WEB DESIGN -- Simple, Clean and Fast
Many companies have studied the research and have paid Web consultants a lot of money for a website that will maximize profits. These consultants are more and more declaring that the top priorities need to be Simple, Clean and Fast. Companies are exchanging their fancy-looking website designs for a design that is compliant with these three top priorities.
While a church or ministry may not be selling products or services for maximum profits, it is the gospel that is our true "business". We want our websites to be optimized for the primary purpose of effectively commmunicating the gospel. It is tempting to design a flashy and fancy-looking website. However there is more to be gained by accepting the challenge to a design a website that embodies Simple Elegance. You should aim for a clean and professional look, but without the annoying flashy bells and whistles that clutter up so many of the sites that are out there on the Web.
There are many advantages to having a simple website for ministry purposes:
- Start simple and stay simple. Focus on providing useful information rather than entertaining.
- Simple is especially important with regards to site navigation.
- The simpler the technologies used on the site, the less you have to test your site to ensure it will work properly for most, if not all, of the popular browsers and devices likely to be used by your site visitors.
- Some of the scripted navigation systems don't function properly for everyone who uses you website, and they may be an impediment to the search engine bots, thus redusing the ability of your site to be well-listed by Google, Bing, and the other popular search engines.
- With a simple website design, it is much easier to add, delete and change pages. Anything that is easy to do is much more likely to be got done! And that includes keeping website content interesting and up-to-date.
- If your webmaster moves out of the area, it will be much easier for a new webmaster to take over the maintenance of the site.
- Other people can more readily join the website team and make an effective contribute to the development of the site.
- A simpler site, yet still an extremely effective website, can be constructed/hosted on an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) such as netAdventist, Adventist Church Connect, Google Sites, WordPress and SimpleUpdates.
- Generally it is the experienced site builders who like to show off by creating winkin', blinkin', rollin', scrollin', bandwidth-hogging multimedia bazaars. These are festooned with every do-dat, gewgaw and widget their webpages can hold. A "do-dat" is something on your pages that makes others who come to your site say, "How did you do dat?" The second or third time they come to your site, they'll say, "Why did you do dat?"
- Don't try to build a "killer website." Leave that for those with lots of spare time and lots of resources at their disposal.
- Avoid having to learn more HTML than you need to. Use a WYSIWYG webpage editor instead, or simply construct/host your site on a content management system (CMS). However do endeavor to learn some of the simple basics of HTML, and keep a manual handy, as this will help you from time-to-time to manually clean up some of the annoying glitches. But don't try to fanatically keep up with the very latest HTML version.
It is very difficult to improve on the readability of black text upon a white background. This arrangement gives for a clean and simple look, especially for the larger bodies of text on a webpage.
- Removing all unnecessary visual "noise" (clutter) will make the important objects stand out even better.
- It is not how much information there is, but rather how effectively it is organized and presented.
- Less is so often better, especially when what remains is what is really important.
Billions of dollars are lost by businesses that have slow-loading websites. Souls can also be lost because of slow-loading pages on ministry sites. How often does your message fail to reach your site visitors because they are not willing to patiently wait for your slow-loading webpages to appear on their device's viewing screen? The topic of page-load speed is covered more completely on these two pages in this section on Web Design:
Author: David Buxton