Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Church web sites suck.

One thing that has always annoyed me is that a lot of churches suck at the whole "web site" thing. Namely, it's really really easy to have a web page that says when your services are for Christmas, Theophany, or Easter at least, say, a month in advance. And makes it easy to see. Seriously, on Thanksgiving, if I go to your parish web site, I want to see, on the front page, your regular service times, your address, and your Christmas schedule. If you're on the Old Calendar, fine, by December 15th. At the beginning of Lent, I want to see your regular service times, your address, and your Holy Week schedule (or at least your Pascha schedule, I understand if you haven't nailed down how many presanctified liturgies you're doing that week). If your church web site does not make those three things quite obvious, you fail it. Those are the three things I would probably want to know about your church, so if you do not tell me that information immediately without additional mouseclicks, you are not doing the right thing on your web page. Also, if you send out weekly bulletins, you might want to mention the timing of Nativity services starting a month in advance.

My own parish's website gets at least a B+ here. They had an up-to-date monthly calendar available which listed all the services. However, it was not until this week that you could see immediately on the front page the times of services for the Nativity - there is a weekly calendar on the sidebar. If I recall correctly - perhaps they had an announcement up earlier. The parish I will be at for the Nativity gets a C. I found the information on the site eventually and, in retrospect, the schedule in PDF has apparently been there since 10/31. It takes a few clicks to get there, the information was not announced in their weekly bulletins, it seems to be in conflict with the google calendar, ugh.