David Ash
Website Update - Why Bother?

Its an obvious question really, why bother updating your website? Is it simply to follow the latest trends or are there other reasons behind the refresh?

There were a number of reasons why we updated our website, I’ve commented on a few below:

1. Its our Shop Window - somewhere everyone can visit...
Jubilee doesn’t currently have its own building and so our website is the only place where someone can drop by during the week and find out more about who we are. For many our website is the first interaction they will have with Jubilee Church. We know that the vast majority of our visitors have accessed our website prior to coming on a Sunday morning. Even when people have a personal invite they often check the site for details on timings and location.

Therefore it is key that we communicate who we are as a church to our wider community in a way that is easy to use and informative. Even in the future when we have our own building it will still be a key part of our communication strategy.

2. Our Website Technology Was Out of Date
Technology and design styles change quickly and so it is important that our website remains as current as possible and that we make the most of these changes. It's been commented that one human year equals at least four internet years. That’s how fast this technology is progressing! Our website platforms & content management systems hadn’t been updated in the last five years so they were becoming very elderly. We were beginning to want features available which weren’t easy to implement using our old structure. We were also finding that we were beginning to suffer from various vulnerabilities including malware and bot attacks. By updating and redesigning our website we now have a more contemporary and flexible system which also includes new technology and greater levels of security / less vulnerabilities.

3. Our website design looked old & outdated
First impressions are important for anyone and there is plenty of research to show that you only have a very brief amount of time to get a user's attention and convey enough value to engage them. These vital few seconds are very important. The quality of the design has a direct impact on people’s expectation about what sort of church we are.
The aesthetics of the design were beginning to impair the user experience and made it difficult for users to access the website via mobile devices - this is increasingly important.

4. Our Website wasn’t mobile friendly
Our old website was not at all mobile friendly. When our website was last updated mobile devices didn’t have very good web browsers and the majority of people accessed websites via desktop applications. Recent research shows that 30% of users now use a mobile device for surfing the web. This number is only likely to grow as mobile internet is becoming cheaper, more easily available and faster to access. The mobile user expects to get the information they are looking for quickly and easily. It was therefore really important that we re-designed our site to help those who would want to access via a mobile device, ensuring that it was as accessible as possible for a large variety of different devices.