Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What Makes These Church Web Sites So Bad?

I got this link from Chutney and dutifully looked at all the supposedly awful church websites. Sure, they weren't great. They're mostly kind of saccharine or overly-busy, and Pomo's nominee for the Worst of the Worst is definitely not good. But overall, considering that these websites are probably designed and maintained by volunteer laypeople, are they really that bad?

http://cleave.blogs.com/pomomusings/2006/08/worst_church_we.html#comment-21981024

Here's the thing. I'm just a typical internet surfer and church shopper (on the Sundays I'm out of the pulpit, that is). I haven't studied web design. I don't know java script from Flash. When I visit a church website, I'm looking for a few things: information on worship services and programs, a message from the pastor, a sense of welcome, a current calendar of programs, directions, and contact phone numbers. I don't expect the graphics to be contemporary and sophisticated. I won't gag if there's a cheesy hymn playing in the background (although I might giggle).

Again, considering that there's a UU congregation out there that sells thongs on its website, I think these other guys are doing pretty well.

But obviously Pomo and Chutney feel very strongly about this. Can they, or any of you, tell me what I'm missing? What makes these so godawful?

8 Comments:

Blogger SC Universalist said...

I looked at just one of them, and thought "hmm, it's not THAT bad"....

13:45  
Blogger boyinthebands said...

The thong site has cleaned up it act.

16:33  
Blogger Nikkiana said...

I've seen far worse than those... At least most of them are readable. Then again, none of them are much to right home about either... and none of them made me want to run out and visit their church.

17:10  
Blogger Jess said...

Let's see... horrible backgrounds making text hard to read, grammatical errors on the front page, quotes like "Quit griping about your church if it was perfect, you couldn't belong" (sic), things that blink... I'll stop now.

22:13  
Blogger chutney said...

I don't feel strongly about it at all.

It's like the apocryphal message from the church bulletin: "The pastor is starting a Young Mothers Club. Those wishing to become young mothers should visit the pastor in his study."

Except here they're not apocryphal.

10:06  
Blogger rachel said...

look at this one - it's a GREAT one!
www.newhopenc.org

19:10  
Blogger Mystical Seeker said...

It's one thing to make constructive criticisms, but what is with people who take pleasure in mocking the efforts of other people when they are just trying to do what they can? Putting together a good web site takes a certain amount of skill and knowledge. A lot of churches are small and may not have the resources to put together a good one. This idea of having fun picking out the worst church web sites seems to me to be malicious and uncalled for.

12:54  
Blogger Steve Caldwell said...

Speaking of UU thongs being sold on the web, you might find this interesting:

"I Love Unitarian Universalism" clothing on CafePress
http://www.cafepress.com/ilovesomething/1260273

And First UU of Richmond VA also sells church-logo thongs:

http://www.cafepress.com/firstuurichmond

10:11  

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