Extreme Website Makeover Complete – Move That Bus!

Ty Pennington - move that busTwo weeks ago Faith Bible Church in Libby, Montana was selected as our Extreme Makeover OCC Edition winner.  On that day we did a free, professional review of their website.

In the two weeks since, we have been hard at work implementing those recommendations.  Mike Cotton, one of our web designers, did a design consultation over the phone with the church’s web administrator Barb Stuck.  Then Mike went to work creating a custom template with a custom Flash header.  Barb wrote content for the site.  And reorganized the menu and redesigned most of the pages.  We wrapped up the work today, so now it’s time to…

Move That Bus!!!

Appearance & Layout

This is what the site used to look like.

extreme-makeover-before-1

I recommended a custom template be created with a custom header that includes the church’s logo.  This is what we created for them.

extreme-makeover-after-1

The new template is much more attractive.  The new header includes the churche’s logo and utilizes Flash to animate some of the church’s values and rotate through a set of images.

Navigation & Usability

Before, there were too many (15) links in the main navigation menu.

extreme-makeover-before-2

In the review I wrote, “There are too many items in the main menu.  Pages should be organized into a handful of sub-menus. It would also be helpful if there was an ‘About” or “New to FBC’ section of the site specifically designed for visitors.

Here’s the new navigation menu.

extreme-makeover-after-2

The new navigation menu has 6 items in the main menu.  It utilizes drop-down sub-menus. It’s much easier for a person to find their way around. It also has a new “New to FBC?” link for visitors.

Mission & Goals

The church’s mission comes through right away in the pastor’s welcome message on the homepage.  In addition to that, the church’s mission statement is easy to find in the About Us sub-menu.

Content

Before the content of the site was poor.  The homepage had nothing but a picture of the church on it.  Many of the pages had nothing on them at all.  Those that did had no images and were not formatted well.  Here’s an example.

extreme-makeover-before-3

These were my recommendations…

Let’s start with the homepage.

  • There ought to be some kind of a welcome message from the pastor or at least the church’s mission statement.
  • I would also suggest replacing the picture with a larger picture with people prominent.

Other general notes about the content

  • Complete or get rid of pages that are currently blank.
  • Include at least one picture on each page, either a real picture of people in the church or a stock photo.
  • The “Website under construction” on the homepage needs to go.  Either use the news module to show upcoming activities or remove it.
  • Remove the Bible search from below the navigation menu.
  • Google makes it easy to embed a map into the map page.

Here’s a look at the new homepage.

extreme-makeover-after-3

It’s not mind-blowingly awesome. There are a some cool things we could have done, like create custom graphics for the services, sermon series, and upcoming events, but we decided to keep it simple. The site was built with OurChurch.Com’s NE1 Web Builder, and there’s nothing we did with the content than any novice user couldn’t do with the web builder.

Now there’s a nice message from the pastor as well as his picture.  Service times and on the homepage as well as a description of the current sermon series.  Some of the clutter was removed too.

Additionally…

  • Barb provided content for many pages on the site, which we inserted for her.
  • We added images to every page of the site.
  • We removed the remaining pages that had no content.
  • We added a calendar.
  • We embedded a Google Map into the Contact Us page.

Finding the Website

The title, keywords, and description meta tags were optimized Church, Libby, and Montana.  Keywords were added to the alt and title tags of some of the images.  These changes were made today, so there hasn’t been time for them to influence Faith Bible Church’s search rankings, but they should have a positive impact soon.

Interactivity & Social Networking

Two weeks ago when we did the initial review, FBC had no interactivity on their site and no social media presence.  Since then, however, they created a Facebook Group, which already has 38 members.  And unless you’re blind, you probably noticed the big, honkin’ Facebook icon added to the site just below the navigation menu.

A Facebook Page would have been a much better option than a group, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Conclusion

We implement all 5 of the top 5 recommendations from the original review. The additional recommendation of a “New to FBC” page was also added as well as a Facebook group.

What do you think of the change and the new site now?


Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

3 Responses to “Extreme Website Makeover Complete – Move That Bus!”

  1. I like what u did…except I liked the pic of church itself larger than pastor face…no offense=)

  2. I will like to help you bring your church here in Nigeria.Get back to me,Pastor Ben.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Wed. Website Weview & Extreme Makeover Winner: Faith Bible Church « Christian Web Trends Blog by OurChurch.Com - Feb 24, 2010

    [...] EDIT (2/24/10): The Extreme Makeover is complete. See the before and after screenshots in this post. [...]