stripped of everything

Busy Building/Creative Chaos

with 15 comments

I know I had asked everyone the previous week to view the new website. However, I’m asking again. The more feedback, the more I know what is wanted from the viewers on a website.
Feel free to bash it. Build it up. Do whatever you want to it.
All I ask while you’re doing this, is to be honest about your opinion. It matters. If it didn’t matter, I would bother asking you.

Here it is, what has seemingly been consuming me for a week and a half(and will continue to do so until I finish it up, and still some), Dialogue Church Website.

Again, just a briefing on why we’re using what we are. We decided that to start out we wouldn’t pay someone to build a website for us, saving us some initial spending. Instead we have taken full advantage of wordpress.com and created a website through their allowed platform.

The website is nothing amazing(again, obviously since we’re using wordpress.com and are extremely limited), however if you please you can check out the page HERE.

When you’re finished browsing it, come back here and lend me your feedback, good or bad.

This is my entry for two weeks of Creative Chaos over at Ragamuffinsoul.com. Be sure to check the rest of the Creative minds out over there.

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Written by vagabondrunn

June 25, 2008 at 9:06 am

15 Responses

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  1. We have been looking at doing the same thing down here, I think it works great. It gives some great flexibility and a decent look as well, for practically nothing.

    The only thing I would have personally done is to make the domain for the church http://www.dialoguechurch.com and used that instead of a free account.

    I think using a free account looks a little cheesy and cheaper than it could for just $6.95 for a year that it would cost. Other than that, it looks GREAT.

    Scott Fillmer

    June 25, 2008 at 9:35 am

  2. Thanks Scott, I agree completely. The only thing is that we’d have to have a different name, because there is actually another church in NH with this name. We didn’t know it until after we started it. They have the rights to the name already. However, we are planning on ridding of the “wordpress” in the web address.

    Thanks Scott!!

    vagabondrunn

    June 25, 2008 at 9:37 am

  3. 1. Ditch SnapShot ads. Not sure if it’s a WordPress hosted thing or not but they get in the way of trying to navigate the site itself.

    2. Modify the CSS to get rid of the dashed line under links on hover.

    3. Clean up and sharpen the graphics, unless you’re going for that look.

    4. There was something else but now I’ve forgotten it.

    bnpositive

    June 25, 2008 at 9:47 am

  4. 1. SnapShot = WordPress
    2. CSS = It’s free, so I don’t have access to the CSS
    3. Agree’d upon completely. However, wordpress, continues to distort the header image.
    4. I can’t read your mind, so I can’t comment on the “something else” you speak of.

    Thanks for the input. Is there anything you DID like @bnpositive?

    vagabondrunn

    June 25, 2008 at 10:14 am

  5. Hi, Kyle

    I’m sitting here waiting for my daughter to finish practicing her piano lesson so I (we) can go to work. (It’s a flexible kind of job). Looking over your church web site. My input probably isn’t worth a great deal since I’m not a techie, but I thought it looked great.

    I was careful not to let my cursor pass over any links I didn’t want to click, though. I haven’t had this problem on any other site, but on your site here, I get all sorts of SnapShot boxes coming up and pretty soon I get a message that I’m out of memory at line 1. Huh? Maybe you can figure out what that means or why it’s happening. I can’t even click on the links here. I have to click on the SnapShot boxes. I don’t know if this would happen at your church website–like I said, I was pretty careful. I didn’t have any trouble clicking the links when I wanted to, though.

    Back to appearances, though. I love the tree. I had no trouble figuring out how to get from one thing to another, and I didn’t think the wordpress limitations cramped your style at all. Like I said, It looks very well done to me.

    God Bless,

    Cindy

    cindyinsd

    June 25, 2008 at 11:19 am

  6. Looks pretty good… I would agree with Scott and spend a couple of bucks for the unique web name… I am not sure what it can be since all of the .com, .net, .org at taken by the NH church… but when I did http://www.dialoguechurch.us it didn’t come up with anything… might be a thought, but you will run into problems with the name no matter what since the NH church has everything locked up. It might be worth talking to them about buying/renting/getting one of the domains.

    Also, I think there is a typo on the We are page… “a challenge to move beyond our selves and our desires and …” do you want our selves to be separate or combined? I think combined is what you mean, but your call…

    I like the use of Google calendar… but make the link also work when hovering over the green words “Calendar of Events”

    Have you thought about running your page button across the top? That will give you more space in the coming months as you add more substance to the website.

    When you mention the worship location and note that this is not the mailing address – go ahead and give them the mailing address or link to it.

    I get this funny “filed under: 1” comment on each page just to the right of the about us button.

    You might consider looking at an email address to match your website once it is moved.

    There is a free web hosting service by Microsoft for small companies. You might want to look at them…. http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/?xid=c2logo. This provides some basic reporting, email, etc. but is limited with regard to the style (very plain) – so may not be an option for you.

    Michael

    June 25, 2008 at 12:50 pm

  7. Michael-

    Yeah, I also noticed that all of the .com, .net, and .org’s were all taken. We’ll have to decide what to do with that later.

    I actually had noticed the “our selves” typo earlier and just had not changed it. Thanks for reminding me to get that done.

    The problem with changing the “Calendar of Events” to a link is that it changes the color to red, and it is no longer bold. I agree though, I wish that could be done.

