Dulles Church

14 comments | Posted: 6 March 06 in Featured, by Robert Evans

URL: dulleschurch.org

Back in January, Rob Soule, the creator of this beautiful website, brought his unfinished work to the Godbit forum for critiques. At first glance, I knew this was going to be a great looking site. Besides the fact that Rob does great work in general, just take a look at his own site comfort couch.

If you haven’t taken a look at the code for Dulles Church, I would suggest you go take a gander. The code is semantic and beautiful! Rob stepped this Church up a notch by creating it to be XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS compliant. What I really like is his use of JavaScript for the header image that allows you to click through three different images, but there is more. Rob implements the Lightbox JavaScript for the Church photo gallery. Lightbox is an unobtrusive script that allows images to be overlaid on the current page. I was really impressed that Rob used this for a Church site, because it shows that the Church can and is tech-savvy.

Rob used Textpattern for the backend system, which continues to show that Textpattern is a great solution for Churches to easily update and run their site. The navigation is easy for new comers to find and move around through the site. Often, this part of a Church a website is overlooked, but not with Rob at the helm.

The overall look or visual appeal is just awesome. It is warm, soothing and inviting and also easy on the eyes. I love the Podcast and Photo Gallery graphics at the bottom of the home page and feel they fit nicely with the design. There is a nice pop to them that says, ‘Hey, here I am.’ There is a resource section that has videos and MP3 sermons, which I believe is very valuable for a Church website to have.

Now the part that I don’t find enjoyable: what I don’t like about the site. There is one main concern that I have, that is the header image being a JavaScript implementation that is not degradable. If you disable JavaScript, then you will see the loading image looking like it is constantly loading, but no image ever appears. Other then that, I really don’t have anything bad to say about this site. Rob did a fantastic job!

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 nate klaiber

    I just want to give Rob a thumbs up on the work he has done. Not that I like all parts of the site, but as a whole – it is an incredible site (especially for a church – as if that should be in a separate category). Had a few issues in Safari with the lightbox, but other than that – I love the colors, the layout, the placement, etc.

    Great job!


  2. 2 Roger

    The lightbox isn’t working for me in Firefox 1.5 so I tried out lightbox on the lightbox site. That works for me so I may change my church’s site to use that.

  3. 3 Robert

    Roger, when you go to Dulles site, hit control-f5 for a hard refresh. It should work for you on firefox, I just checked it and works fine for me. When I had javascript diabled, the pictures will show up differently and when I enabled it, I had to do a hard refresh to view the pics using lightbox.

  4. 4 Rob

    Robert – Thanks SO much for all your kind words on the site, they are MUCH appreciated. It’s been great getting to serve my church family in this new way.

    @Roger & Nate – Could you guys elaborate on any Lightbox issues? I developed most of the site in Safari, so I’m surprised to hear that it’s no working for you. My only thought is that maybe the page hadn’t completely loaded before you clicked to open an image? Please let me know so i can investigate. Thanks guys!

  5. 5 Robert

    Rob, your work is awesome! I am a big fan of what you create so I really wanted to do this review. Your desire to make this a great site shows!

  6. 6 David Brooks

    Very nice. Very streamline. Nothing to dislike really. It displays well even without images enabled. Overall it’s one of the best church sites I’ve seen.

  7. 7 Andy

    Very very beautiful. Can’t find anything to be critical of on this one.

  8. 8 Sean Sperte

    I love this design, and I’m glad it’s featured so others can love it too. ;) Keep up the good work, Rob.

  9. 9 Mark

    Rob, you rock! I was lucky enough to have a seat backstage while Rob was designing and developing this site. He’s a master at his craft and this site certainly proves that. This is an excellent service to the church and I know that it will get a ton of use.

  10. 10 Will

    The Dulles site is easily one of the best local Church sites I’ve seen. Well done, Rob!

  11. 11 David Merwin

    The podcast icon on the bottom left of the home page. Isn’t that Apple’s icon? Are they letting people use their art? I didn’t see where I could download it on Apple’s site.

  12. 12 Rob

    David – Your right, it is the Apple Podcast icon. I’ve seen it used in numerous places so i assume that its fine to use… hmmm….

  13. 13 David Merwin

    I wouldn’t assume. Just because it is being used doesn’t mean you can use it without permission. Especially as Christian designers, we need t be above the board. I am NOT trying to suggest that The Dulles is not, just want to be VERY careful and if they know something we do not… then it would be great to have access to it.

  14. 14 Yannick

    Dulles Community Church is now featured on CSS Beauty.



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