Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Christian Blog Templates

I must say, I get a little disappointed in the Christian community sometimes.

For example, take Christian software; Bible programs, and whatnot. If you’ve ever bought any, then you probably know what I’m talking about; almost any Christian software I’ve ever bought has been horrendous. It’s usually poor quality, it doesn’t usually have a very good user interface, and documentation is normally non-existent. (One exception to this rule is a company called Laridian, which produces Bible software for various hand-held devices. Their software is excellent. If you count websites as “software,” then of course the Bible Gateway is another example of good Christian software. I’m sure there are other examples of good, quality Christian software too—but they’re in the minority.)

Another example of where the Christian community often disappoints me is in the crass commercialism. And I do mean crass. But I won’t go on about this too much, because I’ve already mentioned it (as an aside) in a previous post. (If you don’t believe me, just walk into any Christian bookstore in the country, and take a look around. How many “What Would Jesus Do?” pencils do you see for sale?)

Another example of where the Christian community sometimes disappoints me is in Christian music. The Christian music industry seems to be just as un-Christ-like as the secular music industry (which makes it more insidious). Some Christian bands—I won’t name any, and I hope they’re in the minority—make it quite clear that they’re only in it for the money, and anything else is incidental. Did you hear a song that you’d like to use in your morning worship? Or for your church choir? Or as part of your Christmas program? Well you ain’t getting it cheap.

I was disappointed in the Christian community again today. I had thought about changing the template of this blog, and I went around looking for ones that I could use. If you want to go looking for blog templates, there are a lot of very nice, high-quality templates that you can download and use for free. For example, some of the ones that I was looking at, from FinalSense—all of which are free—were:I like all of those templates. (Well… Colors might be too colourful for me. But I very much like its layout.) Unfortunately, some of them don’t really fit with the theme of the blog; I mean, what does a coffee cup or a keyboard have to do with a blog on the Bible, right? And then I had a brainstorm: Why not look for Christian blog templates? And I did. And then the disappointment set in, because most of the ones that I saw cost money. And most of which, I must stress, were of lower quality than the ones I saw from FinalSense, that are free.

So here we have the non-Christian community providing blog templates to other bloggers, for free, because on the Internet people have a spirit of sharing. Are there people selling blog templates? Of course! But there are also many sites offering free blog templates. (Do a quick search on Google, to see what I mean.) But do a search for Christian blog templates, and you won’t find a lot of free ones. (I didn’t spend a lot of time on this, but I only found one; and it was from a web site that sells them, and was just giving this one away as a preview.)

To be clear, it’s not the fact that people are selling Christian templates that bugs me, it’s the fact that there are so few people producing free ones. Are there not Christian web designers out there, that want to help out their fellow Christians?

This is especially striking based on what I wrote in my last post, from Deuteronomy 15:1–11:

When the Bible tells us that we’ll always have poor people, it’s not to make us lackadaisical about the situation; it’s to tell us to get ourselves in gear: We have work to do. There are people who are not as well off as we are, so, therefore, we need to help them.

If you substitute “don’t have any visual design skills” for “poor”—which might be a bit of a stretch, I don’t deny it—then you have to wonder why there are so few Christian blog templates that don’t cost money.

I should mention, I fully realize that this post might sound like sour grapes; “serna can’t find any free Christian templates, so he’s going on a tear about how horrible Christians are.” But that’s not it at all. (And I don’t think Christians are horrible, regardless of how much I lament this particular situation.) Frankly, I can use one of the templates from FinalSense, or from Blogger Templates, or from another site that also calls itself Blogger Templates, or from one of the other dozens of sites out there giving free templates. And I know CSS and HTML and XML well enough that I can customize the template, if necessary. (If I was really unhappy with my choices, I could create my own, but I don’t think I’d do it as well; my visual skills are lacking, even if my technical skills are good.) But that’s just me; what about the thousands of other Christians out there, who might want to start a blog, but don’t have any of these skills? Are they forced to use one of Blogger’s default templates, or buy a Christian one?

One final comment, and then I’ll shut up: a lot of the non-Christians providing blog templates are probably web designers, or other types of designers, who are basically creating these templates as their online portfolio. So maybe it’s not so much that they’re giving away their templates because of a “spirit of sharing,” but as a promotional tool—they can go to a job interview, and say, “look at these templates I made, and I can do the same for your web site.” On the other hand, regardless of their initial reasons for doing it, they are giving them away for free. Not only that, but for some of the templates I’ve used in the past, the designers have also provided tech support, for their templates; “if you can’t get it to work on your blog, try changing this line of code to this value.”