    The page links…this is one area I just differ on your opinion with. Thanks for the suggestion though. lol

    I liked the mailing address suggestion. -thanks!

    The “filed under: 1” is ticking me off to no end. I cannot get it to go away. WordPress Support is about to hear from me..

    We are looking into an email service that will go with our church.

    Thanks for the feedback Michael!

    vagabondrunn

    June 25, 2008 at 1:13 pm

  8. Hurray! My computer no longer shows an error message when I mouse around on your blog! 😉 Thanks!

    Grace and Peace,

    Cindy

    cindyinsd

    June 26, 2008 at 1:08 am

  9. Fun reading over at this blog for those looking at getting new members from other churches… just thought I would pass along. Feel free to read my slightly updated response on my blog…

    http://followhard.wordpress.com/

    Michael

    June 26, 2008 at 9:19 am

  10. BTW… my blog is http://justanotherminute.wordpress.com/ not the follow hard one.

    Michael

    June 26, 2008 at 9:20 am

  11. its not too bad man. i would encourage you to do some domain mapping so you can have your own url.

    Tyler

    June 26, 2008 at 2:20 pm

  12. i definitely plan on doing the domain mapping. I have emailed the other Dialogue Church in NH. Currently they own the rights to the .com, .org, and .net. We’ll see what happens.

    vagabondrunn

    June 26, 2008 at 3:15 pm

  13. I come over here from ragamuffinsoul.com. I just checked out your website. Every thing looks pretty good man. I’m actually planting a church in Charlotte, NC so I know exactly what you guys are going through.

    I do web design so let me give you some suggestion from my stand point.

    The first and most obvious, which I think everyone has mentioned, is the url. Try checking into something similar like dialogue.com or something that is at least similar to the church name.

    Move the ‘Home’ button to the top of thee button menu. It just kind of makes more sense that way.

    When you click on “About Us’ and then click the button for ‘Our Vision’ ‘Our Values’ and ‘Dialogue Staff’ there’s no real good way to go between them. Like if you click ‘Our Vision’ and want to look at ‘Our Values’ you have to click the back button on your browser or click on ‘About Us’ all over again. Some drop down menus would be the best solution, if you can do thatin wordpress.

    One more thing about the “About Us’ page. You may want to change “We Are…” at the top to “Dialogue Church is…” or something since that’s what each paragraph begins with.

    Also, try playing around with some different fonts. It looked like everything is pretty much the same font. It’s a lot easier and quicker that way, but in the long run it would be cool to see some more “custom” fonts. By custom I just mean something other than Times New Roman.

    The church blog really needs to look more like the website. It helps keep everything cohesive and makes it flow a lot nicer. It would be best if the blog could just be another page of the website, not a separate thing all together.

    Make your “Worship With Us” info a lout louder. Let’s face it, that’s what we want people to do after the come to the website. So they need to know that they are welcome to take that next step, but first they have to know what the next step is.\

    Last thing I swear. I really like the picture on the Home page, but try to tweak the color a little to something more like the green you have. Not exactly the same cuz that could start to get old if it’s the only one you see.

    Wow, that got long. And it seems like a lot of bad. But honestly, to go through a whole website and only find a few bad things is good inn my books. But the look is great. maybe incorporate the idea of dialoguing a little more in the background or something. But I really like it. It’s simple and very easy to navigate. Good job.

    Oh and feel free to rip apart our website. http://www.sojournchurch.tv let me know what we can fix.

    Travis Williams

    June 26, 2008 at 3:47 pm

  14. likey so far…
    Did a quick review and here are a couple thoughts.
    Splash page is clean and crisp, not text heavy. I like your tree logo…

    If you only take one thing from these comments, I think the most important is to train yourself to think of what _the user_ likes and wants to see.

    Actually we’ve been redesigning our website;
    Here are some of the things we’ve discovered that may help you…
    1. First who is your first target?
    Remember, in this day and age, if people can’t find the information they want within 5 seconds or so, or they have to scroll down, they will most likely click out again.
    Our first goal was to be sticky for visitors, so everything is being revamped from their perspective (thinking at least our regulars would stay a little longer to find stuff)… so items visitors would be looking for would be top/right most buttons. i.e. location (including a link to a known map support, like google), contact info, do you have childcare, etc.

    2. Only use one or two fonts at most. And I agree with Travis, if you can’t afford to buy a custom font at this time use ones that are not overused (like arial, times new roman, comic sans). Do a little research here. It’s that important.

    3. Drop ALL CAPS please…

    4. Interesting discussion with some solid info at flicker church marketing (beta) lab on links and home buttons. Depending on your target demographics; (our average age in our demographics is 29.7) I d consider not having an additional homepage button on the left navigation bar, if your target is younger and/or digitally connected.

    5. Constant keep looking at the website with fresh eyes. Don’t design and then let it get stale.

    Don’t be discouraged. It takes a lot of guts to throw your website up for critique. Been there, done that…
    I’d offer up our website, but currently I know it stinks like a wet dog.

    Dorothy Holland

    June 27, 2008 at 1:09 am

  15. Need to clarilfy:
    2. Only use one or two fonts at most. And I agree with Travis, if you can’t afford to buy a custom font at this time – use ones that are not overused…
    these are way overused fonts: arial, times new roman, comic sans. Do a little research here. It’s that important.

    Dorothy Holland

    July 3, 2008 at 5:34 pm


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