The Uniting Church Western Australia is an Australian church for the 21st century. In Western Australia they serve an area of two million square kilometres and have over 100 congregations, seven schools as well as caring agencies such as Good Samaritan Industries, Juniper and UnitingCare West.
Start Digital were tasked with redesigning a site with in excess of 100 pages and making the huge amount of content more accessible. Additionally we created a further 22 congregation sites to be administered locally.
The project brief was to create a site that presented the Uniting Church in a fresh, modern way whilst making site navigation as simple as possible. It was also important to consider the need for the church team to manage site content and make changes after launch.
We liaised with the marketing team to determine the design approach and created a large library of stock and on site images to support the design. We collectively came up with a site structure that clearly separated content intended for an external audience from the content that was more internally, staff focused.
The design and layout of the menu was integral to creating an effective way of navigating through the site. To compliment the main menu we created a visual navigation system within the design to assist with content discovery.
Consideration was given to the way in which the new design would influence the 22 congregation sites. Each of the sites was setup as a child version of the main site to help leverage existing code and plugins. To assist each user manage and update their site content we provided a series of training videos that stepped through everything from adding blogs through to optimising and updating images.
The Uniting Churches old site (see right) was not responsive, difficult to navigate and had grown to become unmanageable. What’s worse it was full of unsupported plugins and obsolete code which was causing it to crash on a daily basis.
To ensure this doesn’t happen again we provide regular maintenance support which includes updating versions of WordPress and plugins. Additionally we perform weekly offsite backups and maintain server infrastructure and software, all of which keep the site fresh and clean.
“Our organisation is complex and this project was massive. Throughout the project, Start Digital were flexible and patient.They responded quickly to emails and phone calls, kept us in the loop and always made time to touch base in their cool office. We can’t thank the team enough! We highly recommend anyone who needs a new website to give them a call.”
Elsa Samuel, Marketing Manager