artiekuhn.com

NorthminsterChurch.net, NorthminsterFamily.net & NorthminsterStudent.net

Overview

Three websites specifically designed to enhance an existing spiritual community through blogs, forums, mailing lists, sermon & music downloads, etc.

Flash Required

Problem » Strategy

This large Cincinnati-based church wanted to rethink their presence online. After meeting with their stakeholders, we determined that they wanted to develop a site that wasn’t simply about their community, but contributed to it. In response, I encouraged them to launch three different sites, each meeting a different need in their church and each contributing to their community in a meaningful way.

Process

northminsterchurch.net The primary church website. Designed for folks who are interested in checking out the church. I worked with a developer to build a backend-driven calendar. A Flash-based piece was also developed that told the stories of different folks affiliated with the church. This piece pulls from an XML file so that it's easy to update. Also features a backend-driven sermon download section. Finally, a simple Javascript/CSS-powered "make the font bigger" button was added to the delight of older members of the church.

northminsterfamily.net Secondary site designed for members of the church. During the research phase, we determined that because of the size of the church, it was hard for members of the church to connect with their staff. Staff blogs were launched to help facilitate conversations between members and staff. Pastors were encouraged to use their sermons as a springboard for ongoing dialog on their blogs. Forums were launched to provide a way for folks on different committees and in different small groups to connect. An e-newsletter module was also built. Finally, a backend was developed for the office staff to quickly throw together forms for members to fill out for various events.

northminsterstudent.net Secondary site designed for middle- and high-school students who attend the church. The blogs and forums on the northminsterfamily.net site are skinned to a more contemporary look. A huge photo gallery of previous events was built using open source products. Calendar looks for reoccurring events and pulls photos from past events. Backend that enables the staff to upload MP3s of performances from concerts they host as well as videos.

Results

Client and board were very hapy. Four years later, site is still going strong. Interestingly, the online repository of sermons and forms is the most active part of the site!