What does the Sermon Library do?
The White Harvest Sermon Library plugin does two things:
- Put your sermons on your WordPress website (works with all themes)
- Create a podcast for your sermons (powered by Blubrry)
We focused on three main things.
- Search: Fast, simple, searching – like Google (not drop-down menus)
- Reach: Create a podcast with Blubrry the world’s largest podcast platform
- Efficiency: Reduce the amount of work to keep your site updated
We wrapped it all up in a modern and responsive layout that looks great on any screen size – desktop to mobile.
How do you do it?
Sermon Library Documentation
- How It Works
- Creating Your Sermon Library
- Adding Video To Your Sermons
- Latest Sermon Widget
- Built-in Shortcodes
- Setting Up Your Podcast
How It Works
The basic idea is that you create Sermon posts in your WordPress site. Sermon pages work just like ordinary posts in WordPress (like blog posts) but they have extra fields to collect special information about your sermon. These special fields make the searching features work. For example, you include the book, teacher, scripture reference, and an excerpt/summary of the sermon. All of that information is indexed and searchable.
This is what the Sermon page editor looks like, here you enter in details like:
- Series – (Sunday, Wednesday, Women’s Study, etc.)
- Teacher – The person (or people) preaching the sermon
- Books – Any books of the Bible that are referenced in the sermon
- Scripture Reference – The scripture reference used in the sermon
- Excerpt – A brief summary of the sermon
- Podcast Episode – The audio file for the sermon
To make your sermons easy to find, tag them with information to help people search for them. The Sermon Library plugin. You can set up predefined lists for your series, teachers, and books of the Bible to make it easy and fast to tag your sermons.
Creating Your Sermon Library
Creating your sermon library is as easy as placing a shortcode on a page. It’s super fast and easy to do.
Step 1 – Create A Sermon Page: Create a page in WordPress where you want your sermons to live. You can put all your sermons on one page. Or, if you have a lot of sermons, you can make them even easier to find by creating several pages for your sermons. For example, at our church, we have New Testament sermons on Sunday and Old Testament sermons on Wednesday night. So we created a page for Sunday sermons and a separate page for Wednesday sermons.
Step 2 – Add The Sermon Shortcode: Next click the Add Sermon button in the WordPress page editor. Then specify which group of sermons you’d like to include in your the library you are putting on the page. If this was a page just for your Sunday sermons, you would enter sunday in the series field. Of course, the names of the serires you set up may be different, but the idea is that you can filter the library and only show a certain subset of sermons on the page.
Rather than typing the names of the series, teachers, and books you want to include, you can just click the names and they will automatically go into the fields for you.
The final result will look something like this in your WordPress page editor.
When you go to view your page, you will have a listing of sermons like this.
Adding The Sermon Icons
Each sermon uses the featured image to show the images in the top right corner of each sermon listing.
To set the featured image, edit the Sermon and provide an image in the Featured Image box.
Adding Video To Your Sermons
Note that your Sermon page acts almost exactly like any other WordPress page or post. So, you can easily embed YouTube or Vimeo videos of your sermons as well.
If you have a sermon on YouTube you can grab the URL for the video and just paste it directly into the WordPress page editor. WordPress will automatically expand the YouTube link to show the video. If you want more control over the size of the video player, you can click the Embed button and configure the embed code for the video.
You can adjust how the video player is displayed as well as the size of the player. When you are finished configuring the player, click the Copy button and you’ll get some iFrame code that you can paste into WordPress. This is code so be sure to paste in Text mode.
It is critical that you paste this into WordPress in Text mode. Otherwise it won’t work at all.
Page Editor vs Excerpt
The Page Editor shows the content on the page for an individual sermon. The Excerpt is shown in the searchable Sermon Library created by the
So, you can put an entire transcription of your sermon in the Page Editor. Or embed videos, images, or anything else. You will want to keep the Excerpt content brief because that’s what shows up in the searchable library view.
