Website users will see subtle transformation

| April 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Over the past few months, Rediscover-faith.org, archspm.org (the archdiocesan website), and aimhigher.org (the Catholic schools website) have been undergoing a subtle transformation. Readers might not even notice when the new sites go live in the next week, but there are some key changes that will make both sites more user friendly and engaging.

It’s all happening because of a change in platform that has been in the works for about a year. The current sites are all on a proprietary platform, one that is provided by a company whose services are paid for on a monthly basis.

The new sites are being created on WordPress, a popular and easy to use content management system that can be used for anything from blogs to full websites.

“The big reason that we are doing all of the sites is so they can be on one platform (WordPress) so it is easier for us to edit in-house, and also more flexible to add new features in the future,” said Nicole Mamura, Office of Communications webmaster. Part of the problem with the current system is that it takes longer for changes to be made, she said.

The cost of maintaining the sites was also a factor in the decision to change platforms. “We found that if we invested the time and money now to get them on a new platform that’s easier for us to use in-house, we could save a lot of money in the long run,” Mamura said.

The project was not meant to be a redesign, but there was an opportunity to make visible changes to improve the sites. “In doing the switch-over, we had a chance to look at the sites and, not redesign them,” Mamura said, “but get ‘under the hood,’ so to speak, and decide what we could move, improve or add.”

The archdiocesan history section under the “About” tab is one improvement. It now includes details about key moments throughout the archdiocese’s history, including pioneer priests, changes over time and major milestones, with accompanying photos. Another improvement was making the News and Events separate sections and including more entries. More changes are detailed on this page.

On rediscover-faith.org: A new tab feature makes finding content even easier. Readers can browse new content including, a “Look & Listen” tab that features music and movies, a guide to talented Christian artists and values-based entertainment for the whole family. Other content will be reorganized under the new tabs Learn, Pray, Get Involved, Find and Check it Out.

ScreenshotRediscover

On archspm.org:

WEbshot

1) Social media share buttons are more prominently placed, encouraging site visitors to share content on their own social networking pages.

archspm_share2

2) The “Our Bishops” tab on the home page is now “Leadership” and will feature not only bishops, but also vicars within the local Church.

ScreenshotLeadership

3) A new “How Do I…” section addresses key questions that site visitors most commonly have — putting the answers and more resources on popular topics at their fingertips.

ScreenshotHow

Other new features include:

  • Revamped Careers section.
  • Better search capability (to find content on the site)
  • Enhanced find (parish, Catholic school, nearest Mass, etc.)

On aimhigher.org: A few changes have also been made to http://www.aimhigher.org, the Catholic schools website. They include monthly profiles of professionals working at Catholic schools, News and Events now featured in their own separate sections and optimization for viewing on mobile devices.

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Category: Local News