A congregation of the United Church of Canada
August 3, 2022
Our church website has been giving us some trouble lately. There are some ‘bad scripts’ that are bogging everything down. I’ve probably got some ‘bad scripts’ bogging me down too! (Don’t we all?) We figured out that the current design is 10 years old. In online tech-land that is an eternity! We are long past due for an update. So that’s what we’re in the midst of now. Of course, that means we have a lot of learning to do, and a lot of designing, and a lot of experimenting. But if we did that experimenting on our ‘live’ site it would be pandemonium. (Ok, well at least it would be inconvenient and weirdly embarrassing as everyone watched our experiments.) So instead we create what is called a ‘sandbox’. Yes, that’s right, its summertime, and you’re paying me to play in the sandbox!
Some of it really is fun. And some of it really is slow slogging through technical mumbo-jumbo. Happily we get to do it behind the scenes until we’re ready to launch – ideally before my sabbatical begins in a couple of weeks. To that end we’ve been pondering a bunch of questions. Who is the website primarily for – those already part of our congregation or those inquiring about us? Obviously the answer is both. But you can’t really design the main page that way. What do we want people to see when they first tune-in to faithunited.ca? Basic information about worship times, events, and how to contact us spring to mind. It’s nice to point them to sermons, and other learning resources. We need to explain all the ways we engage in ministry with one another and with the wider community. On and on it goes – and it has to be visually engaging, not too cluttered, really detailed, but easily readable, without too much scrolling, but still including everything about us. In other words, it’s unachievable! But it’s so worth trying!
You see, the problem is that this church is so dynamic, so faithful, and so vibrant, that it’s hard to know what to point to first, and it’s impossible to leave anything out. Usually that’s a fantastic problem to have. Not so much when you’re building a new website. So please pray for me that I don’t get buried in my sandbox! I’ve got my shovels and pails and whatnot all ready and I’m playing away.
Church websites are notoriously awful when compared to other sites on the interwebs. Faith United is a great church, so we deserve to have a great web-presence. Our goal is to have ours look great, and encapsulate Faith in the first 10 seconds (‘cuz that’s about the attention span of a web surfer these days). Like I said, pray for me! Watch for the launch of the new faithunited.ca in the next week or so. We hope you’ll love it!