Heal Your Church WebSite


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

How church website design documentation (doesn’t) get done

At some point, some savvy steward in a church raises the question “What happens if our all-knowing, über church web design geek leaves? We should have them teach us how it works.” At which point even more hilarity ensues as the following process begins innocently enough in the form of an ‘educational’ ad-hoc Internet committee meeting:

  1. Committee chair: brings the ‘how the church website design works meeting’ to order
  2. Pastor/staff member: sheepishly asks the webmaster how the blessed thing works
  3. Church webmaster: disdainfully glares at the council members … wondering why no one else has read the WordPress Codex
  4. Committee meeting: sound of crickets chirping can heard in background
  5. Adjacent hallway: little kids gather hoping to snarf down a left-over donut when the meeting adjourns
  1. Committee chair: passes a note to pastor to ask a specific question on a specific aspect of the website
  2. Pastor/staff member: sheepishly asks the webmaster how a specific element of the website design works
  3. Church webmaster: disdainfully glares at the council members … visibly upset how badly everyone missed the point of everything
  4. Committee members: the webmaster berates them, in between insults throwing off valuable nuggets of technical information
  5. Adjacent hallway: little kids waiting outside the door for left-over donuts begin to cry
  1. Committee chair: collect the valuable nuggets, knowing they are the only reliable technical information they’ll ever receive
  2. Pastor/staff member: sheepishly ducks out into the hallway claiming to want to calm down the crying kids
  3. Church webmaster: disdainfully glares at the council members … moodily awaiting next question …
  4. Committee members: try like dickens to weave together the informational nuggets dispensed in between insults into something enlightening and technically accurate
  5. Adjacent hallway: enraged parents of crying children begin to gather with torches and pitchforks
  1. Goto step 6 until church webmaster is summarily ex-communicated

Here’s my point:

To my beloved church website design gurus out there, please spare yourself the shame of said scenario and either install a and/or sign-up with wiki service. Then when you have a spare moment, document some of the things you do.

The wording may not be perfect but it’s enough of a start that would allow others less … how shall we say … technically adept but more gifted in word-smithing to collaborate said documents into perfection.

As I’ve noted before, WikiSpaces is free (and easy), so you have no excuse – other than wanting to spread His love and your knowledge through the ministry of disdainful glares.

Credits:

Today’s silly scenario was inspired by the following post on Jeff Atwood Coding Horror blog entitled
How to Write Technical Documentation.’

3 Comments

  1. Excellent Post, Dean. I’m convicted!!

  2. With 4 WordPress blogs on my church’s site, I thought #3 was just hilarious.

    This is a good question, and one I have thought about recently as the chances are looking good that I might be leaving…

    There are a couple of other people in the church who “know a little HTML” but I do not think they are up to dealing with WP and hacking the sidebar.

    Even if I did work on a wiki about the site, (and it’s wonderful idea but I just don’t have the time right now) my guess is that anyone taking over my church’s site would just redo it their own way.

    If I ever do a church site again, I will definitely keep this wiki documentation in mind. It would be easy to keep up if one started it right in the beginning.

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