Adding Your Sermon Audio File
At the bottom of the Sermon page editor, you will see a box for adding your Podcast Episode. This box is provided by the free PowerPress plugin by Blubrry. So, be sure to install and activate that plugin. It is free and you do not have to subscribe to the Blubrry podcasting platform to use it.
Paste in a link to the audio file for the sermon. You can store your audio files anywhere you want. We recommend using the Blubrry system because it’s really easy to use and gives you everything you need to launch your podcast including professional podcast statistics so you know what’s going on with your podcast like how many listeners you have, where they are, and what devices they are using to listen.
You can store your audio files anywhere you want including:
- On the Blubrry podcast platform
- On Amazon S3
- On your WordPress web server
Wherever you choose to store your audio files, just put the link in the Podcast Episode text field. Then click the Verify URL button to make sure you don’t have any typos in the URL and that the file is able to be reached.
Latest Sermon Widget
The Latest Sermon widget always loads the most recent sermon from whatever series you specify. Then you can put the widget on your home page, in your sidebar, footer, or anywhere widgets are able to be placed in your theme.
You can configure the colors and the series from which the latest sermon is selected.
Once you configure the latest sermon widget, it will always load the most recent sermon from the series you selected. Put this widget on your home page and always have the most recent Sunday and Wednesday sermons available. Just upload the sermon once and the widget is automatically updated. This really makes it easy to maintain your site.
Here’s an example of how you might place your most recent sermons and weekly announcements on your home page.
There are two shortcodes built into the Sermon Library plugin.
This is the shortcode used to create a library of your sermons on any page (or post) of your WordPress website. It accepts the following parameters.
wh_sermons series="announcements" teacher="rick-gaston" books="luke" page_size="5" player="HTML5"
series: The series you want to include in your listing of sermons. If you don’t specify any, then all of the sermons will be shown by default.
teacher: The teacher (or teachers) you want to include in your listing of sermons.
books: The books of the Bible you want to include in your listing of sermons.
page_size: The number of sermons shown per page. The default is 10 per page. We use 5 per page in our demos.
player: You can choose WP or HTML5. HTML5 is the default and recommended player type because it uses the built in features of the web browser to display an audio player. If you’d rather use the audio player built into WordPress, specify WP as the player.
This shortcode works just like the Latest Sermon Widget except you can use it in places where you can’t use widgets.
wh_sermons_latest title="Sunday's Sermon" series="sunday" background_color="#CCCCCC" footer_color="#EFEFEF" border_color="#ABABAB" title_color="#333333" description_color="#333333"
title: The text for the title shown over the player
series: Which series to pull the latest sermon from.
background_color: The background color for the top part of the player widget
footer_color: The background color for the bottom part of the player widget
border_color: The color of the 1px border that goes around the player widget. If you don’t want a border you can use the value of transparent
title_color: The text color for the title of the sermon in the player widget
description_color: The color of the text in the footer of the player widget
Setting Up Your Podcast
Other than installing the PowerPress plugin by Blubrry and adding your audio file to the Podcast Episode box on the sermon page, there are a couple steps to take to make sure your podcast is ready to go.
Enable Post Type Podcasting
Click on the PowerPress settings in your WordPress admin and enable Post Type Podcasting.
Next, navigate to the PowerPress > Post Type Podcasting settings and create a podcast for the wh_sermons post type.
You can name the Feed Title anything you like. We chose messages so that you podcast feed would be http://yoursite.com/sermons/feed/messages/
Other Blubrry Settings
Blubrry’s PowerPress plugin has a bunch of settings but the good news is that all the ones you need to work with are pretty self-explanatory. For example, you will want to provide iTunes some information about your podcast on the iTunes settings tab.
Just click through the tabs and provide the information about your sermons. There isn’t anything overly technical about it.
Submit Your Podcast To iTunes and Google Play
Blubrry has a great little tutorial on how to submit your podcast to iTunes.
The key to the whole thing is remembering that you created a Post Type Podcast Feed. So your feed is going to look something like http://yoursite.com/sermons/feed/messages That’s the feed that you will submit to iTunes, Google Play, and any other service where you want to list your podcast.
Blubrry has tutorials for submitting your podcast to: