By Matt Gardner
The Anglican Church of Canada has officially unveiled its new website, providing a mobile-friendly format that makes it easier to find resources.
The revamped Anglican.ca, which follows months of active development, builds on the successes of the former church website while taking into account changing trendsâ€”specifically, the increasing number of users who access the website from mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets. As a result, the new site uses responsive design to modify the site layout depending on the size of the screen.
A generous grant from the Anglican Foundation of Canada provided the project resources to significantly speed up completion of the improved website.
One of the first things visitors to www.anglican.ca will notice going forward is the new homepage, which offers a simpler interface centred around a search bar in the middle.
â€œWe found that while some users found the ability to have all the links on the homepage useful, the majority of people were overwhelmed,â€ Web Manager Brian Bukowski said. â€œThey just didnâ€™t know where to look â€¦ Weâ€™ve tried to simplify the view of the homepage, make it cleaner, a bit more welcoming.â€
The prominent search function on the new homepage allows users to quickly find the information they seek. Adjacent buttons make it easy to find a church, get answers to frequently asked questions, or browse job listings.
Further down the page, a series of tabs highlight different areas of the website, including News, Programs, Resources, and information about the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Resources section represents one of the most exciting features of the new siteâ€”a centralized resource centre where users can view all the resources created by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Resources are organized both by topicâ€”the primary way for users to focus on resourcesâ€”and user type, such as parish priests, church leaders or new Anglicans.
The resources themselves reside in the Programs area, providing an alternative way for users to find them. Resources created for Faith, Worship, and Ministry, for example, can also be found in the Faith, Worship, and Ministry section.
Another prominent addition is the Top Resources section, which highlights the most popular resources based on regular website statistics.
â€œThis is just a very quick way for people to access the resources that theyâ€™re most using so they donâ€™t even have to go down by topic,â€ Bukowski said.
Bukowski invited users to send feedback on the new website, whether positive or negative, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
â€œOur hope is to use this initial period [after the launch] to gather feedback and do some improvements over time.â€