After months of work, the new website for First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will go public this Monday. Our new website address is www.firstchristianchurch.org. The new website is a cleaner site which should be easier to use for visitors and seekers wanting to learn more about First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Ashland. Our old website, www.fcc-ashland.org, will redirect you to our new website. In our evaluation of how our old website was used we discovered that the main pages viewed in order of popularity were the staff, newsletter, bulletin, calendar, prayer requests, DWM and sermon pages. The website has from 800-1000 hits per month from between 400-700 unique users. These results suggest that our website is primarily used by people familiar with our congregation who are looking for specific information. About 200 hits a month are from users who have come to browse the website, most likely potential first time visitors, looking for information about our congregation.
Our goal for the new website was to, first, have a name that is recognizable. Our old website had a dash (fcc-ashland) in the name, which is not universally recognized. Our staff emails, like RevIke@fcc-ashland.org were not universally recognized by email trailers which would hinder emails or cause them to be returned as “undeliverable.” Our new web name and email addresses, RevIke@firstchristianchurch.org, RevLarry@firstchristianchurch.org, should improve both our email services and increase our church’s website in search engine results. These improvements will greatly increase our online traffic and make our website easier to find for people looking for a church home in the Ashland area. Old emails will remain active during our period of transition.
Second, the new website retains the most popular features used by what we can assume are members who are looking for specific information. Our newsletters, bulletins, calendar and prayer requests remain key features of the new website and have been redesigned for faster use. Our staff page has been expanded to help visitors get to know our staff and primary programs featuring profiles of our staff and quick links to established programs.
Third, we have added more complete information about what visitors might expect on a Sunday morning. One of our most common requests from first time visitors has been information about childcare and what they might expect in a typical worship service. Information about our congregation’s history and organizational documents like our Constitution, By Laws and Board Members has also been added.
Overall, the website has a more contemporary design, other new features (e-cards, email lists, recommended links for Bible study), QR reader codes for smart phone users and direct links to our Facebook page. The website goes live on Monday, October 15. Visit us at www.firstchristianchurch.org. If you encounter any problems or see any mistakes, please give our Office Manager, Kathryn, a call at 324-5335 or email her at Office@firstchristianchurch.org.