And again, I come back to: Why aren’t there more Christians doing this?

34 comments:

David57 said...

Neat Site! Keep up your work for the Lord. I am new to Blogs (4 days). However I am not new to computers. Please see what I have started at: http://davidswordsandthoughts.blogspot.com/

Cherlyn said...

I totally agree - I am searching for a Christian blog template and finding NOTHING! :(

amanda said...

I completely agree. I cannot find a christian template under 50 dollars out there. It is ridiculous!

I just started my site and I can't find anything to make it exciting.

free wordpress themes said...

Hi There,

I've create a Christian blog theme for wordpress and it's free because I could not find much free stuff for this niche. You have to pay for the image but it's not for me.

http://www.christianblogthemes.com

℘rivate ‚Ąúobokoff said...

i know what your talking about
i might just make my own software that is visually aplealing and very user friendly

Andrew said...

For good free Bible Software check out www.e-sword.net and for lots of good free web templates check out http://www.oswd.org/ and http://www.openwebdesign.org/ granted these are mostly web templates and they are not Christian themed, but there are a lot of great templates that with a little editing you can turn into a nice template for a Christian site. I just started my blog as well and am adding links to good free software some of it Christian and some that is just good for anyone who uses the computer like web content filtering and parental controls you can check it out at http://andrewschristianblog.blogspot.com/

Godbless,
Andrew

Pureheart said...

Nice blog~!=)Keep it up^^

Shall Be Given Ministries said...

I realize you posted this long ago, but I ran across your blog as I was searching for Christian templates for our blog. Just thought I would let you know that this place has about 16 various religious templates. A few nice ones there, and they're free too. Don't know if you're still looking but I thought I would mention them. Only caution is that it's a secular site so be forewarned of advertisements, etc.

Blessings in Christ!

Kelly O said...

The thing that kills me about a lot of Christian-themed stuff is I'm a fairly subtle person. I don't want or need a giant cross glowing in the background. I don't particularly want a Victorian-era lady peacefully journaling either. Just some nice, subtle, modern looking templates with a Christian theme. I totally feel your pain.

nenyalorien/Lorie said...

We hear you. :)

Please pray that the Christian web developers will rise up and realize that they do need to share too. :)

Blessings to you!

I'm going to repost this, thanks so much. :)

nenyalorien/Lorie said...

Music recommendations: Misty Edwards of IHOP, music played on http://www.elijahstreams.com

Software recommendations:

http://www.crosswire.org. :) Check out the God's Word Translation module. :) I grew a lot from reading from the Psalms and Leviticus on that translation. :)

Psalm 37 is my personal fave on the GWT. :D


Blessings!

God Loves You said...

We are the light and salt as Jesus commended us to be. Perhaps you shall focus on the GOOD stuff you have discovered or experienced. You may want to relay your thoughts to help these people/companies to improve.

Hope the work by your hands glorify Him. The right attitude in our hearts receive the true blessings to bear fruits.

God is creative, you may already identify the opportunities.

Andi said...

Just want to say that your blog is fantastic. Keep it up. May God bless all you are doing!

Yedidyah said...

I find it quite alarming how Christians are more concerned about becoming rich than storing their riches in heaven. The Bible is filled with warnings to the rich, but I guess when people are more concerned about money than about the Bible you wind up with this kind of fruit.

Freely you have been given freely give.

I highly recommend e-sword.net this guy has the real spirit of giving.

icardi said...

Hi, I know I do not know you, but I was looking for a Christian blog template too, anyway, well I was searching because I would like to make my blog look better. But I came across this link to your site on google and happened to notice you wrote about Bible software. I just would like to let you know about some great Bible software. It's Accordance (www.accordancebible.com). Although I must warn you it is chiefly for Mac computers, although it will run on windows. I hope you check it out!

deb said...

Totally agree . . .

This is not unlike a lot of the movies produced by Christians which just have such a cheap, cheesy feel to them. You can tell they're made by Christians even if the title or production co. doesn't give it away!

Why are Christians so chintzy? I mean, really. We profess to believe God will meet all of our needs, and then turn around and give a lackluster effort at best at things which we should be doing at least as well as the world.

(Not everyone in the body of Christ is guilty of this, of course. But it is a problem.)

kimberlydawn said...

i also had a difficult time...
i would like to make a blog for my church and i thought it would be nice to have something subtle as well, and altho i agree that it would be great if there were more "free" things available in the christian community...
maybe we have this all wrong and "we" are the cheap ones not willing to pay for the work of others...why should we expect that other christians should pony up and not us??

