Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Website... FINALLY!

I finally got the new website up for Cambridge Drive Church.  Constructing a website is an interesting exercise.  I tend to be verbal rather than visual so I would write way too many words and have too few images... which is exactly the opposite of what a website should have.  And then, there is the huge question of what to include in a website.

One of the big questions was whether or not to include a "We Believe" page.  Many/most church pages have them and I have to admit that it is one of the first places I go when I'm looking at a church website.  We did include one but I was hesitant for a bunch of reasons.  Often churches include these statements as a litmus test for members and for staff.    In our Baptist tradition that is a little tricky.  Soul liberty made it difficult to tell someone else what he or she should or should not believe.  Freedom of the Bible militated against someone saying this is what the Bible officially says or does not say.  These two thoughts were the foundation of early Baptist discomfort with creeds.  At the same time, early Baptists did write confessions which were consensus documents that essentially said, these are the areas about which this group of Baptists in this time and place has some consensus.  A few years ago one of our adult studies had the classes write a confession.  My favorite one began, "All confessions of faith must be written in pencil."  That is to say that while there are certainly some pieces that will not change, others will and the confession must be held lightly.  I can't imagine there is much that I could write that every member of the church would agree with 100%.  Indeed, our church board went around a good bit regarding the content of that page.  I'm satisfied with it... but realize it is written in pencil and very well may change at some point.

The second page I visit on church websites is the staff page.  Again I was hesitant to include one and again we did.  I didn't want to communicate the idea that the church is the staff.  We have volunteers who spend more time working on the church property than some of the paid staff and a significant percentage of members who volunteer in a variety of community ministries.   Then there was a real question of who to include even among paid staff and what order to put them on the page.  We have direct church staff - who we included on the page - and we have a nursery school with additional staff - we included only the director.  We ended up putting the staff in alphabetical order mainly because I didn't know how else to order them.  Each staff member wrote their own short bio.  It meant a slightly different voice on each but made it so I didn't have to worry about including something not wanted or leaving something out.

Graphics are tricky.  I wanted a clean style that was easy to follow and caught the viewers eyes.  We ended up with some unhappiness about some of the images.  They are there now but can be easily changed.

We were gifted with a new logo from Bill Kole at Digital Media Associates.  Isn't it wonderful!

FWIW, we used WIX to host our site.  Their software is very easy to use, there are lots of reasonably good templates, and the cost was OK.

Check out the page and let me know what you think...

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