12/08/2011

Sprucing up ENS site - a sign of things to come?

I consult Episcopal News Service daily. ENS now has a new look and a new address. Now it is episcopaldigitalnetwork. com/ens. The old one still works, but takes one to the new site.  The type face is a bit odd, but I suppose I will get used to it.

For the past months the Episcopal Church website (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/) has had the following small tag / banner on its front page:

Its getting close to the end of the year and we wonder how the project is going.  Is "episcopaldigitalnetwork.com" replacing "episcopalchurch.org" or part of it?  Is the sort of type face on the ENS pages what we can expect elsewhere?  We will see.

The task of taking a site that has thousands of pages of material of different sorts and resetting the whole in a coherent way is daunting. I am not surprised the effort is taking some time.  When it all settles out I look forward to a more user friendly search function and better paths through the pages. 


6 comments:

  1. In Pittsburgh, we were told that a redesign for the Episcopal Church site would be available last summer. Hum, missed that deadline.

    As usual, the changes are a mess. I tried a link to a story from January 2009. The URL has changed, and the story was not found. I tried to find the story manually. When I looked at the archive page supposedly for churchwide stories from 2007–2011, there are only options for stories from 2010 and 2007.

    It is more important that the historical record be retained than it is to use a news typeface. I give the redesign a D-. It should not have gone live.

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  2. IMO, the two most important things for the TEC site to do are (1) tell people what we believe in and (2) tell people how to find a local church. The TEC does both things horribly. Virtually every other denominational site is vastly better than ours for both of these things. The TEC site is in fact one of the worst web sites for anything I've ever run across. Even if you're a knowledgeable insider, it is very difficult to find anything you're hunting for.

    For diocesan web sites, the same two things. My local diocesan website -- Los Angeles -- is terrible on how to find a local church. Once I tried to find my local parish on the website; it took 10 minutes and I found it only because I knew where it was.

    For local websites, the two most important things are (1) where you are and how to get there and (2) what time the services ACTUALLY are. If you're going to change services times this year because Christmas and New Years are Sundays, for God's sake, take five minutes and put a prominent notice on your church's home page. If a newcomer shows up for your 8 o'clock service on Christmas and it's been cancelled, do you think that person is ever going to show up again?

    The internet is one of the, if not THE, most important evangelism tools we have. (Almost every newcomer in our parish in the last 10 years has come after looking at our parish's website.) It's crazy that we don't use it in the best possible way we can.

    (Sorry for the rant, but this issue can drive me up the wall. It's incredibly frustrating when traveling to look up the local parish's service times and discover that all that's there is the listing for Holy Week 2007![ true story])

    WV = "effenet," which seems to be a too common attitude toward church websites.

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  3. In response to Lionel's comments, his concern with broken links to old stories is a recurrent issue with RedDot, the content management system we were using, and it is one of the reasons we have moved to a new publishing platform. We are able to reconnect links and do so whenever we find them.

    Anyone who comes across a similar problem can email us at news@episcopalchurch.org and we will reconnect the story.

    Lionel mentioned that the archive page only shows Churchwide stories for 2010 and 2011. That is because until 2010, that section was known as Diocesan Digest. There is a separate archive page for those stories and it is reachable via the clickable link by that name on the page to which Lionel linked in his comment.

    In response to Mark's notation that the ENS page's URL is episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens, the official site URL is www.episcopalnewsservice.com, and that will become the visible URL very soon.

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  4. Thanks for the great site sbo
    suggestion, Tom! It's a great idea and I'll pass the info on to other family members. As for what's going on in Washington sbobet

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  5. when traveling to look up the local parishsbo
    sbo
    's service times and discover that all that's there is the listing for Holy

    ReplyDelete

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