Heal Your Church WebSite


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

Darned to Heck: Christian Online Ministries

In yet another John 11:35 moment, I discuss how the Christian Online Ministries website is out of line with the tenets of creating an effective web presence for one’s ministry.

  1. Item numero uno – lose the kitchy animated gif

    kitchy animated (flaming) gif : death is hell without Jesus

    Trust me when I say, it does not convey the intended message.

    If anything, it sets the tone for the rest of the site – a tone that rings “parody” to the majority of visitors.

  2. Item deux – cut down the excessive verbiage

    I’m not a big fan of having mission statements on the front page, mostly because the mission of the Church is already well defined in Scripture – to the point that most non-believers even know what it is.

    Instead, I’d whittle-down the wordiness to just enough content to be compelling and eye-catching, for example, I’d lead off with:

    “Jesus walked and talked with prostitutes, thieves, murderers, devils, and pretty much all other types of people …”

  3. Third Thingie – things like the bullet lists, keep them readable

    When you make all your points in a bullet point list bold, red, of a different font and all centered you not only MAKE IT SOUND LIKE YOU’RE YELLING ALL THE TIME …

    … but you fatigue the reader’s eyes. Be kind, let the compelling content do the heavy lifting instead of gimmicks with gratuitous coloring and centering.

  4. Fourth Quarter – lose graphics that represent text

    Again, just as sure as Jesus is Lord, content is king – so don’t disrespect the latter by representing what could just as easily be text with graphics.

    Mostly because search engines love yummy text – whereas your graphics are essentially hiding the light of the message under a basket.

  5. Fifth Element – get a blog

    Seriously, this site should use a blog as a poor-man’s content management system.

    It’d look more professional with 1/10th the effort – and would help Reverend Bo with the syndication of his podcasts.

Again, I’ve got nothing wrong with the message these good folks are trying to convey …

… just an issue of incredibly ineffective delivery both in terms of web usability and I would think back-office operation and site maintenance.

If there are others of you out there who have other advice – offer it as a comment – in love.

3 Comments

  1. It is surprising that they have a mission statement on the home page, and the rest of the site shows no focus. Based on what I see, they maybe better off just with a myspace account, as that seems to be their target. Then I see they link to two myspace friends. Bingo. Maybe that’s where they are already and this site is an afterthought?

  2. I use WordPress for our church’s web site (yes, the whole site), and it works wonderfully! Standards compliant yummy XHTML that Google gobbles.

    Another thing WordPress handles is titles! Yes, I customized the titles on our church web site, but the site Dean has reviewed has very little in the way of titles. This is helpful for Search Engines to have page titles. A Good Example:

    Christian Online Ministries–Home
    Christian Online Ministries–Prayer Requests
    ….

  3. Spelling, grammar, spelling, grammar, spelling, grammar… PLEASE!!!

    Not everyone’s an artist, nor an English teacher. Find one to read your script before letting IT make an impression for you.

    Missing apostrophes and colons; no such word as thiefs… aw, the heck with it:

    We are dedicated to serving Jesus Christ 24 hours a day. We love the Lord, and we love sharing his message: that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory. [AND??? Is that it?]

    Our message is simple: love God and serve others. [Why is it different than Jesus'?]

    Sadly, in today’s society many Christians place themselves on pedestals. They believe that because of their “religion” they have the right to pass judgement on an unbeliever.

    NEWSFLASH!!! Jesus walked and talked with prostitutes, thieves, murderers, devils, and pretty much all other types of people–He is no respecter of persons. ["Church-speak" ... rephrase "respecter of persons"] No one in His kingdom is more or less important than you or I–Only Jesus is King!

    [Does this tacitly imply that all unbelievers are thieves, prostitutes and devils?]

    We are here to promote his Kingdom via the Internet. What better way to reach millions of people with the message than the Internet? [Television! Just kidding] We offer on our site..

    Gotta go… Back to work! Hope the webmaster has a humble heart!

    - frank ramage
    - burtonsvilebaptist.org