The Twickenham Church of Christ's web site was previously hosted on a Wix-like hosting service catering specifically to churches. The congregation's leaders felt it lacked focus and was not easy for site visitors to use. A volunteer's attempt to upgrade the site was not successful. We were brought in to set up a new site, that focuses primarily on seekers but also supported members. They also decided they wanted the site to be a turnkey operation, where staff could send content to a third party who would post it appropriately.
The leadership brought us in for a weekend, to visit the congregation and to make a presentation of our approach to some of the leaders and staff.
Our recommendation was to focus on getting the new site online as soon as possible, and then add to the site incrementally. That meant limiting new features and new content, instead focusing on updating (or discarding) the current content. But you still need a couple of truly new things to get the members' attention that things on the web were changing for the better.
We built the new site on the Joomla framework, and the staff selected the template they wanted to use. Logo in hand, we customized the template to use its colors. We agreed that for the launch we would limit ourselves to two truly new features: First, we would import the posts from the minister's blog on an ongoing basis. He posted on his blog weekly, so adding those posts would ensure the home page had fresh content added at least once every seven days.
Second, we would make the audio and video of the Sunday services available in the site. The church broadcast its Sunday services live on the web and posted the recorded services on Vimeo. We used the Joomla extension Preachit! This allowed us to leave the video on Vimeo, but easily list each service in the Twickenham site. Preachit! allows you leave the videos on Vimeo, but play them from within the church's site. We would edit the audio down to only the sermon and include it as well. Preachit! also lets you link the speakers to each sermon, include references to the main Bible texts used in a service, and easily podcast the audio via iTunes and Google Music.
We did add one more thing for the launch. The template offers a special tab at the top. We took advantage of that for a "Before you visit our church" page, which explains what to expect when you visit Twickenham's services.
- Online sermons and podcasts
- Church and ministry calendars
- Password-protected member's area including on-line member directory
- Organized PDFs and Word documents into libraries, with the ability to make individual documents downloadable
- Offer the church's quarterly newsletter in a magazine style (like online grocery story fliers)
- Blog posts automatically imported from WordPress blogs
What we do for Twickenham:
- Update all content to the web site, including articles, events in the calendar, images, documents and sermons
- Maintain the site by applying updates to various components, including security measures to minimize the chance of being hacked
- Advise as necessary
What Twickenham does:
- Provides content and images
The next phases are not finalized, but could include social media integration and a photo album.