4 comments | Posted: 11 August 08 in Featured, by Michael Montgomery
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.
Some items for consideration:
- Visual richness comes at a cost in page weight, with the home page for example at over 950kb. Even with broadband, it takes a while for the main logo to render.
- The Media landing page seems a bit sparse, so perhaps add some thumbnails of each media type to the landing page?
- Add some future events to the “events” box, or cause that box to disappear otherwise.
- Without CSS support or images enabled, the primary name of the church doesn’t show up.
- A print stylesheet would be helpful, especially on the Blog section.
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.
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