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Speed up your WordPress site with image optimisation

Posted on 3/3/14 in Websites

The speed of your website is vitally important these days. Users with high expectations and short attention spans are quick to move on to the next thing if your site doesn’t load in a flash.

Google has even started factoring in the speed of sites to its ranking algorithm.
It has never been more important.

Read more…

5 Years: Looking Back

Posted on 14/1/14 in News

This week marks  5 years since I arrived back in Australia (after a jaunt in Christchurch) and Jordesign became a full time venture. It’s been a crazy 5 years — so I thought I would spend some time taking a look back at what has happened, and what I am looking forward to in the future

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5 years: Looking Forward

Posted on in News

This week marks  5 years since I arrived back in Australia (after a jaunt in Christchurch) and Jordesign became a full time venture. It’s been a crazy 5 years — so I thought I would spend some time taking a look back at what has happened, and what I am looking forward to in the future…

Read more…

Church website trends for 2014

Posted on 29/12/13 in Websites

As we come to the end of 2013 — I thought it would be worth taking a look at what we can expect from church websites in the coming year.

Responsive Church Websites

Churches that haven’t already figured it out will realise that many people are visiting their website on devices like phones, tablets, gaming consoles and more — as well as traditional computers. These people are served much better if they can see the site without having to zoom or scroll around a huge site on a small screen.

Any church websites launching (or relaunching) would be silly to not be responsive — meaning the site will alter it’s appearance to suit the size of the device it is being used on.

Find out more about Responsive Design.

BIG Images

We’ll see more and more churches utilising HUGE fullscreen images that seem to bleed off the page. A technique used extensively in print design, increased download speeds have brought it to websites too.

Big images can be emotionally engaging, drawing the user into the page to find out more. It does mean, however, there is a much greater importance placed on the quality of those images. So start looking for great ones!

Have a look at Changepoint Alaska & Southland City for some church websites with beautiful big images.

One Page Church Websites

More and more churches will decide that a huge website with lots of pages is not for them. We’ll see plenty of websites where the majority of the content is contained inside a single page. Users will navigate by scrolling down the page through different sections.

Check out Hillsong, Kingdom City & Renewal CC for some great examples.

Lose the Carousel

My great hope for the coming year is that will stop relying on a carousel on the homepage of their website. I’ve written about carousels before — you know, the slideshow of content that lets every stakeholder have their own spot on the homepage for 4 seconds?

The fact of the matter is that these are horribly ineffective — slides beyond the first are rarely clicked on, and the movement often acts as more of a distraction than anything else.

I hope we’ll start to see more clever solutions like the one used by Hillsong - A single large image with a small portion in the corner to scroll through important news/information.

Focus on the User

In 2014 we will see more and more churches change the way they organise their site. Rather than organising the website around internal structure or ministries, the will start to organise the content around what their users and visitors need.

We will see landing pages targeted at first time visitors, returning visitors and existing members — all with different content suited exactly to the type of user. Churches like Northwood & Lifewater are already doing this.

Real People, Real Stories

Church websites in 2014 will be much more transparent and realistic about the people and processes within the church. We’ll see less stock photography, generic design and sugar coated presentation.

There will more photos of actual church members, and behind the scenes instagrams and photos of services and ministries. More churches will tell real life stories of their staff and members — rather than trying to have an overly polished, faultless appearance.

What do you think?

So what trends do YOU think we will see in church websites in 2013?

Proposal: a WordPress Zen Garden

Posted on 21/12/13 in Websites

I was just reading great post from Konstantin Obenland talking about the design and development process behind the default WordPress themes from the last couple of years. In it he explains his desire to simplify for next years theme — and perhaps even base it on Automattic’s _s theme — changing only the css.

This got me thinking — wouldn’t it be great if there were something like a WordPress Zen Garden. Read more…

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