AdventSource

Making Your Website Better

It doesn't take more than a casual spin around the Internet to see that many Adventist websites need to be renovated or scrapped. Many are out-of-date, hard to read, or poorly designed. In most cases it's better not to have a site at all than to have one that poorly portrays your church or organization.

If your information is fresh and current, people may overlook the poor design and mismatched colors. But if your content is stale and your site is ugly as well, you're actually hurting your ministry. [br /] [br /]Design is a very subjective thing. What is beautiful to some will be ugly to others. As you refine and maintain your site, keep these general principles in mind:

1. Master your space. Use tables, or other codes to give you more control over what viewers see.

2. Supply the information your audience wants.
If you are a local church, find out what kind of information your members want online and keep it up-to-date.

3. Make it readable. Not only does this refer to your grammar usage (including punctuation and misspelled words), but some use background colors that are so dark it's hard to read the text. Dark fonts on a light, or white background are the easiest to read.

4. Limit image size.
Images make a site more interesting, but not if their size makes the pages hard to open. Try optimizing your jpgs and gifs. Keep your image files as small as possible (with your total page not more than 60k).

5. Make navigation easy.
Include navigation links at the bottom and top of all your pages. Don't make people guess how to find stuff. Make it obvious.

6. Ask for feedback. If you're afraid to hear what people think about your site, you shouldn't be the web master. The more candid feedback you get, the easier it will be to make your site user-friendly.

7. Coordinate your colors. Use colors that compliment each other. Get another opinion. Have someone with a good eye evaluate your color use. Here's a handy tool that can help: HTML Safe Colors
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Tips for church webmasters: Click here

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