From the Communications Team…
In celebration of WEAG’s 50th
Why a new website?
The previous website at weag.org served us well for the past five years. When it was created, digital communications were very different. Live streaming was not a thing. Having a mobile responsive site was suggested but not expected. WEAG didn’t even have social media profiles.
Fast forward to today, and the expectations of the WEAG community and visitors to WEAG are greater and more sophisticated. To meet the new desires of our diverse audience required a website platform and content management system that exceeded the capabilities of the previous site.
How did the new site come together?
Work began in earnest in mid-2018 to determine the ideal balance of message, form, and function on a new site. Multiple metrics gathering tools were installed on the site to determine how visitors used the site. We wanted to know what links got the most clicks, what areas on pages visitors viewed the longest, how many links did viewers go through to get to their desired destination.
Next, many hours went into building three design prototypes before landing on the design you see here today. We were dissatisfied with our drafts, as we wanted to deliver the best experience to our valued site visitors.
Analytics indicated that many thousands of visits to our website were from first-time visitors, and we wanted to welcome them in a unique way. A brand new welcome mat is still to come, but until then, this new design helps all who are new to WEAG more easily become acquainted with our awesome church family.
Why .church and not .org?
We’re sure you’d agree that “weag” itself is not overly descriptive. Neither is the generic “.org.” Years ago, only a handful of TLDs (top level domains) like .org, .com, .info, .us existed. Now, there are hundreds to choose from. WEAG decided that putting the new site on our .church domain would instantly convey what “weag” is about.
What are the top benefits of the new site?
- SEARCH! Yes, you can now search the entire site. Just click the magnifying glass at
topright or, on mobile, tap the icon of three horizontal lines at the top right that is known as a “hamburger menu.”
- You can interact! Nearly every page, including events and sermons, has a comments area at the bottom. Share your thoughts, ask questions, express your appreciation, tell a story or post a testimony. Just please use discretion on a church website with a very diverse audience. While we hope to never do so, we reserve the right to edit and remove comments that we believe are not ideally suited for this forum and uplifting to the WEAG community.
- Better event info and history! We are able to put more and better details with each event, including a map. Even missions projects have their own event pages! We’ll also be able to post photos, videos, and stories about events after they happen so that you can reflect on
an experience, share memories with others, and give people you want to invite to an event an idea of what it was like in the past.
- Better announcements and devotions! You may not have known that a daily devotion, written by Pastor Marlyn DeFoggi, was posted to the About section of the former weag.org. Now, this “daily bread” is far easier to find within our new Blog. Along with messages from Shane and other important announcements, the most recent posts are at the bottom of every page.
- Sermon resources! Every sermon gets its own web page which includes the ability to listen to the audio, read more of the story behind the sermon, find a link to watch the associated Beyond A Sermon Live Q&A, and access links to related resources like books and small groups. Also, with convenient drop-down
menus,you can easily access sermons by series, topic, speaker, bookof the Bible, and timeframe. How cool is that?! We are migrating our entire digital sermon library to this new site as fast as we can.
What is to come?
- A dedicated Welcome! page for first-time visitors
- Photo and video galleries
- Volunteer role descriptions and openings
- An improved small groups directory and group details
- Better connections across discipleship resources like classes, groups, books, videos, etc.
- The ability to share virtually every piece of content on the site to social networks
- More comprehensive
staffand mi nistryprofiles and contact information
- Consolidated forms library for registrations across events, ministries and more
- More up to date details about every ministry
- Improved presence of our many community outreach projects, including Camp WEAG, West End Thrift, The My Story Project, Intertwined Family,
weAcademies, Lift Up RVA, Glorious Christmas Nights, and more
As new features are added to the site, we’ll post an announcement to this Blog; check back often, or subscribe to the Blog’s RSS feed or to our Newsletter using the simple form at the bottom of every page.
What is missing?
Nothing that we know of. 🙂 However, we have the comments open on this page so you can share your feedback. What would you like to see? What would help you most? Tell us below. We may not be able to incorporate every idea immediately, but we will consider every opinion, and we’ll post back questions if we are unsure about anything.
What will happen to weag.org?
Around the end of March 2019, we will create redirects for every page on the former site to its corresponding page on the new site. We’ll keep the .org domain in our portfolio of domains forever, so these redirects will work indefinitely. Existing email addresses for staff will also remain active.