I’ve been doing my local church’s website for the last five years, maybe six…I’ve lost count.
Anyways, about a year and a half ago I found a great resource for a church WordPress theme in churchthemes.net. I immediately put Lakeview on the Antioch theme because it fit the church the best. The built in sermon archive and podcasting features is what drew me to these themes but lately I’ve been wanting more out of the homepage experience for visitors.
I began tinkering with how the homepage was laid out. Before it was just a large slider area with three widgets below. Messing around with the responsive code wasn’t too bad either as I learned that it was fairly easy to adding more ‘widget’ areas that will work well on any device (well, not IE8 from what I’ve learned but I don’t care about that browser…only 3% of the LCC visitors use that browser).
I started out by creating a new logo, combining the EFCA tree logo with our text.
So far here is what I have below the original three widgets.
Below the latest sermons are also the latest news updates from the church. While changing up the layout on the homepage I did some research of some top designed church websites to see how other churches were displaying items on their homepage. Most did sliders, a lot did CTAs (call to actions, very similar to the three widgets), but all had some way of displaying their latest sermons and news.
The only draw back to the change is expanding the length of the homepage. For some that is a good thing as it requires you to scroll more, while for others that can be an annoying thing to have to deal with. Some people like the simple lack of scrolling while others were indifferent about it.
The next item to change is the fonts, I want to clean them up a little more. I’ve already removed some of the built in fonts to this theme. I’d also like to get more photos of things going on in the church posted on the site again. We kind of got away from that in the last year, not to anyone’s fault but just because. Sometimes it is hard to get recent photos from a church that is so small (LCC is only ~80-100 active attenders).