The first step was to assess the needs of the church to find out where the old site wasn't meeting their needs. It was obvious that the original site didn't "look good," but there was an underlying problem with the site's functionality and ability to communicate events happening at the church, as well.
We began with a Website Questionnaire that we've developed to provide guidance and structure to our conversations. We set up a series of meetings with the staff at the church to identify issues.
We came up with 3 different designs to meet the needs of the church for review, feedback and approval. At our suggestion, we turned this step into a contest involving the whole back office of the church to pick the right church website design for St. Vincent's. The 3 different designs were sent by email to the entire office and everyone was asked to vote for their favorite. The below version won the contest.
WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE CHURCH
The Website Development process took longer than normal (at 60 days) due to the back and forth nature of review and approval process and several of the staff members needed for approval were unavailable. We kept the church staff updated and involved during the entire process.
One of the important areas of this website project isn't able to be seen by the visitor on the front-end of the site. A great deal of work was involved in customizing the administration area of the website to make it appear simple so that the office staff has the ability to update the site themselves without need to learn code. Permissions were also important for the church. Because their community is so large and they have so many organizations with their own needs we built a system where each missionary group would be able to have access to their own piece (page) of the website and could access the administration area for ONLY their permitted page. That allows the church to maintain the content throughout the site by having content on the site go through a multiple step review and approval workflow to ensure that what the public sees is an accurate voice of the church, while allowing for flexibility for each sub-organization to control their own information for their group.