Maranatha is a Church WordPress theme suited for Church websites. This theme is responsive and retina ready to devices ranging from desktops, laptops, tablets to mobile phones including iPads, iPhones, etc. It is included with a homepage with parallax-inspired scrolling effect and a sticky menu that conveniently sticks to the top of the screen when the user scrolls.
It has drag and drop sections provided with it to build home page layout. It allows you to show sermons as audio, text or video and makes podcasting simple. A compact menu appears at the top of sermon pages for easy navigation by topic, series, book, speaker and month. Other features of this theme are as follows:
Page for gallery with 3 columns, 4 columns, 5 columns.
The Church Theme Content plugin makes switching themes easier.
Sample content included for ready to use demos.
You can create listings for sermons, events, ministries, staff, locations, etc.
It supports breadcrumbs for better navigation.
It is a localization ready or say translation ready theme.
It also supports child theme.
The events calendar hasfeatures for recurring events, maps and categories.
The theme options panel is very powerful.
If you are planning to build any of the WordPress website then you will find all the themes related to it. Be it a blogging, corporate, multipurpose, lifestyle, restaurant or any of the site. You will find all the themes that will best suit your site. One such unique theme that I found was the church theme. The websites related to church is a bit different from the normal sites. The main intention to build such sites is to make people aware of the events that will be conducted in the church, be it a worship, mass or some other occasion. Also the motive behind building such website is very noble and to keep people connected to the almighty. After going through many of such themes related to church I finally came across Marantha Theme. The reason why I selected this theme was that, while going through the demo of this theme, I felt this is the theme that will best suit my site.
So I decided to review this theme by considering some of the important points that will be helpful for my fellow friends to make the right decision. Those are:
Design and UX:
This theme provides you with the perfect layout in order to build a Church website. It gives you the control over all the settings to customize fonts, colors and images. This theme also provides with different built in page templates which are indeed very easy to use. There can be background image that can be set for each of the section with parallax support that attracts more visitors to the site. It also provides with the sticky menu bar that will help the visitors to use the menu-bar links very easily. I was really impressed by this theme that provides with an amazing user experience.
It is fully responsive theme that works great on all the devices and is mobile friendly. This will allow the visitors to access the website easily from any of the devices. This theme works great on the devices with high resolution and is retina ready. Also the sticky menu bar that is provided by this theme is very useful for the mobile and other devices.
Ease of Customization:
This theme provides with many options to change the look of the website. There are many configuration option that will help to change the layout and design of the site. You also feel that you have the full control over the Settings.
This theme provides with many widgetized area that you will find under
Appearance >> Widgets.
These theme supports different sidebars and they are CT Archives, CT Categories, CT Events, CT Galleries, CT Gallery, CT Giving, CT Highlight, CT Locations, CT People, CT Posts, CT Section and CT Sermons. There can be different CT Sections widgets that can be added to the Homepage by simply dragging and dropping it. One can show upto three widgets in the footer.
All the options related to the customization of the theme can be found in:
Appearance >> Customize
Some of the options that are present to customize the theme are:
Site Identity: It allows to add the title, tagline and the logo for the particular site.
Colors: One can add the color for the links and the main color from the color picker that can be applied for the site.
Fonts: There can be different Google fonts that can be applied to Logo, Menu. Heading and Body from here.
Logo: All the settings related to the logo can be done from here that includes the type, text and the size for the logo.
Menus: The menu that are to be displayed and there location can be selected from here.
Header Image: Image for the header and the opacity of the image can be set from here.
Footer: It will include options such as to show locations, URLs for the icons, copyright text and the contents that are to be displayed in the bottom can be done from here.
Homepage: All the settings related to the homepage can be done from here and the choice can be made for the front and the post page.
Widgets: The widgets for the footer can be added from here. There can be maximum 3 widgets that can be added for it.
Church Theme Content Plugin:
In order to display Sermons, Events, Person and Location Custom post type this plugin is to be activated. It can be added and the Page template can be selected accordingly for it.
Page Attributes and options:
There are different page templates that are supported by this theme that can be selected from Page Attributes option of the particular page. There can also be the same banner (featured image) added to the child page.
Speed and Load Order:
Though this theme is bundled with so many features and options that can be customized easily but the main thing of concern for any website is its speed and time taken to load it. So I decided to check its GooglePage Speed for this theme. The page speed for mobile devices was 62/100 and for the desktop it was 81/100.
In order to scan all its files to know about any malicious and unwanted code and whether this theme followed the standards and practices of WordPress, I checked it by activating 2 plugins Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) and Theme Check.
Search Engine Optimization:
Basic search engine optimization is done such as,
Post Title on Blog Archive is in <H2> tag
On Single Post, the title is in <H1> tag
In-built Breadcrumb available for better navigation for Search bot.
It is advised to use Yoast SEO WordPress plugin for even better SEO for the site.
By going through all the options that are provided by this theme, I feel that this is the best theme for Church. It is simple to understand and moreover you feel that you have a control on all the options that are provided by this theme. It will hardly take an hour or two to get familiar with its options and you will be able to build the site in no time. I will surely recommend theme for all those who want to build a Church website. As the speed and performance of any site plays a very vital role so the performance of this theme is optimized by WP Rocket.
Provides with different page templates that can be ease the work.
As Social Media plays a very important role for any of the site, it includes social media links to the icons.
Provides with the sticky menu bar.
It can be used to display the location towards the footer map.
It can be easily converted to different language and is translation ready.
It is very responsive theme and is retina ready.
This theme does not provide with the page builder.