The Benevolence Theme is designed by WPLook.com. They create a variety of themes, but this is one they created specifically for churches. They have many components hard coded in for churches. It features a very image rich design.
Who This is For:
Benevolence is a good option for novice WordPress users who like their built in layout options (and don’t want to make any changes to their layout) or advanced users who aren’t afraid to use short codes. We have heard good things about their support.
Price: You can purchase this theme and get a year support for $99. You can also purchase subscription to all their themes for $299.
Social Media Built In: Benevolence makes it easy to add your church’s social media channels to your website.
Google Calendar Integration: Benevolence integrates with Google Calendar. This is a great feature.
Built In Church Features: Benevolence has many built in church specific features. It features staff, sermons, ministries, events, pledges, projects, galleries, documents and more. If you add your church’s information in each category, you can create individual pages using these features and their special layouts (read more below).
Built In Page Layouts: Benevolence has many built in page layouts. They work with the Built In Church Features. This means that if you enter your churches information using the special features, you can create page with these layouts that automatically populate the information on the page. If you chose the Ministries List from the page set up drop down list on the page (see image to the right), it will automatically fill in the page with a list of all the ministries you have created. If you chose the sermon grid layout option, it will populate the pages with the sermons in a grid format. If you like the layouts, this is a quick and easy way to create a variety of styles of pages.
MultiLingual: WPLook hails from the French Canadian city of Quebec. They realize that your site may be visited by folks with a variety of native languages. They have a multilingual option!
Speed: They have ranked high on speed tests!
Theme Documentation: WPLook has documentation for each theme on theirs site, but I wish their documentation was more thorough. There are some topics that I wished they would have covered. It would be helpful for beginners if they had a more step by step instructions that break things down into simple to follow steps. They have an online ticket system that you can submit any questions. Their response time seems pretty good.
Set Up Involves Quite a Few Steps: Their set up video is pretty easy to follow. However, you need to do some cutting and pasting of code to make the theme look like demo. It would be nice if they would create an installation script to do some of this.
Responsive Design: This theme resizes the width so you can view it on tablets, phones and full size computer monitors! However, the resizing is a bit cumbersome because it resizes things so you view the whole site at the width of your screen. This fine for tablets, but it can make the text a little harder to read on cell phones. I personally prefer the theme companies who code their themes so that things are shifted around a bit so they are easier to read on mobile devices. For example, many theme companies with a similar multiple column design on the desktop, rework how you these columns appear on phones. They transform the columns into one the fits across the screen and just stack the columns on top of each other so they are easier to read. I wish that Benevolence did something like this.
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Home Page Widgets: The home page is created via widgets and assigning a certain page as the static home page. This gives you a ton of different flexibility. I state this this section because it is just a matter of preference. Some themes have built in home pages with present components.