After months of brainstorming, designing, and programming, this afternoon we launched a website for the Institute in Basic Life Principles! Here are several key features:
1. Effective Content Management
Old site: Used a custom Ruby solution that required a working knowledge of HTML / CSS / and Ruby to make updates.
New site: Utilizes Drupal 7 for easy WYSIWYG updates and completely customizable user management profiles. Drupal is built on PHP and has a large community of developers with a library of modules for near limitless expandability.
2. Responsive Design
Old site: Fixed width looked awkward on wide screens and did not scale for smaller screens on mobile device.
New site: We installed Drupal’s Omega theme and customized it for complete scalability, from widescreen desktops to mid-range tablets to portable smartphones! If you are using a modern browser, try resizing your window to watch the website scale.
3. Simple Navigation
Old site: The original navigational scheme could not keep up with the changing outreaches of the ministry, so locating what you were looking for could be difficult.
New site: We reconsidered the logical categories for each seminar, conference, or program and created single-click access to each one in both the header and footer of every page on the site.
4. Dynamic Home Page Content
Old site: The home page did not make it easy for people to go where they were wanting to go and do what they were wanting to do.
New site: We thought through the various audiences that would visit the site and catered the home page design to meet the needs of each one. This included building a responsive slider, a dynamic listing of upcoming events, and windows into the various opportunities available through the ministry.
5. New Technologies
Old site: The dated technologies made it difficult to utilize the benefits of new technologies. Even something as simple as creating a web form was a challenge.
New site: HTML5 and CSS3 allowed us to provide a better viewing experience for newer web browsers. A interactive Flash catalog page made browsing the catalog fun and enjoyable. The web forms throughout the site were made to be easy to build and beautiful to use.
6. Life Questions Database
Old site: The old site functioned merely as a repository of information about the ministry.
New site: Adding hundreds of articles and testimonies with practical answers to life questions helped us to transform the site into a valuable resource for our visitors.
7. Social Interaction
Old site: The original site was created before anyone had ever heard of Twitter.
New site: We added commenting on articles and quick links to share any page on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.
Take a look around iblp.org and let us know what you think!