I’ve spent hundreds of hours over the last many months developing the site from the ground up to optimize the experience for parishioners and guests. There are many new and updated features with the site, and I hope you take the time to look around. Now, I’d like to share with you my top five.
Stunning New Design
The new version of our website introduces a fresh modern design. Every element has been carefully crafted to highlight the beauty of the imagery and content that it contains and reflect the boldness of our modern church identity. A lot has changed since the last major update to our website with how people use our site. The new site was created with this in mind and puts spiritual content such as articles and videos at the forefront in addition to key components such as livestream, bulletins, and info for first-timers.
I am also very proud to share that our new site will have a dark mode! This means that when you visit our site on a mobile or desktop device that has native dark mode support (and enabled), the theme of the site will reflect your preference. Using dark mode on your devices has both health and well-being benefits as well as being a great way to save battery. Everyone can relate to being in a room where the lights are turned down and you’ve got this white screen blinding you. While less than 3% of websites in the world support this, I am proud to say that ours does!
The Prayer Wall is a brand new component built to help parishioners, guests, and staff stay connected in prayer even while we are far apart. It is a place where anyone can share a prayer intention and also pray for others. That prayer intention can be for someone who is sick, who has died, for strength, in thanksgiving, or just a personal intention. I tried to make the experience as simple as possible with minimal information being asked from the user. There is also the option for you to ask to have someone contact you to pray together. Our connection through prayer has never been more important! Some recent Prayer Wall posts will be included in our bulletin each week.
Although our website has always been a great place to find more up-to-date content than what is found in the bulletin, it was scattered throughout the site making it a challenge to find what you are looking for. Well that is no longer the case! We’ve created a single page that contains the most up-to-date information that can be found in the bulletin and across our site and pulls it into a single location. This includes new additions such as funerals, baptisms, and offertory reports. This page dynamically pulls in the latest info from other parts of our site and lays it out in a seamless format. We will continue to update this page to include additional features. Don’t worry, you can still download PDFs of the bulletin as well if you prefer!
With over 1200 posts on our website, it can be difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. Well we’ve built a new search engine for the site that will quickly display results based on what you type without even having to press enter. The search engine should also continue to get smarter by learning what users search for and prioritizing those search results. Give the search a try in the upper right corner of the screen.
With the site being rewritten from the ground up, speed was a top priority. Our new site has optimized code and loading functions, as well as a new backend platform that all result in pages loading up to 60% faster than the previous version of the site.
All of this and more sums up to what I think is a much better experience for users visiting our site. We have continued to see an increase in traffic as a result of COVID, our broadcast Mass, and all of the great content that our staff is sharing. There has never been a more important time to have a strong digital presence than right now. While I still have more ideas of ways to improve and enhance the site moving forward, this marks a big milestone with the importance of the digital church and keeping us all connected.