sermons. This is hugely helpful to limit confusion for visitors who are watching sermons that have several sections with different speakers.
Why are we doing so much for users? Because we believe a user shouldn’t be a Custom Post Type. WordPress has included the power to query users, and that’s exactly what were doing for the User Directory page template.
Creating a directory of staff is really simple. Just navigate to any page (or create a new one) and assign the User Directory page template. A new drop-down list of options will be provided for you including, filtering users by Sermon Categories or by a Manual User Selection.
Adding a new sermon is easy! Just navigate to Sermons > Add New to add a new sermon. Each sermon has four distinct option sections:
01 – The Media Section: is used to distinguish the sermon from others by providing options for source material. For example: video media, audio media, download media – and some extended options like a poster image for each.
02 – The Content/Text Section: (Visual Composer) allows for staff to provide more dynamic content such as sermon notes, study guides, additional reading, etc.
03 – The Sermon Categories Section: is where categories can be managed for this sermon. See Sermon Catalog section for more details on how this is used.
04 – The Sermon Player Section: is where you can assign a specific player to your sermon. The Sermon Player assigned will then be used for how the sermon media looks and acts. See Sermon Player Section for more details.
Adding a new sermon player is easy! Just navigate to Sermon Players > Add New to add a new sermon player. Each sermon player has two distinct option sections:
01 – The Build Section: is used to build the main structure & function of player, from toggling elements on & off to building a dynamic playlist. Players can be used as static players or as dynamic players.
02 – The Styles Section: is used to manage the styles of the player, from background colors & images to font sizes, families, and colors. It even offers the ability to call bg images from the sermon dynamically.
Each player can be assigned to a sermon (or sermons) to dictate how they are displayed and function. This is where the power of this starts to show – and saves users a ton of time from needing building the same sermon styles over and over.
This is where the power of the Sermons Player plugin really comes to life and creating a catalog is really simple. Just navigate to any page (or create a new one) and assign the Sermon Catalog page template. A new drop-down list of options will be provided for you including, filtering sermons by Sermon Category and selecting a number of sermons per page. The theme will do the rest. This catalog will be provided after any relevant content included in the Page Editor (Frontend or Backend).
Sermon Categories have been separated from “standard” categories used for posts to keep things neat and organized, so there won’t be any confusion. For example, you could use a Sermon Category titled “Youth Department” for all youth related sermons > Then use this Sermon Category to isolate and display only sermons from this Sermon Category.
Powered by the Give – WordPress Donation Plugin, you’ll have the most robust WordPress system available for accepting donations. On top of that, we’ve extended this plugin to work even better with this theme. We’re maintaining all of their base functionality – and including some cool extensions that we use in our own projects.
We’re also including a custom Visual Composer module to make this even easier. Just add the Give Item module and select one of your give forms from the dropdown. Then, if you want, you can use the extra included options to customize this module further.
Powered by The Events Calendar Plugin, you’ll have the ability to create and manage your calendar of events with ease. Get professional-level quality and features with this integration – and The Events Calendar will help take your site to the next level.
On top of that, we’ve extended this plugin to work even better with this theme. We’re maintaining all of their base functionality – and including updated styles and outputs.
Yep. WooCommerce is enabled on this theme, which means you can use it to sell anything, beautifully – like shirts, gift cards, or anything else you can dream up. WooCommerce does a TON of amazing stuff out of the box and we’ve setup the integration so that this theme will work seamlessly with it. We’ve also gone through and made sure all of the styles match to the theme styles/options.
Blogging is at the very heart of WordPress and we haven’t forgotten. This theme includes our custom Blog Page Template, which has been used by over 20k+ users across 15+ themes. It utilizes the power of WordPress and focuses on clean, consistent, professional design. Categories assigned are used to filter posts that are displayed – and because this is a page template, you can have as many blog pages that you want. This is really helpful when you want to offer a filtered blog for a specific group of people (ie. Families, Senior Citizens, etc.).
