By Greg Thompson, Communications Coordinator
A Website is Like a Door
Each Sunday, our greeters open our doors inviting you into our Liturgy. The new carpet in our entry way paves the path to the worship space. Whether you’re a new parishioner or a long-time Mass-goer, the experience upon entering our parish is often the same, with a goal of welcoming you into our community of faith and our active worship.
For years, our website has served as a point of welcome to all who search for us online and want to know something as simple as what time to come to Mass. But, the same goal is there: an invitation into something greater. With our new website, we hope you get to know who our parish is and what we stand for, so that you can enter into community, worship, service and formation with us.
This front door has changed a lot over the years. So, indulge me for a moment as we walk down memory lane, after which, I’ll explain some of our thoughts behind this new design for our parish website.
Late-2013 to Late-2015:
In 2015 to date, on icchampton.org…
- 57% of our traffic comes from new visitors.
- 40% of visitors are using a tablet or smartphone.
- 51% of visitors don’t make it past the home page.
- Our most visited pages were: bulletins, homilies, podcasts, calendar, contact information, and staff bios
- And 2 minutes is the average length of a visit to icchampton.org.
Surely, you notice a major change in the visuals alone of this new website. Photos of our parish gatherings have historically been the most popular items on our website, and we wanted to give those photos room to breathe. We think these are a major part of explaining the heart of each of our ministries. And we hope these visuals draw first time visitors into the site deeply, so that they explore each page and learn about our parish as a whole.
We’ve seen a shift in the parish recently to using more new media: podcasts, videos and photos. From our welcome video series earlier this year to the Evangelization Team’s “Found Human” podcast, we want these items to be easy to access. Now you can find all of these items in one place on our new Media page.
If you’re viewing this on your phone, you’re probably pleasantly surprised to see that the site actually works! Even though our old website was not formatted for smaller devices, we saw plenty of traffic from phones and tablets, which means there is a need for our parish’s information on the go. Our new website is optimized for any screen you have (desktop, tablets, and mobile). We think this will be useful for parishioners, but especially for our visitors who may just need to find our Mass times quickly.
- Our Formation page has been reorganized to highlight our ministries by age group.
- A new Events Calendar can now be found on our home page which highlights major upcoming events in our parish. Each event gets its own page, stocked with relevant information and resources.
- We’ve started this Parish Blog featuring reflections from staff members about what’s going on in the parish, as well as reflections on the Liturgical Season and other aspects of our faith.
- And if you organize one of our many ministries, you’ll find our Resource Calendar to see when spaces are available and information on how to promote your event on our new Planning page.
While this is a significant departure from our previous website, and perhaps presents a learning curve for some in our parish, we hope that this site truly becomes a welcoming point of entry to our parish.
Thank you for your support of our parish, and as always, for the opportunity to serve this parish.