North Alabama Conference website serves visitors with new look and new features

10/30/2009

On Thursday afternoon, October 29, the North Alabama Conference website, www.northalabamaumc.org, got a bit of an updated look, but more importantly began to offer new features and information to website visitors.

Frequent visitors to the site may notice a few changes to the site including that the main navigation menu (the links to click to go to major sections of the site) are now at the top of the site. Also the homepage’s left menu now includes Quick Links to some of the most frequently visited pages of the site. The features box the used to rotate on the home page is now represented with graphics located below the church login area on the left of the home page.

As visitors click deeper into the site, they will also notice other updates and features now a part of the site including

  • New and quicker search function
  • Improved calendar which makes it easier for visitors to browse events and to even subscribe to events and have their Outlook auto-updated using iCal technology.
  • Online Directories created with the latest information in the North Alabama Conference database for the Cabinet, District Staffs, Conference staff, Lay Ministry Team, Advance Specials, Wesley Foundations, and Church-related Institutions.
  • The new Blogs page brings all blogs and regular and occasional column entries together in one detailed blog so visitors can quickly read the latest information from Conference leaders.
  • New and improved church locator allows a radius search by zip code and has a Google map with directions baked in the church details page.
  • New and improved clergy locator allows users to search by clergy’s preferred name as well as his or her first and last names.
  • The code base of the website is also compatible with the newest web browsers.

As the North Alabama Conference lives into its updated system, current features will be fine tuned and there will be more features introduced in the next few months including an interactive map of mission opportunities for individuals and congregations; and the ability for visitors to once again post comments on news stories and blogs.

The North Alabama Conference website is an important part of connecting North Alabama United Methodists and working toward the Conference vision of Every church challenged and equipped to grow more disciples of Jesus Christ by taking risks and changing lives. The site has logged more than 2.4 million hits (page views) since July 2007. The site has seen almost 55,000 unique visitors just since January 1, 2009!

This new look and features are a result of an update to the content management system which controls the website and conference database which was conducted over the last week as staff members of the Office of Communication and Office of Information Technology worked with staff from Brick River Technologies, the creator of the system. Brick River currently works with 32 of the 62 United Methodist Annual Conferences in the United States. Knowing the current financial realities for the church, they are working with all their Annual Conference customers to update to the latest technology in the most cost-effect means possible. The small investment now not only keeps the North Alabama Conference’s technology relevant for the 21st century but will allow cost savings for years to come as new ministry features are continually introduced to the updated system.

So, now that you are here, click around and see what you can discover on www.northalabamaumc.org.


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