POST GRID TEMPLATE
We are proud to be including our custom Post Grid Page Template, which has been used by over 20k+ users across 15+ themes. It utilizes the power of Isotope to “filter & sort magical layouts” and focuses on clean, usable interactions. Categories assigned are used to filter, sort, and animate posts visibility. We’ve even including updated styles, an updated hover animation, and new lightbox integration for this.
We’re including several layout options including: default, sidebar left, sidebar right, dual sidebars right, dual sidebars left, dual sidebars left/right, and full width (no sidebars). With Visual Composer, you have even more control by stretching the row, stretching the row and content, and assigning specific columns widths to rows (ie. 1/4 + 1/4 +1/2). You can also add a row inside of a row to make this more flexible.
ADDING CONTENT, STUDY GUIDES, AND MORE!
We specifically built Passage with this in mind. Staff can add and edit any information that they find relevant for their own sermons/pages/posts. So a High School Pastor can add the required reading for the week, a Junior High Pastor can add a study guide for an upcoming meeting, and a Small Group Leader can update the group notes if something unexpected happened during the week. The idea here is to give your staff an easy way to communicate with their groups, online. To make this even easier, we’ve included a premium drag and drop page builder with front end editing abilities!
FULLY INTEGRATED WITH VISUAL COMPOSER ($34)
The most powerful drag and drop page builder we’ve ever encountered is also the easiest use. And to make life (and adding content) even easier, we’ve included Visual Composer – the most popular award winning drag and drop page builder with with frontend and backend editors! This premium plugin is usually $34 USD, but comes free with your purchase of Passage.
FULLY INTEGRATED WITH REVOLUTION SLIDER ($19)
Slider Revolution is powering over 1,000,000 WordPress sites! It’s not just a slider, but a new way to deliver ideas. It’s an innovative, responsive WordPress Slider Plugin that displays your content the beautiful way. Slider Revolution has made building professional sliders easier. Whether it’s a Slider, Carousel, Hero Scene or even a whole Front Page, the visual, drag & drop editor will let you tell your own stories in no time!
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to code. Having Visual Composer included means that you can quickly edit layouts and add modules to Sermons, Pages, and Posts without sorting through a long list of shortcodes and approved syntax. This also includes some helpful pre-built templates and placeholder content if your in a rush or don’t know where to start. And if you need it, you can transfer content from one page to another by saving it as a new template.
ANY STANDARD SHORTCODES?
Yep! We’re recommending Shortcodes Ultimate for those of you who want to push your content even further. Why? Because, as awesome as Visual Composer is, we’ve found that some users like to have options. Also, there are some instances where using Shortcodes Ultimate can easily extend even a Visual Composer module (ie. Text Module, Hover Image, etc.). For example, if you have a module open that provides the standard content editor and want some text to open/trigger a lightbox without coding additional markup, Shortcodes Ultimate provides an easy to use shortcode adder. Pretty cool for those who like complete control.
Powered by Max Mega Menu, you can create widgetized mega menus using the built in visual mega menu builder. This integration includes features like drag & drop Mega Menu builder, the ability to display WordPress widgets, support for traditional “flyout” menus along with Mega Menu sub-menus, opening menus with hover intent and click events, fade and slide transitions, along with adding icons to menu items and many more.
THEME OPTIONS PANEL
We get it, you want to customize the theme. With this theme options panel, you can. This theme options panel is organized in to sections, including: Theme Basics, Tophat Options, Header Options, Sticky Header Options, Layout Options, Skin Builder, Post Options, Sermon Options, Author Options, Footer Options, Social Options, Custom CSS, Custom Scripts, Documentation, Custom Login.
You don’t actually need to change anything here, but in the event that you want to modify something – the options are there.
THEME SKINNING WITH LIVE-PREVIEW
Eliminate the guesswork from customizing the theme. Built on the WP Theme Customizer API with some special tricks blended in, you can change just about every typographic or color across the entire theme… there’s no need to reload the page on the front-end though – the Theme Customizer will show you an instant preview of what your changes look like right there on the same screen.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF RESPONSIVE
Getting just the right blend of fluid, fixed, and intelligently collapsing layouts that don’t break didn’t just happen overnight. We’ve been one of the first crews to built responsive WP themes and we really get excited about making the mobile and tablet experience awesome for everyone!
