18 - Implementing the Beliefs Section

For any potential visitor using a church’s website to help make a decision of whether or not to attend, a Beliefs section is pretty important.  Getting the corporate church beliefs posted on the website can also focus members on them in a way that’s not possible otherwise.  In this chapter of the Building a Church Site on ExpressionEngine series, I’ll cover the implementation of the Beliefs section on the example website.  From an ExpressionEngine perspective there is nothing notable about this chapter save for the speed at which it can be done - there isn’t any new ground here as far as coding approaches.

Download the EE Code for 18 - Implementing the Beliefs Section

So - how’s that for an exciting lead-in? ;)

It’s true though - from a content perspective this is an important page as churches and even denominations have split over the details that will be found here.  However, it’s a simple page to build as it takes advantage of many things that I’ve created already.  The build took all of about 15 minutes here on a rainy Saturday morning.  The longest part of this process for you will be finding and getting agreement on the content. 

So to build this section you’ll need to do the following:

  • Create a Beliefs weblog
  • Assign an existing field group
  • Create a beliefs template group
  • Copy worship/index and edit to suit
  • Enter content
  • Update embeds/main_nav

Create a Beliefs Weblog
Create a weblog named Beliefs - and you can choose to create a new template group here at the same time if you wish.  Choose the worship template group as one to duplicate if you do this step. Make sure the template group is named “beliefs”.

Assign an Existing Field Group
I assigned the existing “simple content” field group to the new weblog.  I won’t need a category or status group here.

Copy worship/index and Edit to Suit
If you didn’t do this earlier then now, create a new template group named “beliefs”.  Copy the Worship template group.

Change all the “worship” references to “beliefs” - in the page title embed, the body id, and the main navigation location.

Change the code in the content area to the following:

div class="interiorBox">
{exp:weblog:entries weblog="beliefs" disable="trackbacks|member_data|pagination" sort="asc"}


Enter Content
Now enter your content.  I chose to copy the beliefs-related content from my own church site—which is http://www.mannais.org  .

Update embeds/main_nav
The main navigation template will need to be updated to point to the new template.  I’ll include the updated code in the companion files as usual.

So - that’s it?  Yep.  No fun coding approaches to share here - only the excitement at the speed at which some sections of a site can come together using ExpressionEngine

What’s Next?
Next we’ll get started on the Event Calendar - a part of the site I know will be more interesting and useful.

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Previous Comments

Picture of parsoncraig

by parsoncraig

Date: Sunday, July 13th, 2008
Comment: #1

Just a note of suggestions you might want to incorporate in your book that may help others brainstorm on how this can be really useful.

I used page/comps single column to create pages for the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds and third with a hyperlinked (internally) page containing the catechism.  We then added links to this sub-pages to the main beliefs area, which mentions those.  As you note, and I want to emphasize, in showing this to parishioners, we noted that it elevated the significance and ownership of these beliefs in ways that were a bit surprising to us.  Particularly the accessibility of the catechism was welcomed by the focus group.  It provided them a ready reference that we did not realize they lacked.

Picture of Gaurav

by Gaurav

Date: Monday, November 16th, 2009
Comment: #2


If the church staff wanted to add more beliefs what would they do? Will it come fomatted as the other beliefs along with the links after each belief?

Mike Boyink

by Mike Boyink (Author)

Date: Monday, November 16th, 2009
Comment: #3

They would publish a new post to the ‘beliefs’ weblog.  In this case the links are in the Page Content field so they will appear however the Content Administrator places them.

You could create an additional field to contain the links if you wanted the template to force the formatting and placement of the link.

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