Heal Your Church WebSite

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

7 things I dislike about the Grace Baptist Church of Bellingham, WA website

There are six things that users hate, seven that are an abomination:

  1. text that’s hard on the eyes
  2. flying content delivered in tongues
  3. images that shed innocent bandwidth
  4. no dates and times so visitors can plan
  5. marquees that make waste of words that run
  6. a web address that’s hard to memorize
  7. and spinning gifs that sows discord among seekers

The Grace Baptist Church of Bellingham, WA welcomes you to our home on the web‘ – at least that’s what their website says. To bad their online actions speak louder than their welcoming words.

Meaning, while I’m sure the people at Grace Baptist in Bellingham are as beautiful in Christ as any other church body, their web presence betrays this beauty by employing some very irritating and unwelcoming web site practices that have fallen out of favor some ten years ago.

Though there are about sixteen things I’d like to change, and with apologies to Proverbs 6:16-19, here are seven to get the ball rolling:

sounding off
Don’t force music on your users during the page load because:

  • example 1 - loading mediait may seem nice the first time around, but becomes really irritating the second and third visit,
  • potentially problematic for someone visiting via the office or library computer
  • excessively and unnecessarily bad on bandwidth
  • potentially legal, RIIA royalty issues/entanglements;
gratuitous text
big blocks of bulky unreadable text:don't use images to display textblah, blah, blah …people don’t read the web, they scan it – especially when it’s small text set against dark backgrounds chock-full-o-church speak that potential converts cannot relate to ……it also doesn’t help that of all the textism on this page, the dates and times of services are somehow omitted from the front page;
gratuitous graphics
example 3 - graphic rollover menusDon’t use images to represent text, use text to represent text, especially in a day and age where everyone and their brother now has examples of how to use CSS to create rollover menu effects!
marquee madness
example 4 - scrolling textismnothing says your message is unimportant and unreadable than making users have to sit and wait to read it s-c-r-o-l-l-i-n-g o-n-e l-e-t-t-e-r a-t a t-i-m-e;
cheap divisiveness
example 5 - cheap divider bar Is it a curtain rod, or a capped pipe? I can’t tell – but what I do know is that cheap, party like it’s 1999-ish clip art dividers usually indicate clutter that needs to be cut;
alphabet soup
what’s easier to remember?

  • example #6 - alphabet url soupgbcbellingham.org
  • graceBaptistBellingham.org
  • bellinghamgrace.org
  • graceofbellingham.org;
Jesus Junk!
example #7 - Jesus junk!If I’ve said it once, I’ve said said it a million times: unless you have a gold lamee spinning cross on the roof of your church building, then you’re not allowed to have a gold spinning cross on your website … not to mention all the kitschy clutter at the bottom of the page!

Here’s my point. I think now would be a good time for the folks at the Grace Baptist Church of reconsider how they may re-factor their web-based welcome wagon for individuals looking for a new church home in the Bellingham, WA area.

How about your church website?

One Comment

  1. The link on the schedule page to a calendar is just to a jpg scan of a calendar from last august. You can barely read the word August, which made it even harder to be useful.