Create Your Own Unique Styles & Layouts!
Our theme customizer allows you to create a wide variety of different types of sites… Perfect for businesses, hospitals, charities, pubs, sushi, fine dining, bar & grills, bakery, cupcakes, wine, doctor’s offices, lawyers, food blogs, design studios, print shops, seafood, coffee shops, mexican, steakhouse, pizza, italian, white table cloth, local, open table businesses, yelp businesses, and lots more!
The Rest of the Features
Rather than waste your time talking about the rest, let’s just get down to brass tacks. Here’s what comes with the theme:
Custom Sticky Header
We’ve built a sticky header right into the theme and gave it it’s own options panel. Setup is easy and will extend the usability of your site for your users. Add your own custom logo, menu, and customize away with our theme options.
Create your own custom layouts using over 30 different content modules ranging from image-sliders to text blocks to videos and maps. Visual Composer is the most popular visual editor available to WordPress and it’s bundled in the theme. Updates are be included for free with each theme-version update.
Try typing in the searchbar (in the sidebar or on the “tophat”). The Live Search feature allows users to instantly skim your site for relevant material without every loading another page.
The premiere slider plugin for WordPress – completely overhauled with a brand new, vastly improved user interface that blows the older versions of this plugin out of the water. The new Revolution Slider is, quite simply, the best slider we’ve ever had the priveledge of using. Updates are be included for free with each theme-version update.
HTML5 Fueled SEO
We re-wrote our entire theme-base from scratch to include the latest, most relevant HTML elements and tags to allow for the best possible search engine results.
The entire theme has been fully internationalized and prepped for your language translation. Just follow the usual translation process and the theme will do the rest.
A Streamlined Workflow
This might be the first theme you encounter that actually advertises LESS features. We’ve pulled out every redundant, confusing, or buggy feature from our old theme framework and boiled down this theme to the least amount of complexity possible. Think of it as a Zen Garden in theme format.
1,000’s of Fonts
Use the integrated Google Fonts library to see instant Live-Previews of how your site looks with any font you want before you hit “Publish”. If Google Fonts aren’t enough, we integrate seamlessly with Typekit, Fonts.com, and other popular services.
Custom CSS & Script Injection
Got something custom that you want to drop in? Simple. Just drop them into our theme control panel and the theme will do the rest of the work for you.
Built with Ordinary People in Mind
Our goal is to deliver a theme that anyone can use & customize, without any need for 24/7 customer support or long-winded documentation manuals. You can import our theme demo content if you want a head start, but the theme has truly been designed to be answer any of your questions as you use it, so don’t fret if you don’t know how to code.
Built with Developers in Mind, too!
Our code is clean, organized, and well commented. Everything has it’s rightful place in this theme, and making advanced customizations to templates, stylesheets, and functions has never been easier.
We were one of the first theme crews to dabble in ‘responsive design’ way back in the day… so we know a thing or two about how to do this properly. Fluid grids are used at larger breakpoints, and fixed widths are used on smaller devices to ensure ideal spacing. The type size shifts on smaller devices to be larger and easier to read, and images and other media are sandboxed to prevent anything from breaking the layout.
REM Typography & Layouts
The problem with Pixels are, they absolutely do-not-scale in Internet Explorer. Furthermore, with the onset of Responsive Web Design, having fonts that scale (in relation to the screen width) has become paramount. Percentages (%) and EM’s are better, but they’re tricky and compound. Still not an answer. A real solution? Use the REM. (Source – Greg Rickaby)
Yep. WooCommerce is enabled on this theme, which means you can use it to sell stuff like shirts, gift cards, or anything else you can dream up. This theme isn’t focused on custom shop design, but WooCommerce does a TON of amazing stuff out of the box and this theme will work seamlessly with it.