A few months ago, we began working on the DUMC website as the previous website was dated and did not serve the functional needs of the church.
A team and I spent time together mapping out the needs and the site map before launching into collating content, which was quite a large task, as some areas of content were never worked out before this. It gave us a good platform to force heads of ministry and church leaders to rethink how the formal structure should be like.
After much planning, sweat and endless keystrokes, here’s how the landing page of the www.dumc.my website looks like. We mapped out a content hierarchy and prioritised the key areas to highlight: celebration times, visitors, cell groups, events and contact details.
When we discussed the intended outcomes of the site, there were 4 main points raised.
1. It had to be functional – transactions such as conference registrations could take place on the website and feedback forms could be filled in and sent to the right people.
2. Aesthetically pleasing – we want it to be professional, contemporary looking and WOW the website visitors. It also had to look fantastic on mobile devices. This website sports a responsive design to accommodate that.
3. Comprehensive – the website must cover all facets of the church and provide visitors with what they need.
4. Personal / friendly – As a church, we must be appealing to everyone. We decided to use a lot of smiling faces from our members to exude that sense of being welcoming.
For the staff team, I championed taking a whole new set of photos as the previous batch were extremely stiff and overly formal. I’m a proponent of having natural settings, and steering far, FAR away from typical backdrops used in photo labs. Grace Tan, my wife from Stories.my did a great job (and I’m really not biased!).
Here’s how the photos turned out, together with interesting facts that help others get to know them better.
The call-to-actions on the website had to be made prominent, so that website visitors would actually connect with the church as they should. We hope to reduce the use of paper forms that need to be retyped into Microsoft Excel, wasting hours of precious time, not to mention trees. We created forms to encourage people to join a CG, join a ministry, request for prayer, sharing testimonies, signing up for mission trips, job applications and general enquiries.
Social Media is a large topic that many churches try to skirt around. The young want it, the not-so-young are worried about repercussions if negative comments are posted. However, at DUMC, we’ve been able to convince the leaders that Jesus would be on Facebook, if he lived in this century. After all, Jesus is always found where the crowds are, right?
As such, we promote the DUMC Facebook and Twitter presence prominently, and also pull the feeds onto a specific news page on the site. It gives a feeling that there are regular updates and life behind the church. Here’s our page with the feeds.
Other functionality that we enabled on the website were…
Streaming of audio sermons | Registration + credit card payment for events | A blog | PDF magazines online | Streaming of the entire music CD produced by DUMC | Media kit | Steps to faith
Finally, I felt that it was only right to honour all the many people who worked on the website. As such, a credits page was created – it’s like what you see at the end of movies - how cool is that!
Next week, I’ll share the stats on how the website has been performing.
For the nostalgic people, here’s what the previous DUMC website looked like.