Robert said...

Hi there i found your website while looking for christian themed blogger templates since i am putting a blog together for our church in South Africa - http://baptist-church.blogspot.com and I am a web designer and a christian :)

Once i figure out the coding for blogger i will try produce some modern christian themes, at the moment i find one that i like and then modify the images on it.

http://www.zagame.co.za to see some of my work and http://bibleuncovered.blogspot.com

God Bless to all

kasih Bapa/ AbbaLOve said...

We will disapointed when we live in the world. But, just try to make change from the little we can do, from our self.

Let's one step higher!

Regards

Note:
I just find this link: templates-gallery.blogspot.com/2008/10/christian-template.html

Digger said...

May our wonderful God bless you with His grace and love!

Jim said...

This carries on to all aspects of Christian life. I have not seen a well produced Christian Movie yet.

It is not that we don't have talented Christians they don't seem to know how to produce quality.

Thank you for this post. I think I will write something about this at my blog

rosy said...

What a great idea! I can't wait to read some new blogs! I just submitted my faves. :)
web development professional development

Diana said...

Hi guys..I make a new Christian Blogger Template with title Jesus is My Shepherd Blogger template. This is free and you can download it on my blog. Check this link :
http://www.skincorner.com/jesus-is-my-shepherd-blogger-template.html

wfcministries said...

thanks a lot. i was almost frustrated when i was taking my time to search for christian blogger templates for my ministry.I am so convinced that if only we walk in the consciousness of the God life that we have received,we can be the best in all human endeavors and our various fields.i have made up my mind that i will make the change and i will also tell my other colleagues in my unit!! thanks a lot!! i appreciate our article!! God bless you! :)

Henri Menheere said...

Why would you look for a Christian template?? Templates cannot be christian... WHat's the point? And why is it so hard to realise there are many more nonchristians then christians? Isnt it logical?

A cup of coffee would actually fit great on a bible blog. Or is the bible something that we should tear out of our life and treat as a separate subject?

Thandi said...

How true.I've been sutrggling to find a blog baclground that would correspond with my religious beliefs.I found this post while searching for one!

FeliciaE said...

First off I agree whole heatedly. It is so frustrating to try and find something with a Christian feel to it that doesn't look like it was pasted together by a 2 year old or that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Sadly you wrote this three years ago and there still isn't that much in this area of the blogging template world.

And to Henri...Why would 'you' look for a Christian template? Maybe because I want something to reflect my believes, not every post I write deals with Christ and first impressions are important. 90% of the time the look of the blog is what stands out most, even before the writing. I don't want my readers leaving my blog thinking wow shes a great writer and must love coffee. I would rather them say hey shes a great writer and believes in God, did you see the cross, Bible or etc on her page.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
It has been 3+ years since the original post was posted, but I do want to remind everyone that new "template designer" in blogger has option of changing (uploading) background image on some themes, and you can find christian backgrounds all over the net. The only thing maybe needed is resizing or choosing the right display options (centering etc).
Happy New 2011 and Christ be with you.

Richard said...

Come have a look at my Christian based blog! A bit amateur but it's a work in progress!

Quiltingranny said...

I ran into the same thing, so I keep my blog background based on beauty. I used to have my own web page and there was lots of Christian designers giving away those backgrounds, buttons, etc. I haven't found that any have converted to blogs!

emily said...

this is exactly what i'm having trouble with! i'm working on designing a Christian blog right now, and i can't find any good Christian backgrounds. i haven't come across any you have to pay for, just really cheesy ones that aren't any good. i would design some of my own, but i have absolutely no idea how to do something like that.

Anonymous said...

Came across this looking for Christian blog templates - good luck with that, even if you're willing to pay a few dollars, which I am. The quality issue goes back to what I've experienced over the years with the majority of things church related. People are giving their time to the Lord, therefore ANYTHING is supposed to be acceptable and should be congratulated. If a person is not giving their best, are they doing it for the Lord, or so the congregation sees them doing something?

Anonymous said...

Came across this looking for Christian blog templates - good luck with that, even if you're willing to pay a few dollars, which I am. The quality issue goes back to what I've experienced over the years with the majority of things church related. People are giving their time to the Lord, therefore ANYTHING is supposed to be acceptable and should be congratulated. If a person is not giving their best, are they doing it for the Lord, or so the congregation sees them doing something?

Anonymous said...

http://christiandiary4u.blogspot.com