Heal Your Church WebSite

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

Redland Youth Ministries

For the past two weeks, you may have noticed my blogging has slacked-off. This is not because I’m slacking off, but because I’ve been busy. Aside from the obligatory task of “rendering unto Ceaser,” and with a visit from my big fat Greek family, I’ve also been hard at work with the redesign of the Redland Baptist Youth Ministries web site – a part of the RBC redesign I’ve been talking about over the past couple months.

Redland Youth Ministries

I selected the Youth Ministries because that is where I get the most input, support and help internet-wise. Not that the other ministers aren’t helpful, but it should be no surprise that my hip-cool youth minister is the most net-savvy of the bunch – the point he can explain with some technical detail how things don’t work – and run the thing with a bare minimum of hand-holding.

Moreover, using MovableType (MT) as a content management system (CMS), I also thought it might be helpful to have someone in the office who know how it all runs so he can do some hand-holding with the rest of the staff when the rest of the site goes live using MT. As some of you know, so much of the work behind developing church web sites is the social engineering required to keep the thing running and up-to-date.

As you might suspect, I’m going to generate a slew of articles based upon this effort, which will go into gory detail as to how I got this tableless layout to work with Netscape 4, how I implemented various MT plug-ins and how I modified the default archiving configuration so the categories would become sub directories and the name of the post would become the name of the file.

For now, visit the site, kick the tires, and let me know what you think.


  1. The Redland YM site looks nice, but I didn’t realize that those were links on the left until I accidently waved my mouse in that area. Is there any particular reason that you chose to have the links look exactly the same as the main text on the page, rather than adding a color or underline or something? (I’m not being flippant here, I’m truly curious.) I guess I picture youth sites as having a bit more color, though I don’t actually visit many of them these days. Maybe I shouldn’t assume….

    Also, I noticed that when I hover over the top left graphic on the main page, a gray hover line shows up below it. I’ve been running into this on one of my sites, but haven’t figured out how to get rid of it without adding in all sorts of extra stuff to my stylesheet. :(

  2. Rachel, to get rid of the grey hover line, all you have to do is set the a:hover background-color of the img to the containers background-color. In Dean’s case, white.

  3. It looks good. I was so inspired by your idea, I’ve converted our web site over to MT and PHP. You can find it at the link – http://www.normalmennonite.com/ – for our church. I am interested in finding out how you did the work for NN4 vs. the rest of the world. That was the most difficult part of our transformation, as well. That, and convincing the staff that the differences were normal.

  4. Don, thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, the problem image is a transparent gif in a table cell with a background photo. So I can’t just set it to the background color. I think I’m just going to have to re-do that section of the page. :(

    And to get back to the topic, I’m looking forward to reading Dean’s articles about setting up MovableType as a CMS. I’d like to make it easier for people to update our church site, but too many of the CMSs I’ve seen aren’t very user-friendly.

  5. mmmm I want to see how you modified mt for your needs. Go on dean, tell us!

  6. I would think Mt would be overkill.
    It is a huge system to just display pages.
    Has anyone rolled a simple blogger like bloxsom.
    this could be used for this process.

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