Conference launches redesigned website to kick off the new church year
The Christian season of Advent is the beginning of the Church year. To mark this new year, the North Alabama Conference has introduced a redesigned website.
Some of the features of the redesigned umcna.org include:
- a simplified organizational structure
- easier site navigation
- a robust search engine
- multiple pathways to information to allow for differences in website visitors’ habits
- a new and ever-growing Resources section containing ministry resources that can be sorted by topic
- a rotating color scheme that will observe the seasons of the liturgical calendar (blue during Advent; gold during Christmas, Epiphany, Easter and Eastertide; purple during Lent; red during Pentecost; and green during Ordinary Time)
In preparing for the redesign, the Office of Communication staff gathered feedback from website visitors through surveys and a popup questionnaire. They also researched website analytics and current internet trends.
The feedback and analytics showed that visitors wanted a better search feature and easier site navigation with more user-friendly menus. It also showed that directories — including clergy, church, district and Conference staff — are among the top Conference website destinations. The redesigned site has been organized into six basic sections and the menus on the site are easier to use. Each page of the website also features a prominent site-wide search feature. Buttons on the front page make getting to people and church directories simple.
Website analytics gathered over the past two years additionally showed that a majority of people now visit the Conference site using a mobile device or tablet instead of a desktop or laptop computer. This trend was incorporated into the responsive website design to make the mobile layout more user-friendly and to better accommodate slower cell and internet speeds in many parts of the Conference area.
Security, always a key focus, was another redesign consideration. The new people and church directories have an added email address request verification. This extra step helps block malicious actors and computer bots from harvesting email addresses while allowing for person-to-person contact.
“We invite you to click around the new umcna.org,” says Director of Communication Danette Clifton. “Our former website design was more than seven years old, so we were in major need of some updates. As our team worked through this redesign project, we were determined to do more than a superficial facelift. We have tried to take our website visitors’ feedback and habits into account in order to provide an all-new Conference website experience. We hope this new design will better serve you and your congregation’s ministry.”
As with any new technology, there can be glitches. If you find a technical issue on the Conference website please let the Office of Communication staff know so they can quickly get the issue resolved.