Church Website Plugin: Reftagger

If you have a church website, odds are that you’re occasionally mentioning Bible references somewhere on the site. (If not, you might want to change that!)

If so, I have a great free tool for you to check out. It’s called Reftagger, and it automatically provides a tooltip style popup with the text of any Bible reference on your site.

Reftagger logo

I’m using it on this site, so when I type in a reference, there will automatically be a hover tooltip attached to it. For example, 2 Timothy 3:16.

When you set up Reftagger, you can pick from 17 different Bible translations, including King James (KJV), New International Version (NIV), English Standard (ESV), and The Message paraphrase. Sadly, due to its more restrictive licensing, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is not included. Still, there’s a good selection to choose from.

With Reftagger, you do need to pick one translation to use throughout your entire site. Although that might seem like a limitation, I actually kind of like it. One of my pet peeves is people cherry-picking from different Bible translations to twist the Word to say what they want it to say. No translation’s perfect, but if you’re using someone else’s translation, at least be consistent.

Reftagger is created and maintained by Logos Bible Software, makers of the Faithlife study Bible and the excellent Logos translation and study library software, my goto tool for translating Biblical texts from the original languages. Each Reftagger popup provides a link to their online Bible at Biblia.com or to Faithlife.

Customizing RefTagger Plugin
Some of RefTagger’s customization options

Visually, Reftagger has pretty good customization options. You can choose font style, color, and size for both the body text and the heading, choose between Faithlife or Biblia for link landing site, choose to make links open in a new window, and even set CSS classes to exclude.

Popups also can provide social share links to the usual social network sites, and you can choose which networks to include share links to and which to exclude.

Using a plugin like Reftagger helps to keep visitors on your site, rather than sending them off to another site to look up the passages you’re citing. It works especially well on statement of faith pages, since those often have many references on just one page. It can also be helpful for posted sermons to make them more readable and less convoluted.

Installing Reftagger is simple. After you choose your customization options, you can download the HTML code to stick into your site if you need plain code. Alternatively, if you’re using Drupal, Joomla, Blogspot, or my favorite, WordPress, they provide a simple plugin to use.

The one disadvantage to Reftagger is that it’s not really mobile-friendly. If you’re viewing a site on a mobile device, you can’t hover over a link. If you click a Reftagger link, you’ll still go to the verse, but it’ll take you directly to Faithlife or Biblia, rather than providing a tooltip.

Again, Reftagger is totally free, so there’s no reason not to check it out. You can find it here. There are a few other options for displaying Bible verse popups on your church’s website, but after testing several, Reftagger is definitely my favorite. Let me know how you’re using it!

Also, speaking of WordPress and church websites, have you seen my review of the new Exodus theme yet?

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