EdgePoint Church

4 comments | Posted: 11 August 08 in Featured, by Michael Montgomery

URL: edgepointchurch.com

EdgePoint Church are clearly going for a theme of “church can be cool”, and the website conveys this message well. The visual design is textured, layered and a bit grungy, presenting a cohesive atmosphere without going too far over the top.

The home page call-out (“Don’t Come Here—For Regular Church”) is a bit edgy. That may not be my personal preference, but it works with the theme of the site.

The color palette sings in harmony and matches the theme. Typography is also well done, with effective and careful use of sIFR for headings. Images include transparent PNGs, with fixes for Internet Explorer.

Information architecture is clear and sensible, with obvious navigation throughout. One navigational challenge might be that two of the main nav bar items are duplicated in the three subsidiary call-outs (When & Where, Are Jeans Evil?). Also, Kids Rock doesn’t seem to match with the others.

The content is good overall, and the tone matches the theme perfectly. Some examples of nice touches: blog entries (which might not be frequent) are dated only by month. The photo gallery on many pages has snapshots of “real people”; always a plus. The lightbox effect attracts attention, and podcasts are well done. Same for the blog section: love that sticky note treatment.

Contact and Directions are well done, but I’d add the contact information in SEO-friendly text somewhere on every page.

Some items for consideration:

Jonathan Longnecker and Nate Croft from FortySeven Media built the site using Expression Engine, which is clearly used to their advantage.

Under the hood, the code is good throughout, with at least the home page valid to XHTML 1.0 Transitional. A few minor errors are scattered about some pages, including an some empty ul elements, and the Blog has some extraneous ending p tags. Personally, I’d also prefer not to use class names like “leftcol” and “rightbox”. Of course, the site was launched a while ago, so many of these considerations might be handled differently now.

In an e-mail, Jonathan mentioned a few back-end features that aren’t apparent from the outside:

The podcasting and Youtube integration is pretty cool. Podcasts can be uploaded and tagged in EE and that info feeds in to iTunes automatically. And for YouTube all they have to do is put in the 11 character identifier and EE takes care of the rest.

I’m using the gallery modules for the pictures and lightbox to display them. Also a handy thumbnailing CSS trick so the thumbnails are all the same size. sIFR for the headlines, too.

All in all, excellent work and a good job to Jon and Nate.

Note: Like all the church sites Featured here in the Godbit Project, edgepointchurch.com is a good example of a site that is well-designed and built. Any suggestions are hopefully constructive, and shouldn’t imply that this reviewer could do any better. Personally, I have learned from each of the featured sites.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Jonathan Longnecker

    Hello! Thanks for the great article and great ideas for improving the site. It was done very quickly and I hadn’t gotten back to finessing some of the finer points you’ve mentioned, but now that you’ve called me out I’ll have to :). Thanks for the kind words,

    Jonathan

     
  2. 2 David Reimer

    Interesting site, and I suppose “edgy” for a church called “Edgepoint” is fair enough! :)

    One thing I noticed that was a slight frustration: the information associated with the podcasts links is distinctly minimal. Fair enough on the front page where real-estate is at a premium. I expected I would get more information on the “inside” page itself, but … nope! Even the main scripture text would help, or a brief sentence capturing the main thrust of the sermon….

    Or maybe that’s just me! But with all the variety of “media” resources on offer, some sense of what they are and why I should bother with them would help! (IMO, of course!)

     
  3. 3 Michael Montgomery

    @Jonathan: Glad you liked the article.
    Even more impressive since it was done quickly; speed is one of the things on which I’m focusing for improvement.

    @David: Interesting point—never even occurred to me.

     
  4. 4 Adrian Rodriguez

    I think this is definitely a different approach to a church design and very well done.

     

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