New Hope Church (web design)


I actually built the WordPress site for New Hope Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers, Florida, in early 2011. It was a significant project, partly because we were moving all of the content to the new site by hand from the existing site built on another platform, partly because this site needed to incorporate a lot of moving pieces, such as podcasting, events, online registration, calendars, videos, galleries, and quite a bit of email marketing. Oh, and there was some design work to do, too.

So, this is the second iteration of this WordPress site–it does not look significantly different from the original, but has some elements that really make it a whole different experience. The old home page was more cluttered than I liked, and some of the information that needed to be on the home page wasn’t there; today, we’ve added lots of easy to access information to the footer area. There was a slider, but it was very limited in functionality; the new slider gives more control and options. We were also dependent on a (great) plugin to provide a usable experience for mobile devices; the new theme is responsive and adjusts to fit tablets and phone screens.

Another major project we needed to implement was email marketing. New Hope had a mass email system for the congregation, but it was buggy, problematic, and very limited in terms of its feedback. Enter MailChimp. I was already impressed with MailChimp (which probably deserves its own post) and they have just taken New Hope’s email system to an entirely new level. We send out one weekly email and several monthly emails, all depending on what ministries you might want to know more about within the church. Based on the past year’s experience with MailChimp, I’m in love.

I will just add that implementing the latest redesign really reinforced to me why I love WordPress. New Hope has so much content in place that an entire site renovation would have been completely awful. However, with WordPress, we were able to slip into a whole new look (OK, it was really like changing one outdated little black dress for a new fun one–your husband may not notice, but you look and feel so much better!) with just a few days’ work.

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