For years, Christ the King Lutheran Church in San Antonio, Texas, had a nice, professional website. They had gone to a professional developer and come away with a nice site for the time with all of the necessary information.
But then the church switched website host, and the professional site got lost in the transfer. Instead of getting a developer to re-do the site, they cobbled together a site with the host’s site builder.
The new site wasn’t the same as the old site. Colors looked off, menus came and went and, while all the information was there, it wasn’t exactly appealing to an increasingly online generation.
Finally, something had to change.
“All the information we needed was there”, said Stacy Heston a volunteer at Christ the King who works on the website. “But it just did not look good. It was time to get something that looked like someone who knew what they were doing put together.”
Fortunately, their parish administrator, Mariesa Robbins, knew Christopher Harris and Faith Growth through Lutherhill. In fact, Robbins and Harris had pushed Christ the King to get a new website a few years prior. But the church decided against it.
Now they prioritized the website over the prospect of a new sign along a busy stretch of Pat Booker Road. And they knew it had to be professional.
“[Faith Growth] does church websites and that seemed like the best place to go,” Heston said.
The leaders of Christ the King knew exactly what they wanted: a new site with a cutting-edge theme to attract younger generation to the church.
“Stacy wanted to push the design with big images,” Harris said. “We talked through it in such a way to give them the possibilities to head in the directions that she saw them wanting to head: more image based.”
Christ the King eventually settled on the Infinity Pro child theme for Genesis. Heston said the theme’s large black-and-white images were just what she imagined.
“To me I thought it would appeal to the younger generation,” Heston said.
Work began on switching the colors over to a purple color for the church and getting content put into the site. Because the church knew what they wanted, development was light on issues. In fact, the only trouble was finding time for training.
But the rewards at the end were high for both sides.
“[The most rewarding part] is a really cool looking website that you’re not embarrassed pull up and go, ‘Here’s our church website. Ignore all the colors and mismatch of pictures and the fact that the menu disappeared.’,” Heston said.
Christ the King’s new site went live in the middle of March, right in time for Holy Week and Easter. Heston said they’ve seen a bit of an uptick in new faces in the crowd, although she’s not sure if that’s because of the site, Easter or a combination of both.
“So they’re able to find the information that the want, more information about the church,” Heston said. “So that’s all easier to find than it was.”
Meanwhile, Harris said there’s a lot that other churches of similar size and in a similar position can learn from Christ the King’s experience.
“We can really work with you within your budget and within your resources,” Harris said. “We didn’t have to come up with the system in this case because Stacy was really competent. But in this case it was helping them accomplish their dream within their budget.
“The other thing is that we do have to identify a people resource, and that either needs to be on staff or a volunteer and then help them get trained.”
As for Heston, her advice is to get a professional to do your site.
“If you need a new website or want to do an overhaul, don’t try to do it yourself,” Heston said. “Seek professional help.”
And she highly recommends working with Faith Growth.
“Christopher was really good to work with,” Heston said. “He answers all questions. He’s definitely a great resource. I’ve been very happy with everything that you’ve provided.”
Check out Christ the King’s new site -> http://ctk-uc.org/