SermonBrowser beta now available

This is an old post. Please refer to the dedicated Sermon Browser page for the most up to date information.

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I was developing a plug-in to allow you to upload sermons into your WordPress blog. I’m delighted to say that the beta version of this plugin is now available for you to download.

As with all beta software, the normal caveats apply. The software isn’t fully tested, and may cause you problems. In particular, the database format may change between now and the release version, which could mean that any sermons you enter into the database would have to be re-entered later.

If you want to see what the plug-in would look like on your site, you can view it here on this test site. (The site has not yet been launched, and is still in beta itself!)

Installation instructions:

  • Download the plugin, and unzip it.   SermonBrowser 0.24 (release candidate) (76.2 KiB, 2,075 hits)
  • Place the sermonbrowser folder in your wp-content/plugins folder.
  • Activate the plugin from the plugins tab of your WordPress admin.
  • If you use a *nix server, make sure the permissions are set to 777 on the “files” folder, and on multi.php and single.php

Entering sermons into SermonBrowser

  • In your WordPress admin, you’ll notice a new tab called Sermons. Click on it.
  • You’ll see a series of sub-tabs come up. First of all, go to Options, and make sure that the upload directory is set correctly and no error message is displayed.
  • If all is well, click on the New Sermon tab. You can enter all the information about your sermon:
    • Title: Self-explanatory
    • Preacher: Choose from the drop-down or create a new preacher.
    • Series: Similar to preacher.
    • Date: Click the calendar icon, or type the date in the format shown.
    • Service: Choose the service that matches the occasion, or create a new one. If you create a new service, you’ll be asked what time that service normally occurs.
    • Time: The time of day the service started. This is normally greyed out, and defaults to the usual time for that particular service. If you need to change it just for this sermon, click of the override button and enter the correct time. If you need to change the default for this particular service, see Manage, later.
    • Bible Passage: Here you can enter the Bible passage that was preached from. There are six fields to complete, the book, chapter and verse at the start of the passage, and the book chapter and verse at the end. So, for example, if you preached from James 4:1-12, you would enter James | 4 | 1 |James | 4 | 12. If you preached from more than one passage, click the add more link.
    • Files: If you have already uploaded the file, just choose it from the drop-down menu. Otherwise, click browse to upload it now. If you want to link more than one file to this sermon, click add more. You can add files of any type.
  • When you’re done, click save.

Other admin functions

  • If you need to edit or delete a sermon, you can find a list of them on the sermons sub-tab.
  • On the Manage sub-tab, you can keep track of the series, services and preachers in your database. You can also change the default time of services from this page.
  • On the uploads tab, you’ll see a list of all the files that have been uploaded so far, and you can rename and delete them, or upload an additional file. You can also upload files via FTP.
  • The options page allows you to change the folder where files are stored, or uninstall the plugin. There is also a powerful templating facility to change the way sermons are displayed on your blog.

Displaying sermons on your blog

  • To display sermons on your blog, simply add the phrase [sermons] on one of your WordPress pages. (It’s probably best to create a page just for this.
  • If you have the 1 Pixel Out Audio Player plugin installed, then MP3 files can be played in your browser via a flash plug-in.

Advanced options

  • The templating feature is a powerful tool when used well, and in conjuction with CSS (edit style.css in the sermonbrowser folder). Play around with this if the layout doesn’t look good on your website.
  • At the moment, icons are only provided for MP3, Word, PDF and Powerpoint files. If you want to create your own icons for other filetypes, you can edit filetypes.php.

If something goes wrong

  • Leave a comment here. I’ll do my best to help. Remember that it is a beta, though!

How you can help

  • Let me know what you like, and what you don’t like.
  • Let me know of any bugs you find.
  • Give me suggestions about how it could be improved.

Articles in this series:

  1. WordPress sermon plug-in announced
  2. SermonBrowser beta now available <-- This article


  1. Just to update you all on progress. The new version is coming to the end of bug-testing. There’s on serious bug that can delete all your sermons, so I’m not releasing another beta until at least that one’s fixed!

    But you can see the new version in action on the test site. It allows sorting by bible book. You’ll can see the podcasting support (even supporting podcasts for specific queries – e.g. podcasts for certain preachers, or a podcast for just the morning service, etc.). There’s embedded video support, and a new sidebar widget. There’s also a new facility for automatically adding the bible text directly onto the sermon page (ESV version).

  2. I’ve now released the next version of the . It’s not a release candidate, I’m afraid, just beta 2. However, there are a number of new features, and I’m fairly sure all of the critical bugs have now been sorted. Other bugs do remain, however. The purpose of releasing the plugin now is so that you can help finding the final few bugs before the official release. Thank you!

    I’ve also written some fairly extensive documentation and recorded some tutorial screencasts. I’d value feedback about them, as well as the plug-in proper.

    Thanks for all your help!

  3. I’m having problems with uploading preachers images. Any suggestions?

  4. @Jon, If you’ve upgraded from an earlier version, it’s possible the folder wasn’t created for you. You need to make sure you have an images folder inside your sermons folder (it should be /wp-content/uploads/sermons/images). Make sure the permissions are set to 0777 on this folder.

  5. Also, make sure you’re using the most recent version of the plug-in. We’re up to 0.23 now:

  6. Wow, amazing wp plugin! Just what I was looking. Great work, thanks for the hard work in making this plugin.

  7. Hello, I’m having trouble getting the sermons to display on our website. I’ve entered [sermons] on the appropriate MP3 page, but it remains blank. I’m using WordPress 2.6 at present. Thanks.

  8. I have uploaded sermon browser and I have everything working except on the dashboard I go to sermons and the subcategory of sermons (next to add sermons) where it shows the filter to sort. underneath is the sermon id, title, preacher, date, etc. there is nothing down there. I can see the sermons as linked but I cannot edit them or change anything. any thoughts on how to solve this? Thanks for your time.

  9. Its taken care of it was an issue with leaving the series blank it made the sermons unable to be edited from the dashboard. thanks.

  10. Mark,
    This is quite simply the best!! I cannot tell you how thankful I am for your efforts. I had been creating (recreating every week) a site with Publisher and reloading everything, everytime – it was a lesson in perserverance. BTW, I used the latest version of Audio player ( and it works perfectly. I certianly don’t want to ‘steal’ all of your great ideas, but I noticed on your church’s site that you have ‘itunes’|’other’ and I was curious if you would share that little secret?