[GUEST POST] Is a digital presence for your church just a ‘nice to have’? for @aliveandonline #ukchurchchat #chsocm

churches-alive-online-imageI’ve been promising to write a blog for Churches Alive Online, ever since they first indicated that they would be launching, and yesterday morning I’d already decided that I would write about the kind of information that those searching for new churches would be looking for – I’d sketched out a bit of it, then decided to go and check out a church … which was having a service elsewhere (so apologies to them for giving that error more airtime than might ever have been expected), and in the afternoon, after writing my Pokemon post (which has had many many hits), decided to pull the blog post together. Now live on the website, this is one of the paragraphs:

What is the purpose of a church website?

I always remember the first conversations I ever had about creating a church website, which I was doing in Dreamweaver, back in probably 2001. We discussed that the most important thing was to think about who the site was aimed at – including the seekers (of a new church and of faith), as well as the church regulars. As one of my friends just commented on Facebook, many churches are like a club for those who attend, information on a website which says stuff like “see Geoff for details” makes no sense to those who are outside the church.

For the seekers, it was key that the site gives a good idea of what to expect in this particular church, so that on walking through the door, there is no unpleasant shock! As I’m now searching for a new church, I’m very much ‘digital first’ in my approach – and I started by asking Facebook connections for recommendations! It’s much easier to follow a link, or scan the web, than it is to walk around every street in the area looking for churches – and if there’s no web presence, I assume there’s no particular desire to reach out to anyone new!

Read the full article.


Top Tips for Running a Church Website with @Reform_Mag


Reform is a fresh and challenging magazine exploring theology, ethics, personal spirituality and Christian perspectives on social and current affairs’ published by the United Reformed Church. They asked what my top tip was for an excellent church website, and I said:

Reflect the church you are
Ensure that your website reflects the church that it serves; visitors should not be shocked by a disconnect between what is “advertised” and what they experience. This means that website content should be considered in every aspect of church life, which not only gives information for church regulars but also gives a powerful opportunity to show the life of the church. Use a clean, fresh design and KEEP IT UP TO DATE!

See what six others wrote, and what would your top tip be? Don’t forget that you can also enter the Premier Digital Awards to celebrate good digital engagement!


[BLOG] Keep Calm and Carry On and other Second World War Posters

The site was constructed as an electronic resource to gather data and disseminate the research-in-progress for my PhD. The website ranks highly on Google, and has been referred to as one of the top poster-websites in James Aulich War Posters: Weapons of Mass Communication (Thames & Hudson, Imperial War Museum), 2007, receiving around 500 unique visitors per day from visitors worldwide – and around 18,000 in one month after featuring in the New York Times. The site has generated contacts from other academics working in the field, interviews with the press, a book chapter, information from artists’ relatives, and is acknowledged as the source of the backstory to Keep Calm and Carry On by Barter Books.



[WEBSITE] Winchester Holistics

Winchester Holistics is a single-person holistic therapy business based in Winchester. The company required a small, friendly, small business website, which would not involve frequent updates. In 2006, we spent time in discussion as to content and structure, and used one of many free WordPress themes.

winchester-holistics1-300x225After discussions and research, I designed and structured a friendly small business website. We wanted to keep the site simple as Tina had no desire to update it, and I couldn’t guarantee being available when the site needed updating.

I studied at other ‘holistic practitioner’ sites so that I could recommend to Tina the kind of content that would be worthwhile, and also took on board the ideas she already had for what it would contain.

On paper I outlined how I thought the site would work, and then we purchased a domain name and web-hosting space from 1&1, I designed the site using Dreamweaver and images purchased from iStockphoto, and the site went live. I recommended to Tina a number of things that she could do to promote the site offline.

Following discussions site with Tina, we renamed the company in 2008 (from Reflexive feet to Winchester Holistics) to reflect the wider range of treatments she offers, and the design of the new site can be seen here. We’re completing a rework of the material, as Tina focuses more on myfascial release than the hotstones.


Previous Design




How important is the avatar?

Now, there’s a good question, in our brand aware world – does your photo make a difference to – not only how you are approached – but whether you get cited?

Can an academic’s profile picture on a university website influence their citation record or their student survey results? Psychologists have posed that question in a journal article suggesting that scholars “reveal more about ourselves than we think”.

When cognitive neuroscientist Owen Churches took up a post as a research fellow at the University of South Australia, delays in setting up a laboratory led him to devise research that could be done without one. He was asked to submit a photograph for the university’s website and wondered whether he had unwittingly picked one designed “to give an impression of being more scientific and less emotional” – and whether others did the same.

Read full story.