Westover Men's Ministry

10 comments | Posted: 17 November 05 in Featured, by Nathan Smith

URL: westovermen.com

This website has a very stately feel to it. It is simple yet dignified. I like the way the two M’s interlock to form a W. It would have been better done in a cleaner, non-Papyrus font. What I favor about it is the concept of how it’s been done. They also have made great use of Flash, without being too overbearing. The gentle fades and subtle gradients put you at ease while browsing the site.

I like that extra effort has been taken to ensure this site validates as XHTML 1.0 Strict, even with the use of Flash. A quick lesson: If you use Dreamweaver to embed a Flash file, it will break your validation. The guys who did this site, Rock Beats Paper, know how to pull this off without a hitch, and I applaud them for it.

They have also ingeniously used PHP in conjunction with a server clock to display the current month and day, as an image. If you pick it apart, you will see that the top of the date badge is a seperate image from the bottom, allowing them to reuse a total of 43 files (12 + 31), instead of 365. Bottom line, this is a solid, elegant site that other churches could and should aspire after.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Matt Heerema

    Awesome site. Stately is a good word. Very masculine. Strong and gentle.

  2. 2 Jonathan Snook

    I agree about the papyrus font. No need to use the clichés. Just a quick note about the XHTML Strict. The embedding of Flash actually writes an embed tag which isn’t XHTML compliant and it uses document.write which if the XHTML was fed as XML, wouldn’t work. (this goes back to the whole HTML vs XHTML discussion)

    In any case, it’s a nice, decent site with a great message (helping men create positive roles in society).

  3. 3 Nathan Smith

    Jonathan: Thanks for bringing that up. I wasn’t aware of it. Good to know. So, would the best way to do it be using the Object tag?

  4. 4 Teevio

    I like the design, but my main beef is the placement of the logo. The logo is supposed to line up with the navigation below (which it does), but since the thick line to the right of the nav is not repeated to the right of the logo it looks extremely unbalanced in the top left corner. The line either needs to be next to the logo area or the logo needs to be centered in its box.

  5. 5 John Peele

    You guys are keeping us on our toes…

    FYI on the Flash embedding issue, we are using the Unobtrusive Flash Objects approach, http://www.bobbyvandersluis.com/ufo/. We found it to be the best compromise of the embed vs. object tag argument. But we are always looking for better ways to implement Flash in a Strict environment, so let us know if you find any!

    Teev, good points on the logo. I had a challenge with the decision of what to line the logo up with. But in the end I defaulted to making it match up with the logo placement on the main Westover Church site (www.westoverchurch.com, which we designed as well, mostly). On the main site the logo is offset slightly to the right in its box. So centering the Men’s logo would have thrown off its relation to the main site as well as the nav on this site. Good to know someone is paying attention though!

    And regretably, we cannot take credit for the logo design :) It was an inheritance for us when we took the project over from the ministry team. We thought about proposing a redesign on it as well, but the budget was crunched enough already. Maybe next year!

  6. 6 Wesley Walser

    Oh snap!

    We got Snook, Peele, and Smith on the same thread.
    Awesome! I feel like a pathetic fan boy.

    John, it’s nice to see some more stuff come out of your group, I have been looking at the RBP site for the past few months waiting on something new.

  7. 7 Nathan Smith

    Nah, I’m not near the celebrity status of Snook, though my last name completely kills his in a Google Fight. Other than that though, I think Jonathan pretty much outshines me in his knowledge of all web development topics!

  8. 8 matthew Smith

    If I were viewing the site at a traditional windows resolution, 800×600, I might say the header is a little deep? I love good rich headers that are attractive like this one, but what about content? Someone has to scroll to even get the main bits here?

    Any thoughts?


  9. 9 Mark Priestap

    Great looking design. It looks welcoming, loving & modern without looking pretentious, overly hip (i.e. wanting the world to like us more than we want to please God) or cheesy. I find that that one of the most difficult objectives with church design is to strike that fine balance.

  10. 10 Marius

    About the embed tag not being XHTML compliant, here’s an article you might already know of. If not, it might help you in your quest to being strict XHTML. It’s called, “Embedding Flash While Supporting Standards from A List Apart”.


    It is a little dated, none the less has an interesting approach.



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