Heal Your Church WebSite

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

LifeQuest Church – a real turkey of a web site

Cute is a description I usually reserve for my 8 year old daughter – not a church website. Yet ‘cute but no cigar‘ is the mangled metaphor that came to mind when I saw the turkey that is the church website for the LifeQuest of Palm City, FL – as reflected in the kitschy screen show below:

LifeQuest Church Turkey
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. After waiting about 8 seconds on a DSL line for the Flash animation to load I was hit with a flying turkey, much the same way StrongBad is hit in the face with a fist in his humorous web design tutorial simply entitled “Email 51 – Website.”

But the bloat doesn’t end there! No folks, after being made to wait an additional 4 to 6 seconds on a DSL line, any and every visitor gets to figure out they must click of the encircled ‘X’ to remove the pop-up that obscures the main menu as pictured below:

LifeQuest Church main menu w/popup

Such is the Flashination I continue to find afflicting the great could of witlessness that is the Church online. Why? I’m not sure – perhaps it is an over abundance of graphic artists – or perhaps that too many programmers have yet to see the light.

Whatever the reason, here’s five things I would be concerned of regarding designs such as that of the LifeQuest of Palm City, Florida:

  1. Rendering text using graphic images, or in this case Flash, makes one’s website much less visible to search engines than using text to represent text;
  2. Most usability experts agree that 8 seconds as the maximum time one can make a user wait – and then only for the most compelling of content;
  3. Flash-based websites have a high cost of back-end operation when it comes to affecting changes, additions or modifications to layout and content;
  4. Putting a pop-up in front of the main menu is like putting big huge planters in front of the doors of the church on Sunday morning – it gets in the way of visitors and members alike;
  5. Make it easy for visitors to visit – put the directions somewhere conspicuous – and link it up with a main menu choice that is intuitive, like one that reads “directions.”

There are other elements but I think this is enough to make the point – it a church website ain’t no stinkin’ art project – quit treating it like one.

Tomorrow – go visit blogJordan.com when I write on why I think it better to visit the Hashemite Kingdom than the Magic Kingdom (fun article currently under construction).


  1. Go visit the SiteCube link at the bottom of the page, and then view the customer websites. You can be horrified over, and over, and over again.

  2. I almost think you enjoy this kind of websites…

  3. Well Rafa, if such sites weren’t such a detriment to the body, yeah – they would be enjoyable in a sick “must slow down to see the car wreck” sorta way.