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EPHESUS SDA CHURCH

WEB DESIGN

The Brief

After four years without content and functionality updates, the Ephesus website was of date and no longer relevant for the church and the community it serves.

Defining the Issues

Ephesus began 2018 with a new mandate from the head pastor to align its communication and digital strategy across all church departments. Although the website was the face of the church, there were no updates outside of a weekly live stream during the main church service on Sabbath (Saturday). As a result, the church’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts became the defacto online presence for church members and visitors.

As critical members of the original website team left the operational knowledge needed to log in, maintain and update the website were lost.

In addition to these challenges, the Ephesus website lacked any type of mobile optimization, analytics tracking or security.

Choosing a Platform

The original website was built on Joomla, and a decision was made by the web team to move away from that platform in favor of either Squarespace or WordPress. The advantage of Squarespace is its ease of use, and high-quality themes meant a new site could be built quickly. The downsides to Squarespace is its lack of flexibility once the church had a baseline website up and running.

WordPress has a vibrant ecosystem that would allow the web team to build a site according to the features they had in mind once the core functionality was implemented. Based on our experience with WordPress frameworks and premium themes, we proposed using the Divi website builder for the following reasons:

  • The choice of using a website builder in the admin panel or directly on the page itself.
  • Customization options for fonts, colors, animations, and CSS.
  • Elegant Themes actively supports Divi with frequent feature updates and provides free resources on a weekly basis.

Content Strategy

After performing an audit of the website, we realized that most of the existing content would need to be reworked before it could be used since much of it was outdated. Also, none of the images were at a high enough resolution to support modern high-resolution displays.

Delays

Getting high-resolution images was the single biggest impediment to launching. Royalty free photos were secured and used as placeholders in case the in-house photographers were unable to provide unwatermarked high res photos.

Launch

On July 5th, 2018 Ephesus.org was relaunched with the key features identified by the website team:

  • Live streaming
  • Online giving
  • Leadership, ministries pages
  • Email, contact form and click to call functionality on mobile.

Post Launch

The post-launch response has been overwhelmingly positive from the church membership, Pastor and the senior leadership in the North Eastern Conference of Seventh Day Adventists. Now that the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) has been established, work is continuing to develop new features and content based on the backlog of identified tasks.

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