The ELCA runs a Web stewards discussion forum for those who work on congregational sites.
In February, The Lutheran solicited your nominations for the ELCA’s 10 best congregational Web sites.
The magazine’s staff evaluated various aspects of each of the 65 sites that were entered: Web address; basic information; the depth and breadth of content; design; navigation; sensitivity to members’ privacy; and the “wow” factor.
We judged sites on both Mac and PC platforms using various browsers. One site was disqualified for requiring an external plug-in and not offering an HTML alternative.
The staff enjoyed visiting the nominated sites. And, try as we might, we couldn’t keep the winners’ list to 10. If the Big Ten Conference can have 11 teams, why can’t The Lutheran’s top 10 Web contest have 13 winners?
The following sites represent the top 20 percent of those that entered our contest. Congregations that don’t yet have a Web site or are thinking of a redesign should check these out.
All the sites listed (except one) had all the basics front-and-center. A great Web site with a Flash introduction, beautiful graphics and podcast isn’t effective if members and potential visitors can’t find such things as the church’s address, phone number, e-mail address, directions and worship times on the site’s front page.
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers