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Proof of Concept for Church Website

Discussion in 'Review my webdesign' started by Meksilon, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Meksilon

    Meksilon NLC NLC

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    I've been asked to provide feedback for upgrading our existing Parish website. It is located here.

    As you can clearly see it looks horrible. I decided that it's better just to create a proof of concept rather than just say "this is what we need it needs to be a WordPress website", because finding examples of well-functioning Church websites using WordPress isn't exactly easy. StMatt's Waniassa uses one.

    It looks like they've just used an off the peg theme and there's so much more they could do with it. Also do you really want to have your "Site Administration" link on there? Of course not!

    I put together a proof of concept that implements the functions I think we are looking for. As I need to present this idea as a possible solution in a couple of days I would like feedback about what you think and especially if you have any further ideas of improvement that I've missed.

    The proof of concept is here.

    For reference here is my original list of requirements:

    1. Intended to serve the needs of people on the outside.
    2. So questions like: Where are you? Who are you? What do you do?
    3. We will not in the first place be looking for a place to put rosters and parish contact lists or minutes of meetings etc.

    I have taken this to mean that information categorized by (3) may still be relevant, but shouldn't be as prominent as promoting current events and basic introduction.
     
  2. Schmarvin

    Schmarvin Cross Industries NLC

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  3. wswd

    wswd Well-Known Member NLC

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    Honestly?

    I like the old one 10 times better than the new one. Perhaps it's due to the coding errors, but the new site is a complete mess in Firefox and Chrome (layers overlapping, text too close/overlapping, etc.). In fact, I don't even like the layout at all. The only thing I see wrong with the old site is that horrid blue background. Give that a quick change, add/edit the menu items on the left side of the page, and I think you would be good to go.

    The StMatt's Waniassa website looks awful too. I'm not sure I would be using that as a template for yours. If it wasn't for the menu, I'd have no idea it was a church website. Looks just like any other stock Wordpress website out there.
     
  4. Meksilon

    Meksilon NLC NLC

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    Coding errors are not important at this point. I hacked apart the PHP code rather crudely to make it closer to what I wanted. It's only a proof of concept after all. If we went ahead with it my way, I'd do substantial re-coding and remove all the unnecessary elements to simplify the PHP/HTML.

    I'd make the featured events scroller a bit smaller so the service time can be displayed alongside it but larger, and I'd make it fit the light-blue theme a bit better then it presently does.

    The overlapping layers are a problem in the original theme that I hadn't fixed yet. I've fixed it now. :)

    By the way, it's nothing compared to the problems with StMatt's site. For instance, open IE8 go there and switch into compatability view and see if you can click any of the drop-down links.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  5. wswd

    wswd Well-Known Member NLC

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    That appears to have fixed everything, but I still like the old one. The new site just looks like a big calendar to me. Just personal preference I guess, but I don't like it at all.
     
  6. Schmarvin

    Schmarvin Cross Industries NLC

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    Still not diggin' it. If I scroll down, it looks as if the text is all clumped/scrunched together.
     
  7. Meksilon

    Meksilon NLC NLC

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    You make a good point. I think the present problem is that a large chunk of the space is wasted on the post date. This really doesn't need to be quite so prominent on a website like this, after all that is more appropriate for a blog. If I opened that space up would you like it better? Or do you think it needs to be "single column"?

    Interesting. I can't stand the original website. It looks amateur, cheap, and although it *is* updated (for instance the calendar), it doesn't look like it's updated. Not to mention the awful blue/red/yellow colour scheme. The blue/yellow/red is a part of the present logo, but if we get it replaced with an updated logo its possible blue will no longer be a part of it at all! I'd be happy to change the colour scheme to be more appropriate with a new branding. Still though, I think the original website implemented the colour scheme incorrectly, red text and yellow text on a blue background is awful. Plus the logo is in dire need of an update. I mean an upside-down cross? Really? It doesn't even symbolize Christ, it symbolizes _Peter_ (since he was crucified upside-down), but again Joe-public probably doesn't know what to think when they see an upside down cross!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  8. Meksilon

    Meksilon NLC NLC

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    Okay, I've completly overhauled that area now. The text cannot possibly display narrow/clumped anymore: for one the coloumns are a lot wider, and secondly the images are now block elements that break the line so text can't wrap around them. See what you think.
     
  9. wswd

    wswd Well-Known Member NLC

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    I'll be first in line to say I don't like the colors on the old page, but that's an easy fix. It's an incredibly easy fix. I could do without some of the stuff on the left column too.

    After looking at the two sites some more in-depth, I think I found the major issue I have. The original site looks like a website. On the front page, you're greeted with a welcome message from the church. It immediately gives the times of the services, a link to the events calendar, a picture presumably of the pastor, a picture of the inside of the church and the congregation.

    The new site looks like I ended up on the calendar accidentally...only it's the homepage. It makes no sense.
     
  10. Meksilon

    Meksilon NLC NLC

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    Aha! That can be fixed! :)

    And in fact I have fixed it. The index page yanks the content from a new page called "Welcome Message" which is otherwise hidden.
     
  11. wswd

    wswd Well-Known Member NLC

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    Yeah, that's better. :D I still don't see the need for the calendar items at the bottom, particularly since there is a separate calendar, but I'd say that nice little welcome at the top makes more sense for a church.
     
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  12. Meksilon

    Meksilon NLC NLC

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    Your feedback was very helpful. The "service times" does appear on the original website at the bottom, so it's not as if I've added something that wasn't there originally, I simply improved upon it. Graphics can always be added to it at some later stage if necessary.
     
  13. Schmarvin

    Schmarvin Cross Industries NLC

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    Looks a lot better now. As for your welcome area. The pic used from another site, I recommend not being there, mainly because it has the url to another website on it.
     
  14. iBrightDev

    iBrightDev Jay Street NLC NLC

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    honesty, i say that you need to re-think your navigation. you have two top navigations, and it just looks wrong. and why are there two home page links? i still like the old one more too.
     
  15. Meksilon

    Meksilon NLC NLC

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    Yes well, as it's not the "real" site the cats stay as they are for now. :) Thanks for the comment though.
    Just left over from the original wordpress skin, of course i'd remove it from the bottom - the top = "about us" junk, bottom = "doing" stuff. In a nutshell.
     
  16. iBrightDev

    iBrightDev Jay Street NLC NLC

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    well, i guess i will look again when you say it is done...
     

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