I recently had the opportunity to redesign the website for my parents’ church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Forest, VA. My father told me in 2022 that the website, built with Wordpress, was in a state of disrepair and they were going to look for web developers to do the work. I had some previous Wordpress experience so after taking a look at the website, I offered to do the work pro bono as an opportunity to give back.
Problems Identified #
I had a couple of discussions with the priest to understand what he was looking for in the new site and we identified a couple of key issues:
- Poor service from the hosting provider
- Outdated user interface
- Inability to dynamically update content on the front page
- Poor content management experience
I started off by creating a development site using DreamHost since they offered a generous hosting plan. After that, I created new branding and graphics using Figma to establish a consistent look and feel across the site. Then I set up the site using the Blocksy theme for Wordpress and began migrating content. During this time, the priest had access to the dev environment so he could see the site being built in real time and offer feedback along the way.
At the end of the process we had a completely redesigned and deployed site with just a few weekends worth of work that exceeded their expectations. From a user experience perspective one of the most endearing things was to see the priest go in there and add events, photos, and other content without assistance from myself.
Check out the screenshots below to see the before and after.