Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Scan Me NOT!

I’ve said this before, but Kevin over at the Brown Trout really hit that nail on the head when he said on his blog:

Often, churches miss out on a great use of the web when they do not provide content for their members.

A valid topic of discussion in its own right … go there, read, discuss (you’ll enjoy it it, it is a nicely designed site).

As part of his argument about content, Kevin cites the book of Nielsen, reminding us that church websites should be more than a print brochure. Which got me to thinking, I wonder how hard it would be to find church sites indulging in the cardinal sin of scanning their bulletin and or schedule and posting on their web site?

Notice 3 problems endemic with all of the above sites. First the needlessly lengthy load times as most of this content could be presented as text. Second, no links to other areas on the site based upon items in the schedule. Last and certainly not least, notice how quickly such scans go stale. The point is, while this may be easy to do at first – like most quick fixes – it has a very expensive maintenance cost. That is, while it might be harder to establish text context, once done, keeping it up to date is far easier than the ‘scan-your-plan‘ method.

BTW, ending on a positive note, while I found a lot of bad examles, here’s one site that uses scans appropriately – and one I found myself getting lost in rather quickly -Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library.


  1. Thanks for the link, and the props, Dean. I agree, scanning in calendars and schedules is very bad. Almost as bad as making a website with Power Point (but that is another topic for another time). However, one problem I have encountered often is: who will update the church website? Maybe it’s the person that designed it; so they ask her to add a new schedule every week. One week she’s on vacation, another week she’s too busy, pretty soon, it falls way behind. So they compromise: they scan the announcements and teach the church secretary how to upload it to the web server.

    Many times, the only options are scan the calendar or pay someone to design a content managed website. And as Simon of http://www.toongabbieanglican.org pointed out (on my post) most churches can’t afford the second option.

    I’m not saying that I agree with it, or condone it. But I do understand why it happens.

  2. Very true Kevin. Isn’t just as easy to post a Word or PDF file, though? I really loath scans of anything.

    Want to see something Vincent Flanders would like? A corporate site with a scan of its flagship product’s catalog as the page.

  3. Thanks for the insite, I am one of the individuals that works on our church web page. It took me some time not to make it look like it was cut and paste. But at first I thought it was me, I just want to thank you, I update our website on a month to month basis with (2) months ahead of time. It took time to me to get it right, but with faith I learned the process, Let me know your opinion. It’s still new and I can take some punches and feedback. Our Webpage is http://www.eaglesnestchristianfellowship.org (I know the name is long.

    Thanks a bunch.